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How Does Stevenson Explore The Notion Of Duality Throughout The Novel Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde?

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Introduction

How Does Stevenson Explore The Notion Of Duality Throughout The Novel Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde? Robert Louis Stevenson is renowned all over the world today for his contributions to English literature; he makes his skill evident in his ability to utilize the duality of soul concept through example of one Henry Jekyll, showing in many ways what can and does happen when Jekyll decides to experiment with the aspect of his evil side and bring it to the surface as the twisted character of Edward Hyde; incorporating the interplay of good and evil, in his novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, published in 1886. Stevenson creates an effective mystery tale set in Victorian London and does this by presenting sub themes that relate to the central theme of duality. He keeps readers engaged with the developing plot and unravels pieces of the puzzle as the story unfolds, creating an effective mystery tale while his emotions are shown as the nature of humankind and Victorian moralities are explained in one of the most famous novels of the present day. ...read more.

Middle

reputation to upkeep, however, the splendid view of the street is ruined by a door which stands out somewhat, "Blistered and distained" with "prolonged and sordid negligence". This description uses great imagery that causes an impact on the reader. One interpretation a reader could have is that, despite the cleanliness and class of the street, duality is shown in the fact that behind closed doors things may not always be what they seem, therefore the are two sides, one which seeks to suppress what is really going on inside, and one which has a respectable reputation to uphold; just like the character of Dr. Utterson. Also, this could be representation of how rich and poor live so close together, as in Victorian times a rich street could be directly adjacent to a poor, therefore Stevenson is demonstrating how different these classes are, yet they are living closely together, another way in which duality is explained. Furthermore, Stevenson could also be relating to his previous life in his hometown of Edinburgh, which was divided into poor and rich, old and new by a single river. ...read more.

Conclusion

back in time to read from another point of view, this uncovers more of the story and keeps the reader engaged as they can finally see behind the closed doors and find out what they have been dying to find out throughout the story. This notion of suspense keeps the genre of mystery intact as only minor clues are given away until the three different endings, each one gathering more evidence, this is extremely successful because of this and further benefits the theme of duality, and of course mystery. Robert Louis Stevenson's tale can be interpreted as a coherent warning to Victorian society of the potential effect of such asphyxiated social, ethical and moral conventions and I would agree that some of these still exist today. Through the use of the sub-themes of characters, setting and structure Stevenson makes us realise that duality is present within ourselves, and can be dangerous at times. Furthermore, he explores what it means to be human thus ensuring that his mysterious tale is as revealing, relevant and enjoyable to a reader in 21st century as it was in the 19th. Jake Scaddan 11L ...read more.

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