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'How does Stevenson show the concerns about morality and respectability in the 19th century?' Stevenson through the characters and the plot as a writer shows the concern about morality and

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Introduction

'How does Stevenson show the concerns about morality and respectability in the 19th century?' Stevenson through the characters and the plot as a writer shows the concern about morality and respectability. Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father -Thomas Stevenson was prosperous civil engineer. Stevenson's childhood was shaped by the strict code of respectability of the Victorian middle class in Edinburgh. Since little, he was raised by his nanny Alison Cunningham, this was one of the major inspirations for him. His upbringing thought that if he wasn't a good person he would go to hell. This influences Stevenson to be interested in morality and also influences him there is evil inside him. This inspired Stevenson to write the novel. Stevenson wrote the book 'Jekyll and Hyde' in 1884-1887 to show the horrors of others. At the time people were afraid of people who weren't like them. The story was set in London, he himself lived in Edinburgh. Edinburgh itself had two faces: the prosperous middle-class New Town, where Stevenson lived and the 'Old black city'- where there is disease, poverty and overcrowding. ...read more.

Middle

Secondly, the story is told by Lanyon who has a different point of view from both Utterson and Jekyll. Dr. Lanyon told some bits of the story which Utterson would not have said. Then finally, Jekyll who has nearly all the answers of the transformation and other important facts which neither Lanyon nor Utterson would not have known. By using multiple perspectives, Stevenson also heightens the mystery and suspense of the story. The reader is not informed of the facts until the end of the story. In 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' there are many important characters. Firstly, there is Mr. Utterson who is "lean, long, dusty and dreary" but somehow still 'lovable'. Utterson is polite, strong willed and a 'model' Victorian gentleman. A middle-age lawyer, he is someone that all the characters confide in throughout the novel. As an old friend of Jekyll, he recognizes the changes and the strange occurrences that centre on both Jekyll and Hyde. Mr. Utterson is probably the most circumspect, respected and rational character in the book and in society. Even though Utterson is a respectable Victorian gentleman, he was however, beneath his caring side, a drinker, "he was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintage". ...read more.

Conclusion

We see more horrific events to follow in this picture of degeneration. Regarding immorality which seems to pervade the novel, Hyde at times is a picture of immorality in his behaviour; there are examples of animalistic imagery in the book which is not normal way of behaving. Jekyll describes his dual personality as 'the animal within me licking the chops of memory'. Jekyll's house and the laboratory are essential in connecting the story. The Jekyll's house has two entrances where both characters enter and exit. This shows the similarity between Jekyll and Hyde, as both characters are linked or connected with each other as the houses and the laboratory shows us this. This also helps not only to create an atmosphere of gloom but also links with the themes of secrecy and hypocrisy which exists in a city where the secret vices of respectable men are hidden from the public eye. Throughout the novel Stevenson shows us that there is struggle between good and evil and between morality and evil. All the characters were touched by this problem which tears between good and evil mostly Jekyll. Stevenson succeeds in this novel that all have a problem and need to struggle against. ?? ?? ?? ?? YATHURSAN DEVABALAN 11B1 ...read more.

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