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How Successfully Does Stevenson Present Evil and Create Tension in 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'

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Introduction

How Successfully Does Stevenson Present Evil and Create Tension In "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"? Stevenson has created a piece of exceptional Victorian Gothic fiction. It conjures up the contrasting emotions that people have inside them. He uses Jekyll to portray the different sides within people, creating a monster out of Jekyll, a completely new persona - 'Hyde'. Stevenson turns a good man into some evil creature. Lots of the book has some reference to Charles Darwin's 'Theory of Evolution'. When "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" was released, Charles Darwin had just revealed his theory of man evolving from apes. When the Victorians read this book, Hyde was referred to as evidence of Darwin's theory by the use of phrases such as: "With ape-like fury" and "Like a monkey, jumped", which gives you an image of primate characteristics. ...read more.

Middle

Hyde when they had witnessed that event. For most of the novel, the narrative follows Utterson's point of view; in the last two chapters, Lanyon and Jekyll report their experiences from their own perspectives. I reckon that Lanyon knew that there was something odd about the way Jekyll acted when Hyde was bought up in conversation. In his letter to Utterson, he wrote; "...like a man restored from death- there stood Henry Jekyll." It almost seemed that Lanyon knew that Jekyll did have another side of him - a darker side - and I think that Lanyon knew that Hyde was something to do with it. Even if he didn't realise when he wrote the letter, he certainly found out when he quickly keels over after witnessing the transformation from the good Jekyll to the evil Hyde - ending his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

His oldest friend, Utterson, knows nothing of Hyde and urges Jekyll to change his will. He fears Hyde has a mysterious, perhaps criminal, hold over Jekyll, and that Hyde might murder him to benefit from the will. In the last chapter, Jekyll is telling his story about how Hyde took over his life, saying things like, "the hands of this extraneous evil". He describes the feelings as he turns into Jekyll, and how it caused a "grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death". Jekyll became addicted to Hyde, he felt that he needed to let out his emotion in the form of Hyde. The whole chapter is tense; it is building up to a climax - the moment when Lanyon finds out the real truth but can not tell anyone for he is already dead, and the moment when Hyde completely takes over him and destroys Jekyll. ...read more.

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