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How does Robert Louis Stevenson create a gothic story within his novella The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

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Introduction

How does Robert Louis Stevenson create a gothic story within his novella "The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde"? In "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde," Robert Louis Stevenson uses many gothic elements and different techniques in his novella. He used a variety of elements and techniques such as the settings, architecture and weather. He also used violence, death and characters to express the gothic elements within the novella. He uses these things in his book to describe the gothic elements to his readers and enable them to understand the meaning of his book. The meaning of the book that Stevenson was trying to achieve was that the most frightening things to man can be yourself and not realising monsters that can live within our own personalities. Stevenson shows this meaning in particular quote when it says "all himan beings... are commingled out of good and evil". For many years Stevenson was stuck in his bedroom because of his illnesses, which gave him plenty of time to write his book. Also Stevenson was fascinated with Deacon William Brodie ever since he was a young child. Brodie had similar characteristics to the character Dr Jekyll. In the day a good and hardworking man, however at night Brodie would change to an over drinking, sex addicted man, much like the monster, Mr Hyde in Stevenson's novel. ...read more.

Middle

When Stevenson does use the dialogue of the characters, he uses it well enough to portray the good and evil to his readers. Mr Utterson's dialogue is very polite and he sympathises with both perspectives of the two characters. Mr Utterson says "I see you are going in" this part of dialogue shows Utterson's personality and that he still manages to remain calm and polite even though he is talking to a man that he dislikes. However, the dialogue for Mr Hyde is different to Mr Utterson's dialogue. Mr Hyde says "What do you want?" this shows how Stevenson made Hyde's dialogue very blunt and aggressive, almost like his personality. But then in chapter one when Stevenson doesn't use dialogue to portray good vs. evil, it says "for the man trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on the ground". The quote is juxtaposition and shows the contrast of good and evil when the girl is trampled. The contrast is between the good and innocence of the child and the evil of Mr Hyde which allows him to simply walk over the helpless child, leaving her on the ground screaming. Also the Stevenson reflects the personalities of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde when he creates the setting of home and laboratory of Dr Jekyll. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stevenson manages to depict the characters easily to the readers and manages to remain subtle in the novella when talking about the descriptions and isn't so direct that the novella seems unreal to the audience. Stevenson was an intelligent man and knew what elements, themes and techniques needed to be acquired for the novella to be a successful gothic story and a story that would entice and entertain the readers. The fascination that Stevenson had with Deacon William Brodie inspired so much of the novel and also this fascination Stevenson obtained from a young age, influenced Stevenson all through his life and the fact that Stevenson based his book on the life and personality of Brodie shows how much Stevenson was affected by him. The novella is one that is still popular today and many different media productions have been made about "The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", some even modernising the book. The reason behind the success and popularity of the book could be because it is a different to the usual horror stories and isn't just a straight forward, gruesome and bloody horror story, but is a story that invites the reader in and also the success of the book has now made it a household name all over different nations. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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