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How Do The Themes Contribute To The Aspect Of Good and Evil Throughout The Plot of: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

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How Do The Themes Contribute To The Aspect Of Good and Evil Throughout The Plot of: "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde"? Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the thrilling novella, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in 1885. The original idea came from a nightmare during which his wife woke him up. He described it as a 'fine bogy tale' and in a matter of two years it became a published and well-known piece of literature. The actual book is based on his personal experiences most commonly with middle aged and middle class men in Edinburgh and London. Stevenson liked to emphasize how society and class in the Victorian Era meant a lot; he wanted people to know that the world is made up of false appearances and that 'all humans are commingled out of good and evil'. The discussion of Darwinism during the Victorian Era was extremely controversial as Darwin himself stated: 'Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits'. This is one of the inspirations that contributed to the novella. The first theme of the story includes 'The City of London'. Stevenson chose London in particular due to it being a mysterious, modern city particularly during the night where it can act as a base for the main part of the story and a realistic location for Mr. ...read more.


Dr. Jekyll also sounds like a French name as the 'je' means 'I' and the 'kyll' clearly indicates that he kills. Hyde's name alone shows us that he hides in the shadows. They are both described as: 'a mixture of good and bad'... and 'man is not truly one, but truly two'. Accompanying this quote, in chapter 10 Jekyll's letter to Utterson states: 'It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both'. This quote represents Jekyll's version of human nature and the fact that by taking the potion allowed him to consist of being: half criminal, half virtuous, half moral and half amoral. While Jekyll succeeds in dissecting his evil side from himself (Hyde), he still consists of good and evil. The fact that his evil half completely takes over him once set free shows that Hyde was generally much stronger than Jekyll. Theorists have argued that man is not only a dual being but also someone tamed by the laws of nature and society. Another theme is violence, this is the very first task that gives us an indication of how bad Mr. ...read more.


The fact that Stevenson uses language such as 'death warrant', which is a logical and official form, something that isn't supernatural at all shows a rational part of the story. An example of Hyde changing into a beast is before the murder of Sir Danvers Carew, the woman who reported it stated, 'brilliantly lit by the full moon'. This is why Stevenson uses the word 'animalistic' and the phrase 'like a mad man'; because when a human turns into a werewolf he receives animalistic features and becomes a mad man. When Utterson thinks that Jekyll is being blackmailed he consults with the others but in all respectability decide not to discuss this, as being a lawyer this is not a logical way of finding the correct information by so called pure judgment. This goes to show that both rationalism and supernatural things cannot co-exist as Utterson worked extremely hard to keep his friend Henry Jekyll out of the affairs with Mr. Hyde yet he was left picking up with pieces. Lastly the female aspect of the thriller contributes to the play to a reasonably large extent. This and a certain fraction of Henry Jekyll's personality represent the so-called 'good' aspect of the story. The first female we hear is the little girl who was trampled over by Hyde whilst running to find a doctor at three o'clock in the morning. ...read more.

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