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Explore the ways in which Stevenson creates interest for the reader in Jekyll and Hyde

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Introduction

Explore the way in which Stevenson creates interest for the reader in "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" Stevenson's novella "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" explores and reflects the hidden depths of Victorian society from a perspective within the context of the era. It serves as an allegory of social convention and typical etiquette in the form of a detective story, designed to intrigue readers with its dual purpose of entertainment and controversial education. The author makes use of a number of devices by which he manipulates aspects of the literature in order to create suspense and explore the origins of good and evil through the psychological exploration of what it is that composes human nature. These themes, like most within the novel, are opposites. Other examples include joy and despair, as well as right and wrong. To contextualise the text, it is important to realise that the Victorian age in Britain was a period of great change and development with unprecedented technological progress and the expansion of an empire all over the world. However, by the end of the century people began to question the ideals of progress and civilisation and many adopted pessimistic attitudes towards it. ...read more.

Middle

This creates interest for audiences today, who can see that, despite Stevenson's radical and audacious interpretation of Victorian society, he still may have been subconsciously influenced by such ideas as the subjugation of women as was ordinary in his time. It is possible that he may have wished to portray this in his novel as a topic that was significant of the era; though, on the other hand, it is more likely that it may simply have been a natural interpretation due to the influence of his culture and society, which is ironic and compelling. The setting is also widely used in the craft of atmosphere and suspense throughout the novel. Simultaneously it manages to echo the personality, mood and manner of the main characters, as does the copious use of pathetic fallacy. Fog is a notable focus of this technique as used by Stevenson, particularly at the time of the murder of Carew. The fog is evident in the morning after the murder, which signifies mystery as it shrouds the city, which represents the confusion caused and reality of what has happened. The case is being addressed but the issue is very far from being resolved. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the final chapter pieces together the threads of the story and serves as an explanation from Jekyll himself. It allows Jekyll to explain and analyse everything in full now that all the facts have been revealed thanks to Utterson, who has by which time served his purpose as a character. Stevenson uses many techniques here and a careful narrative style, which is profound in giving the best insight into Jekyll's actions. It delves into the specific details of his thoughts, which are compelling for a reader of the era who would have been desperate to understand such a radical man. It also addresses the themes of religion and duality of human nature more explicitly using emotive description and language, which accentuates the significance of both issues. It is evident that the many methods and devices that Stevenson has used and adopted throughout the novel have had a considerable effect in creating interest for readers of the era for which the novel was "designed" and also a modern audience. His techniques dovetail with one another, making it difficult to decipher which is most prominent in crafting a sense of excitement and tension in "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". ...read more.

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