• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 4368 words

How Stevenson uses his techniques as a writer to present character and atmosphere in 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyd

Extracts from this document...


How Stevenson uses his techniques as a writer to present character and atmosphere in 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by the young Robert Louis Stevenson was published in 1886. The story, which concerns the way in which an individual is made up of different emotions and desires, some good and some evil is told from the point of view of John Utterson. Mr Utterson is a lawyer and friend to the respected and brilliant scientist, Dr. Henry Jekyll. After relating a disturbing tale of an angry fiend assaulting a small girl, Utterson begins to question the odd behaviour of his friend. As Mr Utterson investigates and is entangled further into the life of Dr. Jekyll, he uncovers a story so horrific, so terrifying, that he is shocked. In the final chapter, Jekyll confesses in a full statement, that he has led a double life, his researches into separating his personality into good and evil, and the gradual ascendancy of evil and monstrous Mr Hyde over hypocritical Dr Jekyll. This transformation though, one day becomes involuntary and Jekyll is unable to reverse it because he has run out of the original batch of special chemical solutions. As the truth is about to surface, tragic events occur that end the whole situation dramatically and decisively. The themes which Robert Louis Stevenson addresses in his novel 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' include, right versus wrong, joy versus despair, good versus evil, science versus God and morality versus immorality. In the late Georgian and the Victorian era in Britain, people were fascinated by ideas of birth and re birth, death and the after life, creation versus Darwinism, as well as religion and evolution. Darwinism was Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory that humans were essentially animals, this assumption shocked the Victorians. They were especially fascinated by the idea that each person has somewhere in the world a double or a twin. ...read more.


In addition, Hyde is probably a suitable name for this man, as he evidently wants to 'hide'. We wonder how Mr Utterson knows who Mr Hyde is. The clue is in the will; Dr Jekyll's will was kept in Utterson's most private part of his safe. The will stated that all Jekyll's possessions were to be passed into the hands of his 'friend and benefactor Edward Hyde.' The mystery deepens, Mr Utterson knows something and we want to find out. I think that the Victorians would want to hear what happens in the next chapter considering they received the novel in instalments, equally though because it's suspenseful, mysterious and explores suggestions of science which would have threatened humanist values. Gothic literature, is known to many as a gloomy, horror story set in a castle or monastery, with touches of the supernatural. For example Bram Stokers 'Dracula' is a story about a vampire. There are many elements of Gothic literature; examples would be fear of the unknown, a character we fear and a male saviour. The character we fear is Mr Hyde but once we find out Mr Hyde is Dr Jekyll, we could fear both of them. The male saviour is Mr Utterson. Furthermore scientific knowledge is the key element of Gothic, as well as the significant derelict house and secrecy of the continuing mystery. Elements which will appear are time shift techniques which at the end of the book you will realise as Dr Jekyll writes his confession to all his scientific experiments. What's more there is a transformation within this book, a transformation this involves Dr Jekyll turning into the monster that is Mr Hyde using a chemical solution. This is something which should have been left to God not Dr Jekyll. It is a question of faith and morality but there is throughout a good versus evil power. Commenting on chapter two, the setting of the scene is quite gloomy, Mr Utterson is a bachelor like all the other main characters ...read more.


I have come to the conclusion that Stevenson uses his techniques as a writer to present character and atmosphere in 'The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by using language in interesting and diverse way in the story which looks at the duality of good and evil. Stevenson brings the possibility of another self in one person to life. He uses three narrators in the book to depict the tale of Dr. Jekyll, a respected, very "good" doctor who creates an alter ego of himself -- in the form of Mr. Hyde. Stevenson uses his own personal experiences into a story that shocked the Victorian era and received some negative reviews. Even he called it 'a fine bogey tale' but Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde educated the era in a way no one could have predicted. Stevenson was on withdrawal from cocaine for his Tuberculosis before and during the time of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, he was on withdrawal from it so this meant he had the effects of hallucinations, sweating and most defiantly some craziness and bad dreams. His cocaine withdrawal and his concealed double life - his religious beliefs and his career path - from his parents were certainly a basis for this chilling and mysterious tale. The atmosphere Stevenson creates his mysterious. The technique I noticed he used was that of simply describing particular places, emotion or even a characters thoughts, they stand out in your mind and you have an vivid picture of what he is describing and the effect it has on the story. Stevenson also changes his language, differing from one narrator to another. Jekyll's narration is different from Mr Uttersons. Stevenson changes the language to fit each character's personality. Overall, I think that Stevenson wrote something which was personal to him and it's a legend in itself. The atmosphere and characters which Stevenson has created are a fundamental creative mystery which continues to amaze the reader. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Jennifer Allen ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. What impressions of Mr Hyde are created in the first two chapters of ‘Doctor ...

    He says Jekyll has become 'too fanciful for me'. This means that Lanyon thinks that Dr Jekyll is doing something medically that he should not be doing. This again builds the tension. Hyde needs to be found and Utterson not just wants but needs to find him. If he can find him he feels that he might be able

  2. The Setting of Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde can be seen ...

    Later on in Chapter 8, where Utterson discovers Mr. Hyde to have committed suicide, Stevenson describes London as "It was a wild, cold, seasonable night of March, with a pale moon, lying on her back as though the wind had tilted her, and flying wrack of the most diaphanous and lawny texture.

  1. Jekyll and Hyde Essay; How does R. L. Stevenson convey the dual nature of ...

    cast perhaps' showing that the reader should not just base their assumptions on looks and thus not to 'judge a book by its cover.' In the novella, in the chapter Henry Jekyll's Full Statement, Jekyll felt that to lose Hyde forever he had to always take this potion and be

  2. Examine critically the theme of duality in R.L. Stevenson's 'Dr. Jekyll &Mr. Hyde'.

    The respectable and the sophisticated gentlemen resided in the New Town but at night they went to the Old Town to indulge in their secret passions as the Old Town had gambling, sex etc. This shows the duality of the men of those times.

  1. How does Stevenson describe Edward Hyde and what are the effects for the reader?

    The doctor who was tending to the girl Hyde had trampled over, whenever he looked at Hyde, wanted to kill him. The doctor had been nicknamed 'sawbones' for being so unemotional. The eyes of the family of the girl were filled with hate.

  2. Show that Mr Utterson is a main and important part of the story ''Dr ...

    Utterson is obviously good friends with Dr Jekyll because on page 17 Mr Utterson is insulted that Dr Jekyll has put in his will that everything is going to Mr Hyde.

  1. How does Stevenson Present Good and Evil in "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll ...

    We can see this in the story when Stevenson's describes Mr Hyde as "ugly","wicked-looking" and "evil". We also see this when the innocent, good character in the situation, Sir Danvers Carew, is described as an "aged and beautiful gentleman with white hair".

  2. Jekyll and Hyde chapter by chapter summary.

    A few lines later, Hyde remarks "No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene," is the first hint that we have that Hyde is an ally, or a manifestation, of the devil. Stevenson is playing on the well-known remark of Percy Bythe Shelly¹s in Peter Bell the Third that "The devil is a gentleman."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work