• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Discussion as an example of Gothic Fiction and as a critique of Victorian society.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Discussion as an example of Gothic Fiction and as a critique of Victorian society. This book was written at a time of change in the world of fiction as a new form of gothic literature emerged. Fin de Siecle was a new type of New Gothic that had elements that differed from previous gothic stories. Stevenson's story is based around various shards of the gothic and is mainly focused on exposing the "duality of man" and his struggle to hide it from the outside world. The symbolism of Jekyll and Hyde is truly extended to all with differing parts in all of us. It was not a new idea as it had been seen in the classic example of a good and bad guardian, a devil on one shoulder and an angel on another, and also in gothic literature before it, such as Frankenstein with the duelling personalities of Frankenstein and the monster, creator and creation which is easily comparable with the roles of Jekyll and Hyde, ". ...read more.

Middle

As Stevenson added a new dimension to Gothic literature he reinforced his story with another genre, the detective novel. From the outset of the book we are introduced to several classic elements of the genre. The solitary narrator that is Utterson who takes the role of the detective, and then this mysterious house with its peculiar entry, "Did you ever remark that door?", which is followed by the entry of the classic gothic figure, a sinister "Juggernaut" who immediately invokes a disgust in all whom he meets, "I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with the desire to kill him". This helps the reader identify who the villain of the story is, but may also be attack on society's preconception of judging people simply on their appearances as already he is described with anger within the first instance of his description and this continues throughout the book, "an imprint of deformity and decay". This novel was also quite relevant at the time of its publishing which happened at the same time as the murders of the infamous Jack the Ripper. ...read more.

Conclusion

We know that historical events, such as the French Revolution, would have an effect on the lower classes and perhaps this is the reason that Jekyll is a powerful and successful doctor and not some average, doctor of the people. It is common knowledge that he had troubles with his father and he joined an organisation, which "disregarded everything our parents taught us". The relationship between Jekyll and Hyde is similar to Stevenson and his father, and Jekyll's relationship with the outside world is also like Stevenson's. In some ways he is portraying himself as the lead character and perhaps the character of Hyde is in fact a personification of his illness that kept him bedridden for a long time. The main force behind this book is the duality of men but this battle raging inside him may also have influenced his story and given Hyde a more disgusting, exaggerated image, "lean, corded, knuckly, of a dusky pllor and thickly shaded with a swart growth of hair. It was the hand of Edward Hyde." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    To what extent can 'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' be ...

    4 star(s)

    There is a lot of secrecy in this novel particularly with Dr. Jekyll and he really is a closed book and doesn't confide in anyone until near the end of the story. The secrecy keeps the reader gripped because you want to find out what the secret is yourself and who will be the one Jekyll will confide in.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Why would a Victorian reader find "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr ...

    4 star(s)

    This is Hyde's world and it shows his character and nature. Hyde is violent, evil dark, twisted like Soho. A Victorian reader would find this fascinating that the area he lives in reflects his personality. Lanyon lives in Mayfair, this shows his rich civilised character and Jekyll lives in an

  1. Explore Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the Body Snatchers as both gothic ...

    In The Body Snatchers, Stevenson has used the bestial nature again to describe the actions of the characters to enhance the evil calious of their actions. 'As two vultures may swoop upon a dying lamb, Fettes and Mcfarlane were to let loose upon a grave.'

  2. Chapter 4 in 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is one ...

    forms are used such as letters, diaries and newspaper articles to add a sense of realism and factual tone to the novel. The buildup to the maidservant's account includes vivid description of specific parts of the setting; this is done for a variety of reasons.

  1. With particular reference to the construction of Mr Hyde, discuss how portrayal of the ...

    Quickly, Stevenson lets the readers know that this inkling is right, as Hyde "trampled calmly over the child's body", which is horrible enough, but readers then learn that Hyde "left her screaming on the ground". This suggests that Hyde was not fazed by what he had just done, and walked off as if nothing had happened; this is almost "evil".

  2. Consider the writers' intentions in writing their Gothic stories - To what extent do ...

    This suppression is due to the fact that Jekyll's reputation as a doctor depends vastly on the actions that he has committed. So when his suppressed anger is let out it takes the form of Hyde. Although count Dracula is also in the same high position, his anger is not

  1. Discuss the aspects of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel that make it a horror story ...

    of the personality which were thought of as uncivilized, are therefore medieval and gothic. In the chapter of 'The Carew Murder' there are many elements of gothic horror. '...a fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was cloudless, and the lane, which

  2. Robert Mighall describes 'The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde' as 'more ...

    Hypocrisy is a dominant theme in the novel. Jekyll distanced himself from Hyde, condemning his actions; 'It was Hyde after all, and Hyde alone, who was guilty'. He fails to admit that Hyde was in fact part of himself, and this, in my opinion, is the main device Stevenson uses to critique Victorian society; Jekyll is able to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work