• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How and why does Stephenson explore the duality of man(TM)s nature in Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde(TM)?

Extracts from this document...


How and why does Stephenson explore the duality of man's nature in 'Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'? 'The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' was a novella in 1886 by Robert Louis Stephenson. The story is set in Victorian London, besides the fact that Stephenson has never travelled to London in his life and was 'born and bread' in Edinburgh. Reputation is a key feature in this story as it shows the duality of man. This was inspired by one William Brodie who can be compared to Hyde. He was an upper class, well respected man by day and a thieving, drunk at night. Also secrecy and hypocrisy are prevalent features as well. These features are mainly come up around the theme of the characters repressing their sexual desires and their lust for 'living on the edge' At the time Darwinism was rapidly and controversially changing the views on the creation of man and causing mass arguments on both sides of the belief system. As many people at the time were of a catholic faith, or similar religion, this came as a shock to many and Darwin was ridiculed. But his worked showed the link that humans have to primates and how they are their ancestors. ...read more.


Also, however, on the strolls described by Utterson, the scene portrayed is one set in a daytime setting, which makes a large difference to what we see when Hyde is in action. This shows that when ever it is the characters with a high class reputation then the setting seems to be a lot more 'delightful', as in the sun is shining, clean streets etc. On the other hand when a character with a more inadmissible reputation is in the scene, the setting is more at night in a dark, foggy, dingy little backstreet where those with a murderous demeanour can prey on their victims. In this novella, there are major setting factors which show the real life boundaries which occur in real cities with different classes and cultures. At the time this was written, many cities had large boundaries; the one that would have been most obvious to Stevenson would be the two sides of Edinburgh, where he grew up and wrote the story. The side where the rich people lived with high class, posh reputations and then there is the lower class side which is dirty, dark and dingy. However in the book, the two places are Soho and Cavendish square, which are both in London. ...read more.


But also the word "hide" can also mean skin, which could be Stevenson subtly saying that the things that Hyde does are only skin deep. Or that Hyde is Jekyll in a different skin, being able to live out his desires. Jekyll also could be a reference to a jackal, which has a reference in language 'jackaling' as a way of speaking derogatively and judgingly to others, this links to Jekyll because as Jekyll would never condone the use of drugs, but then he is making a super drug/potion to release Hyde. Also Utterson is a character whose name can be deciphered, sounding like "Utter(ing)" As in the type of speech. This could be a reference to the way that he tells of Jekyll's will that he believed to be blackmail. In conclusion its seem that Robert Louis Stephenson compares the duality of man to that of good and evil. He shows however nice and perfect one can seem, they have a much darker side to them and that Dr Jekyll was merely grasping at his and getting to "walk on the wild side" so to speak. Describing the heartlessness of Hyde he uses the characteristics of animals, mainly the primate, to show how brutal and careless he is. This shows the brilliance of Robert Louis Stephenson and the creativity that may have destroyed him like Mr Jekyll. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

The Response to Question is fairly focused, but there are time in it when the candidate only appears to be analysing as much as they can about whatever they appear to have remembered from classroom learning; there are moments where ...

Read full review

Response to the question

The Response to Question is fairly focused, but there are time in it when the candidate only appears to be analysing as much as they can about whatever they appear to have remembered from classroom learning; there are moments where points are made and not explained; or where there is explanation, there is not sufficient evidence provided to successfully justify the analysis made. Another issue with the answer is that there are few moments where the candidate explicitly relates their analysis back to the question proposed. This is an imperative for cohesive, coherent answers that score highly, as it shows structure and planning and a full focus on the question.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is fair, and where the novella is analysed, the analysis shows abilities of a person operating at a high B grade for GCSE. However, there are fewer than sufficient moments on analysis that actually equates to what the question is asking: the presentation of the duality of Man in 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'. It is absolutely crucial candidates adhere to the question and do not simply stray off and make analytical points that pertain to other aspects of the novel as this will not be demonstrating a focus on the question and elicits fewer marks than what the candidate could be capable of.
Where the candidate succeeds in in their contextual awareness. There is a sound appreciation of the social and historical factors that influenced the writing of the novel regarding Stevenson's reasons for writing as well as the inspiration of the events in the novel. I also like the expansion of the theme of duality into the place and setting, with the candidate commenting on the class divide of Victorian London being an example of the duality that influenced the novel and acts as evidence that everyone and everything can have a dark side.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fair, but it is y no means perfect. There is a sound enough handling of the English language and few spelling errors are made in the answers, but sometimes their is a misuse/misunderstanding of the standards of grammar that lead to a miscomprehended sentence of two. Also, all candidate should avoid colloquialisms in their answers such as "posh", which is used on more than one occasion. As it is a slag word, though not known by many to be such, it can slide in practise papers but for real exams and coursework this is not acceptable.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 20/03/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    How does Stevenson present the duality of man

    3 star(s)

    Anyway, Jekyll is "a large, well made, smooth-faced man of fifty with something of a slyish cast perhaps" a subtle hint at duality. Jekyll isn't a completely good person, he is a mix just like everyone else, however Hyde could be said to be pure evil, as he does not care for his actions so does not feel guilty.

  2. “Dr. Jekyll deserves our sympathy – he is a victim of Victorian Values.” Discuss.

    'It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone, that was guilty.' This means that Jekyll is not taking responsibility for Hyde's actions. This could be justified by the fact that some two months before the murder of Carew, Jekyll 'fell in slavery' of Hyde.

  1. How does Robert Louis Stevenson explore the duality of human nature in Dr Jekyll ...

    The id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the ego is the organised, realistic part; and the super-ego plays the critical and moralising role. He also believed that it is the rules of society and laws that stop everyone from going around killing each other.

  2. " How effective is the setting in creating tension and suspense in Stevenson's works?"

    of these sentences, it may vary on how much information on the characters is found out. "Will you let me see your face?"; this question is very important, because it shows that a description is wanted of Mr. Hyde but there is not an answer to this question and so Mr.

  1. "If I Am The Chief Of Sinners, Then I Am The Chief Of Sufferers ...

    However, a connection between Jekyll and Hyde is now forming in our head, the mind runs rampage. By the third chapter, "Dr Jekyll Was Quite at Ease", we are getting our suspicions of Dr Jekyll having a connection with Mr Hyde confirmed.

  2. How does Stevenson create an atmosphere of mystery and suspense yet at the same ...

    One of the house maids breaks into ''Hysterical whimpering'' out of the mitigation and the Cook cries ''Bless God! It's Mr. Utterson''. This creates an impression that they are afraid and perturbed at the possible murder of Jekyll and of the murderer still being present in the house.

  1. Jekyll and Hyde

    Duality is also shown through the symbols of doors and windows. Hyde's door was "blistered and distained", so this may suggest that he has no care for his home. His door is also "equipped with neither bell nor knocker"; this shows that maybe he doesn't want anyone to come into his house.

  2. The Strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde - letter

    When a dinner invitation arrived from Jekyll, she compared the two finding the handwriting was remarkably similar. I was convinced Dr. Jekyll forged the letter to protect Hyde. Despite the bizarre fact Jekyll would want to protect Hyde, I was hugely relieved, particularly as a remarkable change had come over

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work