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AS and A Level: Robert Louis Stevenson

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  1. With close reference to the setting of 'Psycho' and 'Edward Scissor hands' discuss how the directors use elements of the Gothic tradition.

    The background behind her is not clearly visible and is set to a Gothic shadow view. As she continues to drive away further from her home the weather changes to heavy rain, the whole atmosphere draws in on her and the frantic music that plays adjacent to the fantastic camera shots results in a penetrative impact upon the viewer. As she continues driving it comes to attention that there is no other traffic visible. Solitarily driving down the highway Hitchcock takes a shot that shows what Marion would see from behind the windscreen.

    • Word count: 2379
  2. Is Jekyll and Hyde just a gothic horror story or does it have something to say about human nature?

    To deal with human nature Stevenson discusses the ideas of Charles Darwin. Around the 19th century Charles Darwin began to write theories of animals and evolution, Stevenson was obviously influenced by these ideas and uses them to describe one of the main characters - Mr Hyde. Stevenson also mentions religion when he discusses the ideas of Christian and non-Christian aspects in the novel. Stevenson uses lots of Gothic images, one of the first gothic parts of the novel is the trampling of the young girl.

    • Word count: 1293
  3. How do you think that Stevenson wishes us to judge Dr Jekyll's experiments concerning Mr Hyde?

    He is actually called, 'the child of hell' meaning he is pure evil. Also, the 'fire's can be interpreted as trying to ward off evil spirits, such as Hyde. Hyde's soul is described as 'foul', and his character 'callous' and 'violent'. He is described as having 'Satan's signature' upon him, as if he has been made by the devil and sent up from hell. Hyde is also frequently compared to an animal. When people talk to Hyde he is 'savage' like a wild animal and has a habit of 'hissing' like a serpent.

    • Word count: 1212
  4. The Well - Gothic Horror by Elizabeth Jolley.

    The flash backs, a suspense-creating device is purposely utilised in the novel to stimulate the element of paranoia. This is because flash backs are usually associated with memories of horrific ordeals thus evoking feelings of terror, anxiety and fear. These emotions are of the darker side of life analysed through the gothic genre. In addition are the many events that take place in the novel that are vague and lacking in detail making readers never understand or anticipate what is going to occur. For example is the ambiguity of the ending where there is no sense of closure and where the central and crucial body is still left concealed in the disused well.

    • Word count: 1417
  5. Consider the writers' intentions in writing their Gothic stories - To what extent do you consider them to be effective horror stories?

    Jekyll and Hyde being a gothic book included some of these but also managed to be effective in different areas. Jekyll and Hyde set their scene in a very familiar place (London), with the idea to emphasize the fear that the audience felt when reading about this tale. This was just one of the ways that Stevenson changed gothic books and made them into effective horror stories. However this was not the only thing which made Jekyll and Hyde an effective and daring gothic book.

    • Word count: 1962
  6. 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is not just the story of a brilliant but flawed man who succumbs to temptation, it is also the story of a man who is a victim of his own society and culture.'

    reader is given a mostly honest insight into Jekyll's mind; this again, brings forth some sympathy because he explains the pressures of society and the repression of his pleasures which condemn him to 'a profound duplicity of life'. Also despite the understandable reasoning behind Jekyll's actions the reader is confronted with the facts that he brutally murdered Sir Danvers Carew and he had intended to commit such crimes in order to satisfy his 'pleasures'. The contrasting feelings tend not to give a clear view of whether or not Jekyll was indeed a victim of his society but the novel does show that he was flawed in his wish for 'undignified pleasures'.

    • Word count: 1153
  7. The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Discussion as an example of Gothic Fiction and as a critique of Victorian society.

    Stevenson had his influences apart from classic novels, his past had a tremendous affect on this novella as the language, used by Jekyll in particular is similar to Stevenson with possible links between the two, gives the reader an insight into his mind. His Calvinistic upbringing has a bearing on the way Jekyll tries to describe Hyde in his final statement. We get a lexical set of words like "hellish but inorganic", "That child of Hell" and "an ordinary secret sinner".

    • Word count: 1055
  8. 'Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde' has a theme of contrast between goodness and evil that runs throughout the story. Stevenson has used various ways in order to communicate this idea to his readers.

    Already we can see the theme building up from this title. There are many images of darkness and light throughout the story. The effect of this is that it emphasizes the theme of goodness and evil and helps to construct Imagery- concentrates on jekylls home Hyde, his name 'hide' impression of deformity, murderous mixture of timidity and boldness Like some damned juggernaut, a very big lorry But why?? Colour imagery of red- danger, blood Mentions the baize on the door twice- danger is coming! In the main characters, Stevenson uses physical appearance as a tool for getting across the distinction of good and evil: for instance, Hyde's pale and dwarfish, with

    • Word count: 631
  9. Examine how a sense of mystery, terror and suspense is created and maintained in 'The Old Nurse's Story' By Elizabeth Gaskell. You should consider specifically, how successful the story is as a piece of Gothic fiction.

    The Gothic Novel usually had a strong moral attached, designed to make the reader think and learn valuable lessons. Beneath the melancholy atmosphere of the Gothic tradition lurked psychological subtext, aiming to provoke terror in the reader's mind. This usually examined the subconscious and unconscious mind and its impulses and dealt with socially taboo subjects, including incest, murder, rape and diabolism. In this way, terror and mystery were slowly built up in the reader's mind. Gothic Novels were relatively long in size and slow in pace, hence the reason why they appears so outdated today.

    • Word count: 2730
  10. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde coursework

    The genre of the book is 'gothic horror and fiction'. The elements of gothic in it are the horror, super natural and the mystery. It also has a dark and very gloomy setting and it talks about the smog lying very low on the floor. "For a moment, the fog would be quite broken up, and a haggered shaft of daylight would glance in between the swirling wreaths." This is gothic because it is quite mysterious and spooky. This could appeal to many people because this is like real life with the smog coming under the door.

    • Word count: 823
  11. In his statement of veto of the "Cat Bill," Governor Stevenson manifests sarcastic diction to appeal to common sense and knowledge, and uses examples of personification and dramatization to craft his effective argument ridiculing the bill.

    He uses subtle mockery by portraying cats as innocent and attributing their roaming behavior as a part of their nature. He depicts the cats to be naturally unbounded and indicates the absurdity of an owner trying to domestic them to the degree of escorting them on a leash.

    • Word count: 403
  12. The Development of the Gothic Genre of Literature over the Last 200 years

    Whereas authors such as R. L. Stevenson and Angela Carter used what we refer to as normal sentence length, and irregular patterns of paragraph length. An example of this is in 'Jekyll and Hyde', (R. L. Stevenson), there is a paragraph that is one page long. The name gothic initially came from a style of architecture that dates as far back as medieval times. The menacing looks of gothic architecture make it well known. An example of gothic architecture is shown in many arches, as arches from the gothic period are known for their pointed peak.

    • Word count: 777
  13. Victorian Villains in Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    In the second extract, (Great Expectations) the atmosphere is rather different as it is outside and not inside. It is located in a marsh country, close to a river and twenty miles of the sea, Charles describes the afternoon as raw this would mean that it would cold and damp. It is then described as a bleak place overgrown with nettles. The land beyond the churchyard is dark and flat but intersected with a few mounds. The wind is described as rushing from the sea, which would mean it is speeding up.

    • Word count: 2231
  14. How Does Stevenson Create a Sense of Mystery & Horror?

    Inhabited by tramps and used as a shop by children as if abandoned "and for close on a generation no one had appeared to drive away these random visitors or to repair their ravages." Mr Enfield's account starts of in a mysterious way as he tells us that it was three o'clock of a 'black winter's morning' when nobody is awake and everyone is inside for the cold and that he was walking through a part of town where "there was literally nothing to be seen but lamps."

    • Word count: 716
  15. Romanesque Vs. Gothic

    Second we have the Speyer Cathedral it's a "German Romanesque Architecture. Its similar to St Pantaleon's. In Tuscany you have the Pisa Cathedral. It is one of the most famous architectures there , The leaning tower's poor foundation, history brings the fortune of the matter. The Pisa has a very classical Heritage if you compare it with the S. Apollinare in Ravenna its clear they are very similar in scale and shape.

    • Word count: 569

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