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

How does R.L. Stevenson create fear and suspense in the novel " The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde?

Extracts from this document...


Q: How does R.L. Stevenson create fear and suspense in the novel " The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde? "Each of us has heaven and hell in him"(Oscar Wilde). The book 'The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde' is a tale concerning the duplicity of human nature. Written by Robert Louis Stevenson, the allegory is the outcome of "an adult nightmare" highlighting the themes of fear, suspense, and primarily, the theme of duality. The story attacks the concept of Victorian hypocrisy and confirms that the desire for infallibility can prove to be lethal. Stevenson, through this book highlights the mental imbalance one has to suffer as a result of the human mind. He manages to stir the emotions of his readers by invoking in them the realization, that all human beings have different shades, characteristics, emotions and preoccupations. The book tutors its readers on the fact that self-acceptance is an integral part of the human persona and is ultimately the one that commands respect from the rest of society and those around us. Stevenson implants fear and suspense in the book by plunging the story and its characters into action from the very beginning. What starts out as an early morning walk between the two friends-Utterson and Enfield-coils into a dramatic, spine-chilling narration when Enfield points to the door "connected" "with a very odd story." ...read more.


It plays a significant role during the murder of sir Danvers Carew acting, as a contrast to the horrendous scene. The atmosphere of darkness, even though present all though out the book, becomes most prominent when Dr. Jekyll restlessly paces back and forth in this cabinet. The darkness is symbolical, as not only does it prevent clear vision, but also the distinction of right and wrong. It is therefore figurative as by the time the darkness lifts; it is too late. Linguistic details have been provided by Stevenson to add a new dimension to the theme of fear and suspense. The use of graphic descriptions helps the reader to visualize the horrors presented by the author. Stevenson offers a detailed analysis of Jekyll's transformation into Hyde, triggering in him, the contrasting feelings of ecstasy as well as the "pain of being reborn as Hyde." Dr. Jekyll has been described as having "more than a father's interest" and sees Edward Hyde, not as a sinful criminal but as a source to fulfill his innermost desires. Jekyll endures "a grinding in the bones" and a "deep feeling of nausea" for Hyde, however, he doesn't realize that the price is yet to be paid. The book's metaphorical title uses the techniques of euphemism and is pregnant with meaning. ...read more.


We see that this book holds great relevance even in today's times as it can be related to illegitimate practices like drug and alcohol consumption. The book teaches us that our harmless actions of today can prove to be the murderous addictions of tomorrow. It can also be connected to the unethical advancement in technology such as cloning and genetic engineering. However by noticing the fate of Jekyll we see what happens to men who indulge in "unscientific balderdash" and ask ourselves that whether the advancement in technology is really a short-term blessing or a long-term curse? The book carries a timeless message and is not of an age but for all time therefore it can be connected to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein as both the books present the abuse of science. The book also shares an association with Freud's theories of psychoanalysis and split personality and can also be signified as a part of Charles Darwin's theories of evolution. Darwin's theories justify the "ape-like fury" of Mr. Hyde. We can also say that Dr. Jekyll's need for an alter ego was born of the inflexibility of the Victorian society however, according to me, Dr. Jekyll is not justified in his unlawful doings as he tries to utilize his knowledge by using unethical practices and therefore, beings his life to a dead end and a total failure. "It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself." (The Feminine Mystique, 1963) ...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

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. How does Stevenson create an atmosphere of suspense and horror in "Dr Jekyll and ...

    Stevenson describes what goes on in this extract. "But the words were hardly uttered, before the smile was struck out of his face and succeeded by an expression of such abject terror and despair, as froze the very blood of the two gentlemen below.

  2. How does Stevenson create intrigue in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    This is a very interesting conclusion to the story because everyone has an alter-ego but the thought of our opposite self breaking loose and running wild could really be a worrying thought for a lot of people. Though this answers most of the questions which arose in the novella, it

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

    the best line, in the my opinion, throughout the story because it suggests many different things in the readers mind. It could be a man, woman, object, animal, anything, because Fettes does not mention whether it is a human being or not, he just says "it".

  2. How does Stevenson present the conflict between good and evil in Dr Jekyll and ...

    Just as Hyde represents evil in the story, Lanyon represents good. He is jovial, kind, and although he had a grudge against Jekyll due to the unusual experiments he is carrying out, it seems likely that he would in due course forgive him.

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

    This describes the scene that greets Utterson and Inspector Newcomen of Scotland Yard as they visit the Home of Mr Hyde. Clear evidence of a rush to overturn the place and destroy Hyde's chequebook containing evidence of some monetary transfer.

  2. How does Stevenson create mystery and suspense in the opening 8 chapters of ;The ...

    It is connected in my mind, with a very odd story." Immediately we are focused on it and wondering just what the story is. It has already made itself very different and conspicuous to its surroundings, despite its plain and shabby appearance-"equipped with neither bell nor knocker,blistered and distained" in

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

    together, they often go for quite a distance without saying anything to another. Nevertheless, they look forward to these strolls and regard them as one of the highs of the week. As the story begins, Utterson and Enfield are taking their regular Sunday stroll as they walk down a particular prosperous looking street.

  2. How Stevenson uses his techniques as a writer to present character and atmosphere in ...

    This novel is not the only one to enter our lives as part of English cultural mythology. As well as Stevenson's 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' there also includes, Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' as well as Bram Stokers 'Dracula' which are both Gothic Horror stories.

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