• 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 horror and suspense in the novel 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?'

Extracts from this document...


Rye Hills School English Department Pre 1914 Prose Assignment - 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' How does R. L. Stevenson create horror and suspense in the novel 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?' 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' is a classic horror novel written by R. L. Stevenson. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1850. He grew up in Edinburgh which had two very different faces: the prosperous, middle-class new town and the 'old black city' with its poverty, disease and over crowding. This can be compared to the novel because of the duality of nature between Jekyll and Hyde. The novel would have had a different impact upon its original readers because at this time London was a divided city; there were two major extremes, the rich and the poor, and as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde portray both these extremes the novel is shown from the two ends of the divided London. Jekyll lives in a respectable area which has 'an air of invitation' and Hyde lives in 'a sinister block of buildings.' Also, in 1886, the readers of 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' would have interpreted the torments of Henry Jekyll as the traditional struggle between good and evil. The novel is about a respectable doctor, Dr Jekyll, who transforms himself into a savage murderer, Mr Hyde. A girl is ruthlessly trampled over by this vicious Mr Hyde and he writes a cheque for �100 compensation; however the cheque was signed by Dr Jekyll. ...read more.


This chapter is appalling and inhumane to the reader. The passage which describes Carew's murder is macabre and distressing, 'bones were audibly shattered,' this clause is effective because it appeals to the senses and makes it sound more horrendous and abominable. It is odd that Carew gets brutally murdered like this since he appeared to be such a nice man. This passage also presents horrific details that Mr Hyde beat him with his power and strength. R.L. Stevenson creates more suspense and mystery and gives subtle hints that the murder could have something to do with the mystery of Jekyll and Hyde because it could have had something to do with the will. The description of the setting as being, 'a district of some city in a nightmare,' is a sinister description creating atmosphere and horror. The ever-present fog contributes to the atmosphere as it is gloomy and it also portrays secrecy as it can be used to 'cover up' things. A threatening atmosphere is created with the flickering of street lamps and the personification of the fog, for example 'the fog still slept.' In chapter five horror and suspense is created by the description of Jekyll as it contrasts with that of before, 'Dr At Ease,' however now he looks 'deadly sick' and is terrified. This shows the reader that his connection with Hyde is making him ill Jekyll has received a letter and this creates suspense and secrecy, he is unsure about whether to show it to the police and this creates mystery. ...read more.


Stevenson makes evil prevail in the end because Jekyll is banished by Mr Hyde, however this could be Stevenson telling us that evil is stronger or because humans are weak-willed. His opinion of this could be shaped like this because of his background; he was brought up as a Calvinists and this emphasised that our desires are naturally evil, so this would mentally affect you as a child. To conclude, it would be impossible for the modern reader to read this novel as an unsuspecting Victorian might have done because people see things like Jekyll's double identity in everyday life, on the television and read it more in books so they are aware of what could happen, however in Victorian times they did not have television and so the only place where they would see this is in books. All of the devices that Stevenson has used to create horror and suspense have a strong impact upon the book because he wanted to keep the readers in suspense for as long as possible and he tried to make them discover for themselves the ending by leaving a series of clues. Overall, I think this was an interesting book, at times I found it quite difficult and got a bit confused, however I soon picked up again. I think that Stevenson was clever in the way that he used multiple perspectives to heighten the suspense of the story and thought that it was a good novel. Finally, the novel has had such a large impact on language that it has become a saying now. The phrase 'Jekyll and Hyde' describes someone with a split personality as being nice and nasty. ...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. Peer reviewed

    How does Stevenson create a sense of dramatic tension in the chapter The Last ...

    5 star(s)

    Only now - nine pages into the chapter - do we approach the revelation of what has happened. The pace quickens. They break down the door and there follows a vivid and detailed description of what they find in the room.

  2. How does Stevenson create the atmosphere of suspense, horror and mystery in the first ...

    On top of Stevenson using unexplained answers to create a sense of mystery throughout the second chapter, he goes on to use the description of Hyde during the encounter between Utter son and Hyde to create a sense of not only mystery, but suspense and horror.

  1. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - How Does Stevenson create an atmosphere of tension ...

    terror and despair" that it "froze the very blood of the two gentlemen below". After the window was "instantly thrust down" the two men left in silence and in shock. When "Utterson was sitting by the fireside one evening after dinner" he was very surprised by a visit from a frightened Poole who had left his master to visit Utterson.

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

    bring out beads of sweat on their foreheads, as he is so evil, and as Hyde was created he is also un-natural. Stevenson also describes how the door looks very unpleasant. He mentions that it looks blistered and distained and had neither bell nor knocker.

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

    This type of genre cross-over is unusual due to gothic/horrors rarely involving detective work and detective stories seldom using paranormal activity/beings such as Edward Hyde. These two genres work well together to create an intriguing and interesting novella. Two excellent examples of gothic/horror used in the story to create intrigue

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

    as it makes you think of a dog getting angry at you. "Silent" would give the effect to the reader that the streets are empty and there is nobody around for miles and that if something was to happen in the shops or in the street then there would be nobody to help.

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

    barely changes his stiff routine even during emergencies such as Carew's death. Utterson appears to be well-liked and trustable in general, as both Jekyll and Lanyon regard him as a good friend and it is said that "hosts loved to detain the dry lawyer."

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

    certain dislike even before the story has begun to properly develop or we have the chance to discover the characters more intimately: "It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned Juggernaut" (Pg9, Lline 27) The first striking thing here is the use of the word "damned" to emphasise Enfield's point.

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