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How does Robert Louis Stevenson in 'Jekyll and Hyde' negotiate the leap between mystery and paranormal?

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Introduction

How does Robert Louis Stevenson in 'Jekyll and Hyde' negotiate the leap between mystery and paranormal? Jekyll and Hyde is one of the best known and best loved novels of the 19th century. Jekyll and Hyde is a gothic horror, and was published at a time when gothic fiction was a growing genre, and was very popular. Gothic fiction began in England with The Castle of Toronto (1764) by Horace Walpole. It involves odd aspects like supernatural events, ghosts, and mysterious blood; which were all new to readers, something they had never come across. This paved the way for more authors to follow suit. Main features of gothic fiction include terror, mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses and Gothic architecture, castles, darkness, death, madness and secrets. Many of the novels before, and also after The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was released, were set in more remote places of England. ...read more.

Middle

Writing in journalese there is a feel as if the novel is a newspaper article making us feel it is more realistic. Also, the fast-paced journalese writing gives us no time to question events in the novel. If we have any doubts about something in the novel the style quickly makes us forget them, the story rapidly moves on. There are many examples of the speed of the narrative in the novel. One example is on pg 29 at the start of 'The Carew Murder Case' chapter; The first line of the chapter is simply 'Nearly a year later, in the month of October...' In one line, the novel is suddenly a year ahead of a second ago. The reader can no longer question what has just happened, because they are now much further ahead in time. Another example of the fast-paced novel is the death of Dr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It's a simple concept of everyday life that Stevenson has used as realism. Everyday we notice the weather, and so take to make it seem real; so do the characters. The reference to weather comes every so often, and is almost put in the novel randomly, as if Stevenson has selected parts through the book to include weather just make sure of the reality. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is set in London, and the reason we know this is not because it states that near the start of the novel, but that its repeated over and over again. He sets the novel in London because most of the readers at the time of publishing would have been in London. So, when people from London read the novel, and keep reading about a mysterious case in their own city, it seems believable and chilling. Stevenson also to refers to Soho quite often. When reading it, people from Soho will want to look out the window just to check Jekyll and Hyde aren't there. ...read more.

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