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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - relavence today

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Pre-1914 Prose Text- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde The novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was written in 1886. It was set in Victorian society in London. Stevenson was Scottish and came from a strict protestant background. The genre of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is gothic horror. Stevenson was fascinated about the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution suggests that we were once ape-like creatures, this upset many religious people. Many Christians believed that we came from Adam and Eve. Christians didn't like the fact that we were once animals, they thought it suggested negative things. This suggests that man has two sides, a good side and a beast-like side. This is incorporated in the novel. This book was written in Victorian England. In Victorian England there was a belief in physiognomy, this means your character was reflected in how you look. In Victorian England there were high moral standards, if these high moral standards were not followed you could be isolated from the society. There was also a belief that evil only exited in sick individuals. ...read more.


We have been given first person accounts by Jekyll and Lanyon. The styles of the language of the letters changes to reflect the narrator. An example of this is when Jekyll says "primitive duality"; this tells the reader that he believes that man has two sides. However when Lanyon says "I kept my hand ready on my weapon", this tells us, the reader that he isn't a soft hearted person. This books language style contains realism. Jekyll believes all human beings have a good side and an evil side, an example of this is when he says "primitive duality"; this is saying that we have two conflicting sides. Jekyll is a hypocrite because he takes no responsibility over what Hyde has done but drinks the potion to turn into Hyde. Hyde is an evil person. An example of this is when he murders Sir Danvers Carew. Hyde acts animalistic. An example of this is when it says "ape-like fury" this tells us that when he gets angry he acts like an animal. Hyde commits a lot of evil deeds, for example when he tramples over the girl in the beginning of the book. Utterson is a lawyer. ...read more.


Another symbol is windows which are absent and can't see through, this is to symbolise secrecy in Victorian society. Another symbol is types of door. If you had a rundown door, Victorian people would think you are a bad person. If you had a good or attractive door, Victorian people would think you are a good person. Stevenson uses effective descriptive techniques; he builds up a calm, relaxed picture, and then shocks us with sudden violence. An example of this is in "the Carew murder case" chapter, first we are given a description of the maid then we are given a description of the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. Stevenson uses archaic, old fashioned language. An example is when it says "troglodytic" this means trolls. The book is relevant today because in the same way that Jekyll is addicted to Hyde, people in modern society are addicted to alcohol and cigarettes to relieve pressure. The message in this book is if we ignore our evil side it will return with more vengeance which you wouldn't be able to control. I think this book links in very well with Victorian society. Hinesh Patel 11EH Pre-1914 Prose Text ...read more.

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