• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Stevenson Uses Setting and Place in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Extracts from this document...


10/11/08 How Stevenson Uses Setting and Place in "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" The major issue facing Victorian society was the inconsistency of their lives. They wished to appear as pure as possible, to reflect the bible whereas they whispered and chuckled over "infamy and incest." The duality of Stevenson's personality was due to the fact that he was a bohemian child though his parents were conformists .He was an invalid who wished to be in two places at once. All this accounted for the fact that he was always trying to live a double life. Jekyll and Hyde is the quintessential novel of this double life. He and his father had a difficult relationship: his father was Jekyll to Stevenson's Hyde. In 1886 after a voyage to the Americas Sir Robert Louis Stevenson dreamt up the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde which he set in the same period mainly in Soho and the West End in London. He felt if he wrote about the familiar then he could make it more realistic and terrifying. It is easier to paint pictures with words and scare your reader if you know the period well. Perhaps he drew on facts from previous murders written about in the press such as Jack The Ripper. "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" is centred around four settings in London which allows the reader to experience these in detail. ...read more.


This would gradually change as tradesmen developed their businesses and were able to raise themselves from the misery of the overcrowded slums, particularly in the east end. Stevenson came from a wealthy family, and he writes the story from the viewpoint of Mr Utterson who is a lawyer. This means that he would certainly not be poor and provides Stevenson with a comfort level from which he can write in a familiar way. The main events of the story take place in Soho, which is very close to the wealthier West End. Even today it is an area of narrow winding lanes, inhabited by people of varying nationalities and I think is very much working class, full of restaurants, drinking establishments and houses of ill repute. Back in the late nineteenth century it was not very different from this. There would have been poor people on the streets selling goods, 'many ragged children huddled in doorways'. The London smog which was a well known factor of the London of the nineteenth century 'cut him off from his blackguardly surroundings'. These are very powerful words indeed, leaving the reader with no doubt about what the area was like. The smog (fog and smoke), meant that it was often impossible to see much more than a couple of feet in front of you, and led to horrendous health problems with respiratory diseases. It was very useful for crime, because the thief could escape without being identified and once they entered the maze of streets it was easy to lose a pursuer who was not familiar with the area. ...read more.


He fails which begs the question can we stop ourselves becoming evil? Without place and setting this novel would not be nearly so successful, and therefore would not have become the classic it is today. Most people have heard of Jekyll and Hyde and have a vague idea of who they are, sadly not so many have read the book. The remarkable thing is that these are well known representative characters for good and bad even though these people may not have read the book. The reader is introduced to the sinister nature of the story very quickly, and Mr Utterson soon becomes the detective 'if he be Mr Hyde' he had thought 'I shall be Mr Seek'. In order for the book to succeed so well it must have been meticulously planned, the interaction of the characters and revelation of the clues. Even when you read the book for the first time and you know who Jekyll and Hyde are, it is still a voyage of discovery and wonder to see if they will both die at the end. We know at the beginning that there will be something nasty to follow when Dr Jekyll tells Mr Utterson that 'this is a private matter, and I beg of you to let it sleep', and so the sorry tale unfolds. This was the first instance of man evolving into a monster with the aid of a drug, and led to horror stories and films of werewolves etc. worldwide. "What a lesson I have had!' And he covered his face for a moment with his hands. Dominic Lawrence ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. The Birds

    I think this could also be seen as a substitute for one of his earlier silent and black and white films. The sound changes and varies from the different environments. For example; the sounds you can hear when Melanie is in San Francisco are different from those of the sounds you can gear when she is in Bodega Bay.

  2. The Winter Oak

    on her way to sharing it with him as they enter the forest together later in the story. Also, at this early point in the story, when Anna Vasilevna says, "Oak is a noun" we know that at present it means nothing more to her than grammar however it soon will mean much more to her as the story progresses.

  1. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    But Lanyon, Mr Poole, Mr Enfield, Mr Guest and Sir Danvers Carew think Jekyll is a kind person and all everyone trusts him as he is a good doctor and a pleasant person. This is a promise he can't keep as he is slowly turning into Hyde for ever.

  2. gothic horror

    Alternatively in "the red room" has a completely diverse structure. The suspense in this story gradually rises, eventually leading to the climax. In the first line of the text we are told the subject of the story, "ghost". By mentioning this we understand that ghosts will be the main topic discussed.

  1. Dead Man Walking

    This draws the audience's attention just to the chains to show how humiliated and restrained he is. In the death chamber as all of Poncelet's cuffs and chains are being removed, it sounds as if a gun is being loaded ready for use.

  2. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    He painted our worst fear: the regression of humanity, and the satanic consequences of this happening. Hyde's "ape-like fury" also relates to another weak point of Victorian society. Sigmund Freud was a psychologist who studied the sub-conscious mind. He claimed that the human mind was essentially made of two components: the conscious and subconscious mind.

  1. the importance of magwitch in great expectations

    blame for all the food and goods pip had stolen from Mrs Joe. This shows that even though Magwitch gets caught, he knows in his heart that it was not Pip's fault that he got caught and pip had been loyal to him all along.

  2. An analysis of the way in which Emily Bronte introduces the character Heathcliff to ...

    But more importantly, he feels curious about Heathcliff and his background, as does the reader. So, when the Housekeeper Mrs. Dean brings him his supper he asks her about the present occupants of the house. This is a way of making the story of 'Wuthering Heights' more extraordinary, by contrasting it with an ordinary setting.

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