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How Does the Setting Enhance the Atmosphere in 'The Strange case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'?

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Introduction

How Does the Setting Enhance the Atmosphere in 'The Strange case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'? The Gothic movement was at its highest popularity, when Robert Louis Stevenson wrote 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The Gothic movement was about the darker side of life and man's soul, and indeed romance, morbidity and death. In the novel this exploration of man's darker side is taken to the extreme. Where there is the belief that there are literally two sides to a person, in the novel the two sides are split. With that duality, you also get a change in setting and this enhances the atmosphere. Advance in science and medicine influenced minds and questioned beliefs of the Victorian age. For example, does Mr Hyde ever come out in the day? This is because of the darkness in him is accentuated outside by night and shadows. ...read more.

Middle

This weakness of light could also be telling you that good against the darkness and evil in the book is powerless. This is like with Dr. Jekyll ending up taken over by the badness- Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll actually likes being Mr. Hyde more than himself, because he is younger and free compared to the restraints of Victorian middle class respectability. He is younger in Mr. Hyde because his bad side has not yet been fully developed. He calls it haggard because he wants to give the impression that it's old and tired. Then, when Mr Utterson is visiting Dr. Jekyll, it is 'late in the afternoon', so this could be symbolising that there is light now but soon there will be darkness, i.e. evil. I believe that when Robert Louis Stevenson was writing this book, his own life has influenced the setting, as he used to live in Edinburgh where there were two parts, the old, grimy and poor parts in the centre of the city and the rich, posh suburban houses. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that his life experiences and feelings play a large part in the story and it's inner meanings. In this book you can see that the setting relates greatly to the plot and Jekyll and Hyde. I think Jekyll and Hyde could relate to people in modern day society, because most people put on an act and don't portray whom they really are deep down inside. Yet, when they are put in a different place and time, with different people with different behaviours and morals, they are suddenly let loose as a different person. The connection to the story with Jekyll not coming back in the end and Hyde taking over could be applied to this behaviour. Because, when someone puts on an act for such a long time, not only do the people surrounding, but also the person who is doing this, starts to believe that the person they have made out to be cannot be distinguished from the real person inside. So, overall the setting enhances the atmosphere a great deal more than you can perceive because of the underlying connotations and meanings. ...read more.

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