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GCSE: Robert Louis Stevenson
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- Peer Reviewed essays 7
What are the Main Difficulties for a twenty-first Century reader in fully appreciating Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde(TM)5 star(s)
A twenty-first century reader could have difficulties in understanding the surroundings, as the writer assumes that the knowledge of the conditions is already there and he just needs to build on that. A likely difficulty for a twenty-first century reader is that this novella frequently switches between characters, to get an idea of the emotions of different individuals. But, from my experience, many novels and novellas in the twenty-first century are one long plot from a single character's perspective, for example, 'Cell' by Stephen King.
- Word count: 1110
How does Stevenson create a sense of dramatic tension in the chapter The Last Night(TM), in the context of the novel as a whole?5 star(s)
Neither the reader nor the characters know what has happened to Dr Jekyll; the longer we do not know, the more we want to know, and so the suspense builds. The chapter is very visual, even filmic, so we are drawn into creating our own vivid images from the text. It is as if we are there with the characters, share their feelings of foreboding and terror, and at once want to know what has happened to Dr. Jekyll and are afraid to know.
- Word count: 1308
However, Dr Jekyll had suppressed his 'pleasures' for too long and his darker side grew stronger and stronger inside him throughout his life. Many of the 'pleasures' Hyde was able to have included drinking alcohol, and gambling as well as being able to fulfill many of his sexual desires. I believe that Jekyll was guilty of 'that crime upon so pitiful as provocation', which he committed through Hyde, because he had a choice to drink the potion again and carrying on with his devilish deeds or suppress his darker side from committing such devious crimes.
- Word count: 1493
A human is half pleasant and half wicked and in this novel this theme comes up regularly. Other techniques used are included in setting, dialogue, character description and imagery. The setting is the first place where contrast can be seen. One contrast is the setting of where Mr Hyde is first seen. The description of the street creates a pleasurable image. "air of invitation," and "row of smiling sales women,". These phrases suggest the street is welcoming and uses similes to show this. This charming street contrasted to it's own neighbourhood. "shone out in contrast to it's dingy neighbourhood," and "like a fire in a forest,".
- Word count: 1028
How and why does Stephenson explore the duality of man(TM)s nature in Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde(TM)?3 star(s)
But his worked showed the link that humans have to primates and how they are their ancestors. This is shown y Stephenson as he describes a lot of Hyde's emotions and actions as those of which an animal and, more importantly, a primate would have. "The animal within me licking the chops of memory" The story was written in the third person from the point of view from Mr Utterson. This shows an outsider's point of view which seems to show that he is solving the mystery at the same time we are, he knows as much as we do therefore his surprise and curiosity make the reader want to keep on reading because it is as thought we are inside his head.
- Word count: 1712
London at the onset of the book is pleasant and positive. Stevenson uses phrases such as 'the street shone out' and 'like a fire in a forest' to show the reader its initial appeal and warmth. The fact that the street 'drove a thriving trade on weekdays' and that there was an 'air of invitation' gives the effect of a welcoming and social lifestyle the Victorian era had. However some aspects of a Gothic setting and typical Victorian Society are unravelling. The neighbourhood is described as 'dingy', suggesting London at the time was dark and dreary (mainly due to coal being burned).
- Word count: 1347
Explore how Stevenson has presented the character of Mr. Hyde. Comment on how the author has created a sense of evil in this character.
Utterson is portrayed as an investigator of sorts, looking for clues and attempting to solve the riddle behind his friend's mysterious behavior. Furthermore, the truth is withheld until the end and finally revealed with the deaths of Lanyon and Jekyll in order to heighten the disbelief in his readers. Hyde's first introduction to the readers is when he tramples over a young girl. This prejudices the readers' impression of him because it depicts him committing an act of cruel violence.
- Word count: 1710
This type of duality is also relevant to the Gothic theme of good and evil and demonstrates a totally unbiased viewpoint from which the whole story can be viewed. It does help the reader to be non-objective when reading the book as the fact that Jekyll and Hyde are two parts of the same person would not be at all obvious if viewing from a Jekyll-centric viewpoint. In this sense the character of Utterson is very useful in understanding the book as one is meant to adopt his position whilst reading and be as utterly non-committal as he.
- Word count: 1880
How Do The Themes Contribute To The Aspect Of Good and Evil Throughout The Plot of: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
Hyde's bidding. The city's description varies as there is a duality to everything; during the story London is described as: '...in a busy quarter of London...it drove a thriving trade on week-days...an air of invitation, like rows of smiling saleswomen'. Mr. Enfield also describes London as: '...on a black winter morning...street after street, and all the folks asleep - street after street, all lighted up as if for a procession, and all as empty as a church...the low growl of London from all around'.
- Word count: 1895
How does Stevenson explore the duality of human nature in the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
Darwin's theory basically was set to prove that people are descended from a similar species to apes. It would seem that these two sides are together in one body but still one is lost or even hidden. Stevenson's shocking novella heightened a drama amongst Victorian upper middle class citizens because this idea was a difficult one for them to grasp. However as time went on this idea became less uncommon, for example; in 1954 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding was published. Golding believed that if people were left stranded without democracy and order, there sense of humanity and morals would disintegrate, therefore allowing primitive and even animalistic instincts to creep through.
- Word count: 1813
Themes * The duality of human nature - that everyone has a good and bad side. The book precedes Freud's ideas, published shortly after, about different ego states - the different facets of a personality. Inner/outer, public/private, masculine/feminine. Freud would have said that the instincitve inner desires that Dr. Jekyll wanted to suppress came from the 'id' - Stevenson was a good 25 years before his time! * 'The beast in man' - could this have been inspired by Darwin's (1859) Origin of the Species which established that humans are descended from animals. Do we all keep our 'inner beast' caged up inside?
- Word count: 1203
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. How does Henry Jekylls full statement of case of the Case resolve the questions which are raised in the novel?
In the beginning of the final chapter we learn how he was brought up in an upper class environment and had a very comfortable childhood. We also learn that he had high hopes for the future. "I was born in the year 18 to a large fortune, endowed besides with excellent parts with every guarantee of an honourable and distinguished future". Jekyll's character is one who is generally very considering and caring to his fellow man. He describes himself in his early years as being "fond of the respect of the wise and the good of my fellow men".
- Word count: 1039
Choose an extract from R.L. Stevensons The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and discuss how the writer creates an atmosphere that reflects the concerns of the novel as well as the times he lived in
He also recognises the murder weapon as a walking stick he gave to Jekyll. He also still has Hyde's address and accompanies the police to it, where they find the other half of the murder weapon and the burned remains of Hyde's checkbook. They are told that Hyde hasn't been home for months and see no sign of him in the months that follow. The atmosphere is fairly mysterious. The fact that the reader doesn't know what happens until the end of the book helps to create this atmosphere, as it means the reader is confused.
- Word count: 1971
This shows that Utterson had become discontenting towards Jekyll's science, because, like most people, he was a religious man. Religious people at the time would have thought that the body should remain untouched and left to rest when you die. I think that Jekyll and Hyde was a very strange novel but a interesting novel. I think it is interesting because it explores the duality between 2 people very closely and gives the reader a good insight on to what having a 'double life' is actually like. I think this is done especially well because Stevenson uses the first person which enables the reader to understand exactly what is being thought by the person in question, so when they speak an account of what they heard, saw or did the reader can feel like they were actually there.
- Word count: 1833
Jekyll embodies the stereotype of an honourable Victorian Gentleman, who was thought to be a good Christian, intellectual man and tolerable. This put quite a burden on Gentlemen to be perfect, which was the opposite of the fantasies, nightmares, fury and brutality created behind closed doors. This sense of duality is what the novel delves into. There were many theories of evolution, in 1859 Charles Darwin's theory of evolution demonstrated to us that although we choose to believe that we don't originate from animals or take at one's word that in fact we are animals, we indeed are.
- Word count: 1662
This twist gives the readers momentum to keep reading as they have already learnt that Hyde has no conscience really and has an inhuman side which can snap at any moment making him all the more dangerous but making the story all the more exciting - "And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on like a madman" (page 46-47). This helps as all of the Narrators (bar the maidservant) were all reliable figures in society and truthful characters who never dream of lying.
- Word count: 1811
This is because in the 1880s they were not used to the "ferocity" of Carew's death. However, some Victorians may have thought that it was nothing but good entertainment. The Victorians believed that if you were small and ugly, like Hyde, you were evil on the inside. Alternatively, they thought that if you were tall and hansom, like Jekyll, you were respectable and virtuous, and that you never had it in you to kill someone. The modern audience may think that this was nothing to be afraid of because in the modern world horror books always have murders in them.
- Word count: 1463
Sigmund Freud also had a great influence on the author, his recognized idea of having 3 parts to you- the id, the ego and the super ego- influenced Stevenson strongly, and throughout the novel this becomes apparent as each of the characters seem to be constricted of secret desires. These profound ideas would have put a great amount of fear in to the Victorian reader, and this is why the book became iconic. The opening chapter introduces us to the theme of duality via the use of setting.
- Word count: 1495
Jekyll & Hyde: Paying particular attention to Stevensons descriptions of the city at night, discuss how Stevenson uses descriptive passages to evoke a mood of dread.
The street lighting, a new addition to nighttime London, had troubling connotations because some argued it enabled crime to take place more efficiently rather than preventing it. The way Stevenson personifies the city to make it a living being around the characters creates an intimidating setting because if the whole city is alive at night, there is nowhere to hide from it. Stevenson has used fog as a main theme in Jekyll and Hyde. As well has having fog physically present in the city, it also acts as a metaphorical barrier between the characters and the truth about Jekyll and Hyde until the very end of the book, when the fog is 'lifted'.
- Word count: 1867
Stevenson chose to follow him and not Jekyll, this makes it like a detective novel. This results in it being very effective at building tension because you never know what is going to happen. The reader has the same experience as Utterson. Consequently there are always unanswered questions which you, as the reader, and Utterson are willing to find out. In chapter 1 "the Story of the Door" Enfield is telling Utterson of a black door and an evil man trampling a girl. Stevenson uses an array of different writing styles to add to the tension.
- Word count: 1318
Having two very different areas to the same city could have influenced Stevenson to include this idea into Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The opening chapter is entitled, "The Story of the Door" which could possibly suggest to the reader that the chapter is about privacy. Stevenson includes the idea of doors throughout the opening chapter. "Not crossed the doors of one for twenty years", "Two doors from one corner" and "Nothing but a door" are all examples of this repetition.
- Word count: 1471
Looking at the two violent incidents involving Mr Hyde, how does Stevenson convey the horror of the events to the reader?
Hyde could merely have been indulging in actions that are inappropriate to a man of Dr Jekyll's importance. Nevertheless the Victorian people were starting to inspect a variety of natural influences on human ethics, which included the addiction of drugs and alcohol and double personality disorder. They were at a time of immense advancements in science and the retaliation of the concept of religion due to Charles Darwin's 'Theory of Evolution'. Charles Darwin's 'Theory of Evolution' made a lot of people change their opinion of the world.
- Word count: 1451
Stevenson has not only used forms of duality in the context but has also linked two chapters together, the story begins with the description of Hyde "...extraordinary-looking man..." Ch 1 pg 17 and ends with Jekyll, mystery to solution, Stevenson did this to show the duality between the two characters and how they are dichotomous objects themselves. Stevenson uses the fourth chapter to show what Hyde's character is, he uses dichotomies to state that Hyde is somewhere on the line between each of them "dark and light" Ch 4 pg 34 The main instrument used by Hyde is repeated several times "...broken stick..."
- Word count: 1023
How does Robert Louis Stevenson present the nature of evil in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
This idea is reflected in Jekyll and Hyde; Dr Jekyll is described as: "a large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty, with something of a stylish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity and kindness." Whereas the description of Mr Hyde is: "Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile... a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken voice."
- Word count: 1701
he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point." The fact that his features are not truly described, but only hinted on vaguely, is also important; it is common for Gothic literature to prey upon the fear of the unknown. Hyde as a monster is only ever witnessed through the eyes of others', in other words, at no point in the novel do we get an explanation from his viewpoint. This is also another Gothic technique, designed to de-humanise the monster: if we could see things from it's perspective, we could sympathise with it, therefore this is not allowed.
- Word count: 1659