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How does Stevenson create a sense of horror, mystery and tension in the first two chapters of his novel "Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde"?

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Introduction

How does Stevenson create a sense of horror, mystery and tension in the first two chapters of his novel "Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde"? The handing over of ten pounds was perfectly normal. However when he gets the cheque, someone completely different signed it. Enfield tells Utterson, "And signed with a name that I cannot mention." This adds mystery as why would someone give ninety pounds to a man who was so detestable, and it adds mystery as who was the third party person who signed the cheque? At the beginning of the book Mr Utterson is described as austere, giving him a set of rules and a routine that he stuck to. However the night of the day he was told the story of Mr Hyde, he did not follow his usual routine. This adds mystery as he is austere so whatever he does must be important. Stevenson tells us, "When he would go soberly and gratefully to bed. On this night, however," telling us he does not follow his usual routine. Another character action that adds mystery involves the will of Doctor Jekyll. As his lawyer Mr Utterson should have assisted in the making in the will, but the book tells us, "Mr Utterson...had refused to lend the least assistance in making it." ...read more.

Middle

The foreshadowing adds to the horror as there are two different sides to the house and as we find out towards the end of the book we find out the occupant has two different faces too. It also adds mystery, as at the time of reading we do not realise though clues are hinting of this. The penultimate topic I am going to look at Stevenson's methods of adding horror, mystery and tension to his novel, is information held back from the reader. The first piece of information held back from the reader is the name of the man who signed the cheque in Mr Richard Enfield's story. He knows it but does not mention it and Mr Utterson knew it anyway so didn't need telling. The reader is the only person not to know the name. Mr Utterson says, "If I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is because I know it already." This adds mystery, as Mr Richard Enfield never mentions the name, still Mr Utterson knew it and this forms a link the reader does not know about adding the mystery. The second piece of information held back from the reader is the "unscientific balderdash," that caused Doctor Jekyll and Doctor Lanyon to fall out. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is mysterious, as the reader does not know why Doctor Henry Jekyll would disappear for three months with no reasoning. Finally the fact that Mr Utterson believes it to be blackmail adds horror and mystery. Whatever Doctor Jekyll did in his past must have been bad adding the horror and the reader has no idea what it is, adding to the mystery. Mr Utterson believes it to be, "The ghost of some old sin." The suspicion of blackmail also adds tension as he may attempt to confront Mr Hyde with it, but the reader has to wait in suspense to find this out. In conclusion Robert Louise Stevenson creates a sense of horror, mystery and tension using incidents, such as character actions, descriptions, such as places and objects, such as the will. The points I have made in this essay all use examples or quotes of how he creates the three elements and I have continued by describing how these examples or quotes add horror, mystery and tension to his novel. Robert Louis Stevenson creates these elements as they make the novel exiting and makes the reader want to read on. Without his excellent techniques of getting these elements across, the novel would have not been anywhere near as successful as it is today. Also because of the genre of the book it is hard to avoid putting in any horror, mystery and/or tension in to it. Jonathan Dopson ...read more.

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