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The Last Night(TM) builds slowly but inevitably towards the death of Hyde. How does Stevenson engage the reader(TM)s interest throughout this chapter?

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'The Last Night' builds slowly but inevitably towards the death of Hyde. How does Stevenson engage the reader's interest throughout this chapter? Within chapter eight, Poole arrives at Utterson's door in an agitated state as he is distressed about his master. Poole knows that Utterson is a loyal, trustworthy friend to Dr Jekyll; therefore it is natural for him to seek Utterson's advice for his concerns in the hope of comfort and help. Throughout chapter eight, the events have been described in a way to engage the reader. The atmosphere in chapter eight has been written by Stevenson to engage the reader. Stevenson has chosen to set this chapter on a 'wild, cold, seasonable night' to suggest how violent the events are and have been. The lighting within chapter eight is very important to setting the mysteriousness and feeling of unease for this chapter, it changes depending on where the characters are. Stevenson describes the 'night of March, with a pale moon'. The paleness of the moon is a typical gothic setting in English literature; this is because shadows are created which can move and change at any time. Due to the change of angle of the light the shadows can flicker and stir, which creates a feeling of insecurity. Stevenson has enforced this feeling of uncertainty by describing the cloud as 'a flying wrack of the most diaphanous and lawny texture.' This suggests that the little light that the characters have to see, may vanish by the quick moving cloud. The fact that the cloud is 'diaphanous' and 'lawny' in texture shows that the light of the moon is limited to the light which shines through the gaps in the 'flying wrack'. Within the hall of Dr Jekylls' house the servants use light for security: 'the fire was built high' so that the hall was brightly lit up. Having a big roaring fire in the room will have created warmth, and light all around the room, this would have been important as no shadows would have been created to make shapes out of proportion. ...read more.


Poole would never have dreamt off putting his thoughts and feelings before politeness, however because he is so terrified he is uncomfortable. Not only this but, when Mr Utterson feels that he should go with Poole back to the house to investigate 'he observed with wonder the greatness of the relief that appeared upon the butler's face'. This suggests that Poole sees comfort and safety in Utterson and is glad that he is going back to the house. This makes the reader feel uneasy due to the oddness of the event. The mysteriousness of their arrival at the house creates a feeling of nervousness. As before Poole shows that he is afraid of what lies within the house: 'Thereupon the servant knocked in a very guarded manner'. This shows that Poole was reluctant to proceed with entering the house and possibly placing Mr Utterson in danger as well as him self. Within the same scene, the door to the house is opened but 'on the chain' which suggests that the people inside wanted to keep something out of the house. The fact that 'a voice asked from within, "Is that you Poole?"' shows that the people inside the house did not want to be seen and only hoped that it was Poole at the door and nobody else. Once all the characters are inside the hall, mystery is again created due to the actions of the characters involved. As Poole and Mr Utterson are seen, the reader notices the servants' reactions to the lawyer; 'At the sight of Mr Utterson, the housemaid broke into hysterical whimpering: and the cook, crying out, "Bless God! it's Mr Utterson," ran forward as if to take him in her arms.' These two reactions show that all the servants are similar to Poole; they see Mr Utterson as a man of influencing safety and reassurance. A third mystery in this chapter is while Poole is leading Utterson to Jekyll's cabinet, this is important to the story as Mr Utterson loses his nerve. ...read more.


Stevenson decides to tell the readers that the body could not be found by using the words; 'Nowhere was there any trace of Henry Jekyll, dead or alive.' These words are strong and they engage the reader. A mystery was created when the contents of the cabinet was examined more closely for the characters found 'a copy of a pious work for which Jekyll had several times expressed a great esteem, annotated, in his own hand, with startling blasphemies.' To dam God in a copy of the Holy book, which Jekyll had expressed enthusiasm for, comes across a mystery for the readers, why would Doctor Jekyll have done this, or was it someone else, Hyde, for example. This confuses the reader and engages them to find out. The other strange finding in the cabinet was a mirror; 'the searchers came to the cheval-glass, into whose depth they looked with an involuntary horror.' Why would the doctor have a mirror within his possessions? This confuses the reader and engages them. We later find out the need for this object. The last mystery found in this chapter was the new will and why it had not been changed by Edward Hyde. If Hyde had been present in the room while Jekyll had rewritten his will why hadn't he changed the name 'Gabriel John Utterson' back to his name Edward Hyde? As well as this, why was the letter not altered or destroyed if Hyde had been present at the time. This affects the reader in a similar way to all the other mysteries in this chapter, confusion and engagement. In conclusion, within 'The Last Night' Stevenson builds slowly but inevitably towards the death of Hyde and the disappearance of Jekyll. He sets the mood, time of day, lighting and uses the characters feelings and pathetic fallacy to create an atmosphere. He describes the character Hyde in such a way that the reader dislikes his appearance, and all the mysteries which are set throughout the chapter to engage the reader. ?? ?? ?? ?? Georgi Hall Mrs Corp English Essay 10N1 1 ...read more.

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