• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Robert Louis Stevenson use contemporary Victorian issues in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"?

Extracts from this document...


How does Robert Louis Stevenson use contemporary Victorian issues in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"? Robert Louis Stevenson manages to blur the lines of reality in his novella, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." He does this by adding in small and, occasionally, well concealed ideas and themes of the Victorian era. This includes things like the level of crime in 1800s London and comparisons between Mr. Hyde and Jack the Ripper, London's most notorious serial killer ever. It also shows how the Victorian middle and upper class sought respectability and on the outside, appeared to be upstanding members of the community. However, many engaged in less than respectable acts such as meeting prostitutes and taking drugs such as opium in the many dens in the East End of London. This is very similar to the double life of Jekyll and Hyde lead. But some of the story's plot can be traced back to how Edinburgh, Stevenson's birth place and where he grew up. ...read more.


In the next section, it describes the action of the murder and just how horrifying it was. "Mr. Hyde broke out of all bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway." This level of graphic detail made the murder seem almost unbearable to the reader sometimes causing distress but always making the book stick in their mind. The Victorian middle and upper classes need to look respectable was a driving force in many of their activities. Many tried to present the image of being an upstanding member of the community while secretly being drunks, clients of prostitutes and drug addicts. They tried their best to keep this side of their lives quite by only visiting these places at night or making sure they were far from home. They also tried to show themselves as being a nice person by doing things for certain charities and being teetotal. ...read more.


In conclusion, Stevenson uses the current news articles and views of the time to create a world which is in two worlds. One is the fictional London in which Hyde walks the streets, the other a London which really did exist. By creating this overlap, he made people feel like hey were involved, like what was happening in the book really could happen in real life. This may have been what made it a great success. However, one other theory that states that, at the time of writing the novella, Stevenson was high on cocaine and did not stop writing for 3 days. This throws in the question could all of the supposed ideas and views drawn from real life just be a drug educed haze? While there is no concrete proof of this, it is quite interesting to think that one of the world's greatest stories could be nothing more than the hallucinations of a junkie. Whether this is true or not, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" remains one of the greatest books ever written. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam Aston Miss Rowat 10S English ...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. How does Robert Louis Stevenson use setting in chapter 1 2 and 4 of ...

    One of the phrases which is used is "under the face of a fogged moon", this makes the streets sound as if there is darkness and hidden away, as its covered so it cant be seen properly, giving a feel of secretive and mystery.

  2. What picture of Hyde does Robert Louis Stevenson create in the readers mind?

    The Victorians still didn't believe in this theory because they were brought up believing in the biblical teaching of how God created the world. Actions or behavior of Mr. Hyde. It is interesting that Robert Louis Stevenson uses images of hell and animals to describe Hyde.

  1. 'How does the Author, Robert Louis Stevenson, present Victorian attitudes to the nature of ...

    But would never confront anyone suspicious. The pace of Victorian life is very slow, as is the pace of the book. Mr Utterson soon becomes afraid that Jekyll is losing his mind, but often leaves a long time before visiting his friend, whereas nowadays you would be over at your friend's house immediately.

  2. How both novelists represent the experience of drug taking in

    His situation at home is worse. His dad beats him regularly. "He'd been beaten up by his dad for the nth time". When he comes home his parents are usually "dead drunk" and this makes Tar think that he is not respected by his parents and they give a bad example to him.

  1. We have been studying two fables The Bottle Imp byRobert Louis Stevenson and The ...

    The Rocking Horse Winner is no exception as Lawrence was always short of money. These stories are both fables though they are not classic fables because they don't contain animals with human characteristics. They both have morals even if at some points they are unclear.

  2. Robert Louis Stevenson was born November 13, 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland Throughout his childhood, ...

    a more blunt approach it would surely not have been allowed to be published. With him being so subtle the reader would be able to tell what he was talking about and the book would pass the strict publishing code.

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