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How does Stevenson use the Gothic Novel to explore the nature of good and evil in 'The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'

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Introduction

How does Stevenson use the Gothic Novel to explore the nature of good and evil in ?The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? This essay will be tackling the issue of good and evil, and its usage and theories throughout the novel, "The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". The story is based around Mr. Utterson, a long time, and dear friend of Dr. Jekyll. He searches for the truth and the connection between Jekyll and Hyde, ending with the realization that they are actually the same person. The story centres on the idea that there is a struggle between persons good and evil side, and that the triumph of one of these characteristics, merely depends on which of the two is nurtured most. There is also the idea that one side of you will flourish and the other will be stunted, leading to the impression that "man is not truly one, but truly two". The purpose of Stevenson?s book was to show that there were two sides to every thing and every one. The genre of the book is gothic which is basically horror meets mystery. In chapter one, we were introduced to Mr Enfield and Mr Utterson. They were known as two friends of shockingly opposite personalities yet, still sharing a close bondage. ...read more.

Middle

Within the novel, social and historical situations played an important role in defining how the story was related to the time it was set in. As the story was set in the 19th century, people did things much differently and had different opinions than we do now. For instance, people would have had distinct ideas about good and evil. It would have been the Victorian period; the Victorians were particularly interested in psychology and science. Jekyll's discoveries were closely linked to the Victorian's fascination with science, "even before the course of my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle". As the Victorians took their lives very seriously, Jekyll had to do so too, "in the course of my life, which had after all, nine-tenths a life of effort, virtue and control". This meant that Jekyll had to hide his darker more fun loving side, to remain adherent to the societies moralistic views. Many people also feared, that the quest for additional knowledge, as with Dr Jekyll, was dangerous, leading to consequences that had never been considered. Jekyll?s discoveries brought about the query, just like today, that, just because we are physically and intellectually able to do something, does that mean we should do it without carefully considering the consequences. ...read more.

Conclusion

A lot of speech is used so we can see what their language is like and whether there is use of slang or not. We are shown that every character has something to hide when they are speaking, because they hold information back. These narrators help us understand issues from their perspective. A particular link of narration is shown between Dr Lanyon?s narrative and Henry Jekyll?s case. In a way, Jekyll is analysing Lanyon?s viewpoint, and explaining why he sent the letter and did what he did, whilst providing honest facts. This particular writing technique makes the reader piece together both of their stories, forming and revealing a jigsaw of utter tragedy. Altogether, Stevenson uses, settings, weather, appearances, multiple narratives and various other techniques to create the impression of good and evil. Whilst this mainly centres on Jekyll and Hyde (which would today be known as schizophrenia), he compares every other living or non-living subject within the novel. Displaying contrasts, not only within people and their personalities, but also with the structure of buildings and doors, or the eerie movement of the mist. Each aspect of the story is wondrously contrasted therefore assisting the theme of the main characters. Every method helps the reader to associate between the good and evil within another, whilst still relating to certain aspects and issues nowadays. ...read more.

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