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Exploring the ways in which R.L. Stephenson uses setting to portray good and evil in The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

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Kit Carnell Exploring the ways in which R.L. Stephenson uses setting to portray good and evil in The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde R.L Stephenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850 and right from his childhood the idea of evil existing inside everyone fascinated him. His mother was struck by many illnesses and his beloved nurse Alison Cunningham Known as "Cummie" looked after him. Cummie introduced him to many books and told him stories of Ghouls and Ghosts that gave Stephenson his Fascination for evil and the supernatural. He also had many influential dreams involving badness. Stephenson farther wished for him to become a civil engineer but as he aged it was clear this work would not suit him and he decided to become a writer. He failed to succeed in this at Edinburgh so he decided to travel to other parts of England and Europe where he met his future wife Fanny Vandergrift Osborne. In this time he wrote many books such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped. To satisfy his lust for good and evil existing in every one he created a man that isolated evil inside him and had another personality that was of pure corruption. ...read more.


Stephenson then describes the view out of the window and says that the "colour grows richer" as the sun goes down and then emphases this with powerful imagery "Hot Autumn afternoons on hillside vineyards" but then contrasts this with the cold "fogs of London". Another scene that illustrates this is in scene one with the contrasting street. It starts by giving us the thought of it being quiet for London but still it "drove a thriving trade on the week-days". It also makes us believe that the people of this street are affluent by saying that the, "inhabitants were all doing well". It then brings a warm welcoming side to the street "the shop fronts stood along that through fare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling saleswomen". It highlights this by using very descriptive phrases such as "Florid charms" and "shone out". This is emphasised with a simile, "Like a fire in the forest". And to make it more appealing it shows other peoples views and says that it would "please the eye of the passenger". ...read more.


Victorians believed that if you were well respected you would use the front door but the person who is not completely respectable would use the back door. Poole Dr Jekyll butler informs us that Hyde uses the back entrance which in Victorian times was thought of as being a social inferior thing to do. The servants of Victorian times weren't just thought of as being supportive to their masters and trustworthy but, as we can see in Hyde's servant who serves him well but also took delight in Hyde's involvement in crime, they are also very two-faced and hypocritical. Good and evil are the central conflict of the novel. At first they are very close and like each other's attributes but as they see how different they are the start to loathe each other. I believe that evil wins in the end although good destroys Hyde evil has already conquered two people, Jekyll and Lanyon, and has also killed Carew and seriously injured a little girl. This shows us that Stephenson believes that in the future of Victorians there will always be evil even in the rich estates with people that have everything for them. ...read more.

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