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How does Robert Louis Stevenson depict the relationship between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and what in your view, does Mr Hyde represent and how effectively does Robert Louis Stevenson account for the existence of Mr Hyde?

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Introduction

How does Robert Louis Stevenson depict the relationship between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and what in your view, does Mr Hyde represent and how effectively does Robert Louis Stevenson account for the existence of Mr Hyde? Robert Louis Stevenson loved horror stories. When he wrote The Unusual Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde he saw a way to examine and express ideas about human nature through a work of fiction. He had had an interest in human behaviour for some time and in some ways this was an experiment in the society of the time to see how the Victorians would react to the ideas he was sending out. But he didn't want to have to tell the reader these ideas outright. Instead, he provided enough information to the reader so that the ideas would dawn in the reader's own mind gradually. Hence he uses different narrative viewpoints and mystery to unfold the strange effects that occur in his novella. The relationship between Jekyll and Hyde is unknown at the beginning of the story. All that is known is that for some strange reason Dr Jekyll, who is a very respectable man, has chosen Mr Hyde to be the sole heir to his estate. This is very strange as even from the first time we meet Mr Hyde he appears to be a mean character and to quote a character from the book "I had taken a loathing to the gentleman at first sight." ...read more.

Middle

Hyde is a representation of all that was suppressed by that society. All the parts that we have (and if accepted) help make us a balanced person but if pushed away this primeval part of us builds and then appears with terrible effects (in the book the murder of Danvers Carew is an example of this). This then links with Darwinian evolutionary theories, which were frowned upon at the time. People of the time thought that animals did not have souls. But when Darwin said we came from animals questions like "Do animals have souls?" and "If animals do not have souls when did we get them?" arose. The people who had thought themselves so above animals were suddenly shocked by this idea that they were once animals and once behaved like them. In this way Hyde is the animal that is still present within us all. There is also the theme of a duality of good and evil throughout the entire book. Jekyll is a respectable man, his house and especially his front door is described as welcoming. He goes about by day and is considered to be a decent fellow by most people. But Hyde is the complete opposite. His door is "blistered and distained" and is hidden away in a dark back alley. He does terrible things (the trampling of a child) and every one who meets Hyde always feels some indescribable loathing for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The therefore accounts for the existence of Hyde very well for the time. Robert Louis Stevenson's story accounts for the existence of Hyde also in a symbolic way in our time. You cannot physically change but mentally you can and some drugs do have this affect on people. So in some ways his work was prophetic of man being able to change himself into different personalities and we also see this naturally occurring in some mental illnesses. Also, during the story, how Hyde is accounted for develops before we come to the end of the story and discover the truth. At first Hyde is thought to be just some strange acquaintance to Dr Henry Jekyll " some prot�g� of his...". Then as the complexity of their relationship grows so does how Robert Louis Stevenson accounts for Hyde. It is written is such a way so that it develops along with the story instead of getting to the end to just be told the truth. It all falls into the right place at the right time and therefore creates a brilliant, suspenseful story. In all there are many ways that the existence of Hyde is accounted for. Some ways that were apparent when the story was written may have changed but other ideas have now replaced them in modern society and these ideas I am sure will continue to develop as times and society change. Harriet Lund 11V - 1 - ...read more.

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