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How Does Stevenson Create a Sense of Mystery & Horror?

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Introduction

How Does Stevenson Create a Sense of Mystery & Horror? "So ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like running." Several factors contribute to the creation of different emotions and feelings. Stevenson uses a multitude of ways to give the overall effect of mystery and horror rather than a sudden, obvious indication. In the first paragraph the author starts making a list to describe the house in an eerie way. His use of vocabulary at this point is obvious but effective, using words like 'sinister', 'sordid negligence' and 'blistered.' No longer does it seem as if the author is describing a door on the street but a corrupted infected corpse and by provoking thoughts of death and suffering horror comes to play. ...read more.

Middle

So the scene is set lonely, cold, dark with only the flickering street lamps playing shadow games in the night. The description of the street in the first chapter reinforces this theme of duality. The street is described as merely an anonymous street in London, whose shop fronts "like rows of smiling women" have a brightness that stands out in contrast to the dingy neighbourhood. And yet on this street, two doors from the corner, stands a dreary, Gothic house, which "bore in every feature the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence." As we proceed further in the novel, Jekyll´┐Żs house itself will be seen to have an innate duality: congenial, prosperous, respectable, as well as threatening, mysterious, and sinister. This duality is manifested by each of its two facades: the respectable, Jekyll side of the house stands out in contrast with the seediness of its neighbouring structures. ...read more.

Conclusion

Doctors jobs are to preserve life and they deplore violence in every form and so when this "cut-and-dry apothecary ...turned sick and white with a desire to hill [the juggernaut]" every time he saw him we can not but sense the evil which these people feel towards the 'prisoner.' Compared to the last paragraph or so this paragraph progresses at quite a pace as if to reflect the speed at which people's emotion turned from nothing to sadness to hate. Stevenson writes as if there is a final explanation as to whom this mystery figure is but does not let on and instead let's the suspense build. He occasionally allows a small amount of information out just to wet the appetites and keep up an atmosphere of mystery and confusion. This atmosphere one of controlled suspense, a gradual building up of a sense of horror and destruction is achieved through a slow accumulation of unemotional detail, which begins in this chapter. ...read more.

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