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Explore how Stevenson Creates a Sense of Mystery and Engages the Reader(TM)s Interest in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'

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Introduction

Explore how Stevenson Creates a Sense of Mystery and Engages the Reader's Interest in 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is a novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was first published in 1885 and was a huge success selling 40,000 copies in its first 6 months. This success was partly due to the novel's theme of multiple personality as not much had been read into this disorder when the novel was written, therefore many Victorians seemed to have a particular interest in this subject. One of the concepts Stevenson was trying to promote in the novella was that there was 'a beast in man'; a bad side to everyone. Following the recent release of 'The Origin of Species', a book about evolution and how we evolved from apes, this made readers even more interested in the story. There were also the Whitechapel murders that took place during 1888 that many said were related to the play version of 'Dr. ...read more.

Middle

Mr. Utterson also shows a particularly obvious dual personality. He is a well respected man in the novella who is 'extremely inclined to help rather that reprove'. He never drinks at parties and even though he enjoys it greatly will never go to the theatre. 'Though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years'. This is mainly due to him wanting to be perceived as a respectable man but he is still envious of anyone that has fun. Not only such dual personalities have related well to a Victorian reader, their duality makes them complex, mysterious and therefore more interesting. The setting of 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is in Soho which is a small, dilapidated area of London. This area is home to the working class and poorer community where there is a very large crime rate, especially compared to the very respectable and upper-class West End which surrounds it. The West End is one of the most prestigious parts of London which is very affluent, full of rich and respectable people. ...read more.

Conclusion

They include doctors and lawyers such as Mr. Utterson who are seen as highly respectable people who would have no thought to lie. Mr Utterson is described as "lovable". No one would question his word. This adds believability to the novella and makes certain events to become more surprising and dramatically effective. The genre of the novella is at first quite unclear. Detective, horror, mystery or gothic are all possibilities. It may be a detective story as r. Utterson is constantly trying to find out who this Mr. Hyde really is and where he has come from. The novella has elements of horror because of all the gruesome murders that are taking place. In my opinion the novella was a surprisingly gripping read as, even though I had previously heard about the final twist it was still exiting. Personally I thought having several characters narrating throughout the novella was interesting as it demonstrated the different personalities of the characters well. I will take away a small amount from this novella knowing that ever person does have a dual personality and people aren't always as they first appear. ...read more.

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