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"A Strange Case of Dr Jekyl And Mr Hyde" Theme of Evil.

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Introduction

'Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'- Examine how Robert Louis Stevenson presents the theme of evil' 'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde', written by Robert Louis Stevenson is a novel that explores the good and evil inside men. This is shown all the way through the book, Jekyll attempting to separate his evil side and unleash him to the world was the first act of evil. The struggle between good and evil is present in the novel, the good being shown in the form of well-respected Doctor Henry Jekyll and the evil being in the form of Edward Hyde. In this novel, Stevenson was trying to show that good and evil are not separate within us but are a combined part of us so instead of trying to split them we should except the unity and only then will we be able to make our good side prevail in the struggle of good and evil. The historical context is very important in the novel. The whole 'double existence' was expected of men in Victorian England, though not quite in the literal sense. ...read more.

Middle

This instantaneously gives the image of someone who doesn't care about appearance or image. Mr Hyde using this door shows that he isn't respectable and he needs to 'hide' away. Mr Hyde's actions are also evil. The first time we hear about him is when we hear of a madman knocking down a small child and walking straight over her. 'It sounds like nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see. It wasn't like a man, it was like some damned Juggernaut.' Hyde wasn't concerned about who or what he hurt; he didn't have a morals to speak of. He never felt guilty of his actions and this allowed him to do anything he feels like without any emotional punishment. When he got mad he acted like an ape and quite insanely. 'And next moment, with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot." Stevenson portrays Hyde in highly animalistic terms - short, hairy, and like a troglodyte with gnarled hands and a horrific face. In contrast, Jekyll is described in the most chivalrous terms - tall, refined, polite and honourable, with long elegant fingers and a handsome appearance. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hyde is gradually taking over and Jekyll is becoming more evil. In chapter 7 we see this happening. Mr Utterson and Mr Enfield are standing below the window where Mr Jekyll is sitting. Suddenly they see something which shocks and scares them; 'froze the blood of the two gentlemen below. They saw it but for a glimpse for the window was instantly thrust down, but that glimpse had been sufficient.' This shows that Jekyll's evil side is increasing with time and starting to control him. It also proves that Jekyll is becoming more dependant on the antidote to stop him turning into Hyde and to keep the evil in check rather than before when he was using it to isolate his evil side. To summarise these points, I believe that evil gradually increases in power and has greater sometimes gains control over some people. Evil is described as something ugly and outcast, something that should be hidden away but ultimately is something that should be treated with caution and is capable of becoming very powerful. If Jekyll hadn't gone forward with his plans then all would be well, although he would not be completely happy, he would have remained civilised and his reputation would have still remained. Jade Hannah English lit. "A Strange Case..." essay Year 11/A7 ...read more.

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