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Dr Jekyll And Hyde

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Introduction

How does Stevenson present the characters of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? The novel 'the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. The novel is set in London. At this time in Victorian England most places were not clean where the poor people lived, there were also rich people who had good jobs and had quite a lot of money; some had jobs like being a doctor like Jekyll is. There is a divide in society, between the upper class and lower class. The cities were smoggy and dirty because the industry and life was really hard for the poor. In these days child labour was the norm. The genre of this novel is gothic fiction, this was popular in 1886 because it was a new type of genre and people enjoyed reading horror novels (only the middle class could read, lower class were too poor for an education). Most people at this time were religious so they were nervous about the recent changes in science. Charles Darwin wrote 'The Origin of the Species' which claimed that man descended from apes, which frightened the Victorians about what they had evolved from. ...read more.

Middle

'Mr Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of the breath.' This imagery implies that he is like a snake because of the hissing noise he made. He is also compared to an ape, dog/wolf and a rat. All these animals are wild, uncontrollable and unpleasant animals. The laboratory that Hyde regularly uses is described as neglected and dirty. 'The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered And distained.' This is symbolic for Hyde not wanting to see anyone and no one to knock on the door. In Utterson's dream, Hyde is presented as a blackmailer because Utterson thinks that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll to leave him all of his money to him if he was to die. Hyde is presented as a terrifying monster in Utterson's dream. 'It had no face' By this quote Utterson implies that you can't see what he is really like. The character of Dr Jekyll is presented as a respectable doctor with a secret, a victim and a hypocrite in the novel. The first description of Dr Jekyll gives us an impression that he is a well known and respected man. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Utterson's dream he is presented as a small and very plainly dressed man. When Jekyll turns into Hyde his appearance is not easy to describe' and his voice his husky. His speech is short and snappy when he talks, which is not very often. Jekyll has double standards because he made the potion to separate his two different personality and 'pleasures' as he calls them. He wanted to separate these two sides because the bad side was not acceptable in this time and he wanted to separate them so people don't know it's him. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are presented as two sides of the same character where Dr Jekyll is the good side (which was acceptable in Victorian time - public side), and Mr Hyde is the bad side (which was not acceptable in the Victorian times - private side) a Victorian reader may react to the twist in the novel as surprised because Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are two sides of one person and not two completely different people. The novel has a moral to it which is, he accepts who he really is instead of being something he's not, and you must not cross the line and not do things that you would be ashamed of. ...read more.

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