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Essay Examining the Techniques Used by R.L.Stevenson in ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ to Heighten the Horror.

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Essay Examining the Techniques Used by R.L.Stevenson in 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' to Heighten the Horror. During the novel 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,' R.L.Stevenson uses many techniques and language devices such as metaphor, simile, irony and personification to gradually heighten the horror. Stevenson has some powerful passages such as, the trampling of the child, the murder of Sir Danvers Carew and the transformation of Jekyll at Dr Lanyons. Stevenson sets the story in London, 1886, which at this time was the richest part of the entire world. Many of the people who lived there had little contact with crime, which is ironic because Mr Hyde, a character within Dr Jekyll, disturbs the whole scene into that of a scary and tense area. The main settings where horrific things happen are usually described as '...almost deserted...' and '...lamp-lit...' which is a very good setting for heightening the horror in the novel. It shows mystery and emptiness which makes you wait for intense action, this causes the rhythm and speed of the story to change depending on the setting. A setting described as '...foggy...' and '...nocturnal...' fits greatly into a society like Dr Jekyll's in London a place of which is dominated by secrecy the whole way through, which add suspense to the story their makes it more tense for the reader. ...read more.


theory of apes and backward evolution, which would be terrifying for a Victorian reader because they did not believe in the theory. Mr Hyde shows how evil and spiteful he is by making the transforming of character involuntary, for Jekyll to see that his hand is '...thickly shaded with a swart. growth of hair...' which makes him describe his double personality and character as '...the animal within me licking the chops of memory.' Hyde was haggard in the way that he '...snarled aloud into a savage laugh...'which suggests how he is related to evil, like a monster. Many horror stories have monsters and other characters to portray them as horrific, but Stevenson takes it a step further and makes you picture a monster of your own choice with the little information and description given to you, this builds up the tension and horror layer by layer the more you read on. Another theme is shown when the Jekyll/Hyde double in the laboratory is described as having '...a mask upon his face.' This shows the dual nature of Jekyll/Hyde. The weather also plays a big part in the story, it effects it by making the atmosphere feel real and heightening the horror. Stevenson uses pathetic fallacy to change the setting and atmosphere into one of which suits the story, '...it was an early cloudless night...' ...read more.


Stevenson also uses dreams as the technique of authentication because he uses things like diaries etc to continue the story; an example is when Utterson has a dream, which is full of evil foreboding, which causes the reader to have a greater desire to unmask the mysterious hidden face of Mr Hyde. This is very intense because it is what happens in real life, you have nightmares of bad things and cannot get them off your mind. In conclusion I found out that Stevenson gives a sense of tension throughout the narrating of each character, by using pathetic fallacy, detailed settings, literary devices and strong themes and morals. I think each character has a sense of mystery and horror about them of which we will never get to know. I also think that what you see is not always what you get, because nobody would have known that such an evil character could have came from someone as kind and well mannered as Dr Henry Jekyll. Evil Hyde was a natural part of Jekyll's personality along with the good side, but because Jekyll was so arrogant he destroyed himself by trying to separate the two. The main theme is that all humans have at least two facets of their personality, good and evil, and that these exist in different measures. It is quite horrific for us to realise that the potential for evil, like Hyde, is inside each and every one of us!! ...read more.

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