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How effectively does Stevenson create a sense of horror through his descriptions of settings and character in Dr Jekyll and My Hyde?

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Introduction

How effectively does Stevenson create a sense of horror through his descriptions of settings and character in Dr Jekyll and My Hyde? The horror genre explores ideas about monsters and other characters to describe them as horrific. The gruesome, the unknown and the undying battle between good and evil have always fascinated mankind. From ancient times, stories have been told and written to explore the dark fears that lurk within the human mind (nightmares). In horror stories things happen what cant be explained, this is absence of reason. The term 'Gothic' came to be linked with this genre when popular novellas included the key elements of the frightening and the fantastic. Gothic style offers settings with lofty towers, obscure passages, locked attics, deep and dark shadows. Such settings, tossed by foul weather, were usually located somewhere suitably remote and mysterious in faraway corners of the globe. Many of the settings I mentioned above were usually located in the novella. Hyde is a cruel and vicious character. The question is why is Dr Jekyll connected with Hyde. This brings absence of reason on the scene and makes the reader wonder and feel unsecured. ...read more.

Middle

Creates a sense of nightmare, where the atmosphere is one of horror, and of an absence of reason, in the lines "bore in every feature the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence." The word negligence makes the reader believe what ever is behind the door does not care about others and the people around him; otherwise he would of taken care of the door. Stevenson's use of description creates a sense of horror. Why would the door be neglected people who neglect stuff is normally associated with horrific violent behaviour? This creates absence of reason and keeps the reader wondering and lack of information doubts the reader. We are told that Utterson began to 'haunt the door' to Hyde's house. The word 'haunt' frightens us. Which then successfully heightens the horror building a picture of fear. Stevenson creates a horrific setting for nightmare in his use of description in Mr Utterson's nightmare in the lines "It was but to see it glide more stealthily through sleeping houses, or move the more swiftly, and still more swiftly, even to dizziness, through wide labyrinths of lamp lighted city". ...read more.

Conclusion

Stevenson uses great description to describe how Mr Utterson ought to felt. The reason being is the explanations he uses like "the dreadful face of Hyde put shivers down my spine". Stevenson really gave me a mental picture of a beast and how Mr. Utterson must have felt the first time he saw Mr. Hyde. He used a simile to describe Hyde " Really like Satan" the technique is used to build an image the reader would recognise and compare to the character. Through out the novella nerve-jangling descriptions and settings are used. The description in the weather plays a big part in the story, it affects it by making the atmosphere feel real and heightening the horror. Stevenson lets the writer build up his own image by giving little information. Many horror stories have monsters and other characters to depict them as horrific, but Stevenson takes it a step further and makes you picture a monster of your own choice with the little information and description given to you, this builds up the tension and horror layer by layer the more you read on. Ryan Dearlove ...read more.

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