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How does Robert Louis Stevenson explore the duality of human nature in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

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Introduction

How does Robert Louis Stevenson explore the duality of human nature in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Robert Louis Stevenson addresses duality in a variety of themes; this duality is first express in the title which introduces the two most important characters as two opposites in one body, the opening is narrated by another to characters both Mr Utterson and his friend Mr Enfield. This theme of duality introduces two extremes in one, for example; one character being the good guy whilst the other is evil; this brings the characters to contrast as one. Themes such as science and religion, love and lust, sex and sexuality are sometimes implied. The author Robert Louis Stevenson was recognized in the nineteenth century and was often unable to express their ideas directly due to the pressure that society enforced and were instead forced to follow those given instructions and rules. For example; women were expected and wanted to cover up like respectable citizens. The Victorian society was a society of extremes. There was a duality of racism such as in 1865 when the slave trade was finally abolished the time of which Queen Victoria was due to take to the thrown. ...read more.

Middle

Stevenson uses the doors and windows as duality because as readers we know that the doors and windows have meanings, the windows are more likely to represent Dr Jekyll because they are transparent, everybody loves to look in windows; they can see themselves whereas Mr Hyde represents the door because most doors are dark and their objective is to isolate people, keep people away from what secrets they harbour. This is represented by 'the dark, dirty, dingy door' in chapter one which is located in a horrible part of London. Jekyll's house tell us that he is ambiguous, there is an unsure side to him, an example of this is 'one house, however, second from the corner, was still occupied entire; and at the door of this, which wore a great air of wealth and comfort, though it was now plunged in darkness except for the fan-light'. This shows us that Dr Jekyll has two-sides to his character which links back to duality because two things have been fixed together to become one, for example dark and light, black and white. ...read more.

Conclusion

However Mr Hyde is described as 'cold blooded and evil', he is even associated with night and has a foreboding urea over himself. For example 'he was perfectly cool and made no resistance, but gave me one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me as if I was running'. This describes duality because it contrasts between the two characters leaving us in great despair as to how this can happen. Stevenson describes Mr Hyde as pale and devilish; he gave an impression if deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, this description about his appearance gives the characters and readers a hitherto unknown disgust, loathing and floor. The language and duality is used in this way to add more mystery and suspense to the story, making a more interesting novel viewing the different languages used by just one person. Overall Robert Louis Stevenson explores duality mainly through Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by demonstrating the floors that we as readers come across. Throughout the story he contradicts what is really happening, my view of the story is that Stevenson wants readers to experience the different type of emotions Dr Jekyll is feeling and understand why and what gives him that push to create Mr Hyde. ...read more.

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