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How Does Robert Louis Stevenson use

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Introduction

How Does Robert Louis Stevenson use literary techniques to illustrate the social, historical and moral points he is trying to make in 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'? Throughout the Novella, 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', the author Robert Louis Stevenson uses a wide range of literary techniques in a skilful and sophisticated way to help achieve his effects and put his points across. Stevenson's unique use of language is vital to the success of the Novella, with the structural and linguistic devices playing a vital part in creating the unusual atmosphere, which makes the Novella so successful. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde centres upon a conception of humanity as dual in nature, although the theme does not emerge fully until the last chapter, when the complete story of Jekyll - Hyde relationship is revealed. Robert Louis Stevenson had a very strict moral upbringing living in the nineteenth century, where class and social standing were very important in such a rigid system. The fact that he had such a religious background perhaps creates a link between the main moral point of good and evil and his disciplined religious upbringing, the bible teaching the importance of good and evil, and the seven deadly sins. He uses a variety of techniques to put across his views across on many social, historical and moral points. Throughout the novella the author gives the readers an insight into the morality of human nature by using different characters to represent the double standards of society in the Victorian era. ...read more.

Middle

Later on in the story, when Mr Hyde begins to take over Dr Jekyll, his language begins to become far less fluent; this is different to any of the other characters. He speaks in short plain sentences, 'that is my name. What do you want?' Further on still, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde's speech patterns begin to overlap, 'as you decide, you shall be left as you were before and neither richer nor wiser, unless the sense of service rendered to a man in mortal distress may be counted as a kind of riches of the soul'. This shows how here Hyde's speech is elaborate and thus similar to that of Jekyll's. The fact that the speech patterns overlap has been used by Stevenson to show the ease with which the two characters different natures move back and forth. However, Stevenson was said to regret making Hyde speak so out of character, as it undermines the fact that by now Hyde has become the dominant character. The moral points that Stevenson aims to put across are greater than the social and historical points. The main moral point of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is that good and evil exists within all of us, but it is up to us which we follow. Throughout the story the reader learns of how Jekyll becomes isolated, and dependent upon the drug, which he uses to transform himself into Hyde. ...read more.

Conclusion

Note also that the story of Jekyll and Hyde is not in chronological order, mainly due to the use of multiple narratives. The result of this is that the story is constantly moving backwards and forwards in time, with the climax emerging around three quarters of the way through the Novella. The story of Jekyll and Hyde has transcended the Victorian era, with the term, 'Jekyll and Hyde personality', now part of out language. This term is used to describe a person who lives a double-life of outward sanctity and secret inequity. The fact that Stevenson had such a religious background perhaps creates a link between the main moral point of good and evil and his disciplined religious upbringing. This may have influenced him in his writing, (the bible teaching the importance of good and evil, and the seven deadly sins). The Gothic horror has been compared particularly to the detective fiction of Sherlock Holmes, with both works being written in the same period of the Victorian era. It is a testimony to Stevenson's inventiveness as a writer that this novella has had this independent existence over a hundred years after the first book was published. Because of the uniqueness of the novella and the fact that such a wide range of literary techniques have been used, it is no surprise that, 'the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', is one of the most famous works of horror fiction of all time. Page 1 of 4 Luke Guinness 10G ...read more.

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