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Dr Jekyll and Hyde

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Introduction

Terrence Yuen In what way do 'Strange Cases of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson engage contemporary and modern readers? In this essay I will explore in which ways Robert Louis Stevenson passes his message from 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' to engage contemporary and modern readers. Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer. Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. During his childhood he suffered extreme sickness in winter, and left him extraordinarily thin. But although he must have felt quite uncomfortable from his sickness, he started to grow up his interest of writing stories. In 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' Stevenson's literature could fall into the category of gothic literature which combines elements of horror and he uses horror as the basic atmosphere of the story. The story was set in the Victorian era which is also the author's century. During the Victorian era, the population in Britain increased dramatically. For example the improvements of medication increased rate of children surviving infancy and people could live longer. Although the population of the country as a whole was rising at an unprecedented rate, but problems were also created. The population explosion resulted in a scramble for any job available and huge numbers of skilled and non- skilled workers were looking for jobs. ...read more.

Middle

on page 34 indicated that Mr. Utterson feels very strange about the appearance of Dr Jekyll's servant. On the other hand, this statement tells me that he is not only regarding Dr Jekyll as an old lifelong friend, but that he cares for and is very concerned about Dr Jekyll. Lastly I find that Mr. Utterson is a very active person and he likes exploration because he would like to push towards finding answer to his questions after he observes the changes in Dr Jekyll and the strange occurrences between Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde rather than avoid the problems or just ignore it. For example ' take a seat....Now take to your time, and tell me plainly what you want' on page 34 demonstrates that Mr. Utterson is a rational person because he would think and digest the problem before he make any response to that problem. Mr. Utterson is the character who attracts me the most as I am a modern reader, I get attracted with Mr. Utterson not only because he was living in a higher class during the Victorian era, but I can see that Mr. Utterson is representing the justice in the story. For example the descriptions of Mr. Utterson ' are in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove.' page 5. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was dressing in clothes far too large for him, clothes of doctor's bigness.' on page 41 shows me that Mr. Utterson has seen this strange scene and also 'Hyde is gone to his account; and it only remains for us to find the body of your master.' on page 41 proves that Mr. Utterson was still uncertain where Dr Jekyll had been. I am sure that if Mr. Utterson had never heard anything about double personality, then the rest of the other contemporary reader would not hear that as well. So the author uses this undiscovered science to engage the contemporary readers. I believe that Dr. Jekyll created Mr.Hyde because of his theory about that man has a good side and a bad side, and he developed a potion that it can release the evil in the form of a totally different person. Unfortunately he did not control the portion well and the tragedy happened. However he still believed that his theory was true as he states in his statement in the last chapter "that man is not truly one, but truly two." The 'Strange Cases of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is a horror and mysterious story. It engages both contemporary and modern readers. Robert Louis Stevenson success with this story is not only because he understood the demand from the contemporary readers, but he also observed that the world was tending to be more scientific and so he incorporated some techniques inside the story for these readers in the future (all of us). ...read more.

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