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How does Stevenson explore the duality of human nature in Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

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How does Stevenson explore the duality of human nature in "Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"? "The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" is written by the author Robert Louis Stevenson and was first published in 1866. The book is known for its vivid portrayal of a spilt personality, in the sense of having a good and evil side, which are quite distinct from each other. The theme of duality is always present throughout the novella and is highlighted either through characters or places. Also the theme of gothic writing is a big thing in the era, which is reflected through the textual content of the book. We see duality at the beginning of the text where characters Enfield and Utterson are speaking. To a stranger's eyes, these two gentlemen seem to be complete opposites, "they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with the obvious relief the appearance of a friend". We do not know why Stevenson has made these two character friends, maybe to give the novella a twist of duality; possibly foreshadowing upcoming events or the unlikely relationships within the novella such a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, "Jekyll: extremely handsome...Hyde: Animalistic". Dr. ...read more.


Mr. Hyde disappears after he is seen murdering Sir Danvers Carew. At the end Utterson finds out Mr. Hyde is Dr. Jekyll's evil alter ego. All the character mock evil but they are all capable of condemning evil themselves. The success of the book is mostly down to its powerful and imaginative settings. They are highly significant to the acknowledgement of many themes. They allow the reader to understand themes such as duality in immense detail and depth. Day and night are symbolically related to the theme duality; day being symbolic to Dr Jekyll's well made and respectable appearance. Day is light and innocent, similar to Dr. Jekyll. Whereas night is symbolic to Mr. Hyde's deformed and shocking appearance. Hidden away from society, being dark and mysterious. Another important setting Stevenson has included into his text is the full moon in the maid's description of the murder; this expresses the gothic theme of the novel. The writer uses the Victorian times as a gate way to make the settings more believable, especially as the Victorian citizens believed in supernatural things i.e. the full moon having effect on creatures. We see the settings become more connected to the story such as in Dr Jekyll's home. ...read more.


He also appears to change as he gains in power. As he gains power the normal human restriction are ignored, setting him free of rules, this is why his animalistic personality becomes more vivid in the course of gaining power; an animal being set lose in the wild. In the description of Jekyll's home the writer mentions a front and rear door. The front door is light and welcoming, a public entrance with nothing to hide. Whereas the rear door exists into a shadowy courtyard away from the public view, sinister, discoloured, leading to the dilapidated rear rooms. The doors symbolize secrets and lies, hence the contrast between the entrances are symbolic of the secret that Jekyll has. This illustrates the duality of the house, but also the divided self may form more than just two equal parts, "House in separate identities' the good and evil of human nature". Through the novel of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" we see Robert Stevenson has shown many people their true lives, full of regrets and evil. He has developed the theme of duality through settings, characters and objects. He consistently presented duality in each possible way significantly through Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Good and evil has been separated in this novel which comes to the main reason Stevenson created this story, to explore the duality of human nature in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chris Bush ...read more.

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