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

A Key Theme in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is The Struggle between Good and Evil. How Does Stevenson Show the Struggle in Dr Jekyll?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Key Theme in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is The Struggle between Good and Evil. How Does Stevenson Show the Struggle in Dr Jekyll? In this essay, I am going to explore how Robert Louis Stevenson shows the struggle between good and evil in Dr Jekyll in his novel "The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde." The book was published in 1886. The novel investigates how a person is made up of contrary emotions and desires, the good and the evil. The book revolutionary when it was first published, in 1886 life was very different to what it is today, and so the response readers have to the book now is very different from what a 19th century reader's would have been. In 1886 the class divide was very prominent, resulting in the poor staying very poor and the rich living life in luxury. Dr Jekyll is a doctor, which was a very highly respected position in Victorian society in chapter 2 when Mr Utterson is reading Jekylls titles in also shows he had qualifications in Science, Medicine and Law all highly respected professions. "Henry Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L, LL.D, F.R.C, &c". The amount of study needed for these qualifications would have been enormous, this shows how dedicated to his work Jekyll is. The views of good and evil in our time and in Stephenson's would have been very different. ...read more.

Middle

He is also very popular and brings most of the characters together by his friendships, "Where Utterson was liked, he was liked well". Stevenson uses Utterson to tell the reader what to think and feel during the novel, he does this by expressing Uttersons feelings in the book, but with Utterson being the narrator the reader sees things from his point of view therefor he is the readers eyes and ears. This is good because his inquisitive nature means most of the major events in the plot are based around him. This brings the reader into the novel. You can also tell Utterson is very loyal because of his long term friendships wit h Lanyon and Jekyll. Utterson mistrusts Hyde from the first time he sees him, "The look of him, even at that distance went somehow against the watchers inclinations. This quote means that even at a long distance Utterson takes a dislike to Hyde. This tells the reader how evil Hyde is, that someone can tell what he is like from his exterior. Another key character is Dr Jekyll he is a highly respected physician, scientist and lawyer. But underneath his pleasant exterior is a man ripped in two by contradictory desires. Jekyll has great desire to commit evil deeds but to balance this he does many good deeds. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think this is great because it keeps the audience now and when it was published, guessing at what drove Dr Jekyll to those ends. In addition, the way the story is narrated through the eyes of Utterson for the first chapters is very effective because it brings the reader into the mystery that he is trying to solve. The effect of this method is that the reader is brought into the plot because they feel they are trying to solve the mystery through Uttersons eyes because he is the narrator. The moral of the text in my opinion is that humans are made up of good and evil, so no body can be perfect because there will always be something under the surface that will, no matter how the person appears, be bad. For instance the way Dr Jekyll is so pleasant on the exterior but under the surface he has the evil of Hyde hiding in him. In 1886 this could have related to the debate over evolution and that humans may not be as perfect as people would think. Now it could relate to the debate over modifying babies DNA while they are still in the womb. I think because the novel shows that if you mess with the way humans are made it will end in tragedy. 12345678910 Overall in my opinion Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a book which still remains to have relevance to situations 100 years after it was written because of Robert Louis Stevenson's vivid writing style and intriguing plot. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. How does Stevenson present the conflict between good and evil in Dr Jekyll and ...

    Jekyll speaks in a respectful manner when addressing others, but we do not really learn much about him before the first person account. Here, it is clear that he is a man of excellent schooling and with a wide imagination.

  2. How does Stevenson explore the theme of duality in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

    actual fact it is a pathway to another world in London, not the respective one this I believe because it is much more prosperous and colourful than the busy, but dingy surrounding quarters '...in a busy quarter of London...' and a mystery is formed because he does not explain why other than that the shop fronts were 'inviting'.

  1. Jekyll and Hyde chapter by chapter summary.

    He has also heard a voice crying and walking all day. The only relief for a week has been a bit of a break when a new sample comes from the chemist. Utterson follows Poole to Jekyll�s house where they here strange sounds coming from the laboratory basement and the

  2. "Man is not truly one, but truly two" - A discussion on how this ...

    original evil'; symptomatic of the iniquity he was once in control of, that is now in control of him. Stevenson describes Jekyll to be a 'slave'. This has connotations in my mind of being pushed around, bullied, and tortured. I feel this is a terribly important position we are at

  1. How does Stevenson create an atmosphere of mystery and suspense yet at the same ...

    Edward Hyde. This strange will had long troubled Utterson, but now that he has heard something of the sinister nature of Hyde, he becomes more upset and feels convinced that Hyde has some peculiar power over Jekyll. Similarly, the will's reference to ''death or disappearance'' makes Utterson immediately think of

  2. Discuss Stevensons portrayal of the nature of good and evil and the dual nature ...

    This links in with Hyde's nature and internal struggle- he can never fully become Jekyll because he was created BY Jekyll. The quote: "like a forest in a fire" is a good example of Stevenson's views on current society and the changing world that was revolving around him.

  1. "If I Am The Chief Of Sinners, Then I Am The Chief Of Sufferers ...

    "Damn", undoubtedly perceived at the time the book was written, an age without socially acceptable swearing and profanation, as a relatively strong word. Therefore, Stevenson's use of this word, in Mr Enfield's description of Hyde, brings across a particular strength of his feelings of dislike towards him.

  2. Man is not truly one, but truly two. Show how Stevenson explores this idea ...

    Jekyll risked his life to find out more about human nature. This links back to my first point about John Hunter. He was a surgeon who was keen to find out more about how people?s body worked; he paid people to illegally steal dead bodies from tomb for his dissection experiment.

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