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"In 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and in 'The Fifth Child' an outsider is progressively released into the existing society destroying peace and goodness as it comes"

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Introduction

Richard Tree T10 GCSE Coursework: 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and 'the Fifth Child' "In 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and in 'The Fifth Child' an outsider is progressively released into the existing society destroying peace and goodness as it comes" The two books are about a person being released into the good and kind society around them, then they destroy it bit by bit. Both of the stories have characters that are similar, yet they still have their differences. The differences they have are reflected in the societies they live in. Considering that the books are written 100 years apart from each other, these differences are simple to spot for the reader. For example, social aspects of both books are very different. In 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', the wealthy were extremely rich, and poor people found it hard to scrape enough money together to get a daily meal. This is a contrast to 'The Fifth Child', where David and Harriet are middle class, despite having a large house. This is also shown by the fact that the 'middle class' is Lessing's book and not Stephenson's, where people lived in their house on the outskirts of London, as Harriet and David do. This is different to Jekyll and Hyde, where Stephenson generally describes inner-city London. In Jekyll and Hyde, class and gender was judged a lot. In this book, women were considered inferior to men. Women, if mentioned, act in an uncontrollable, hysterical fashion. Stephenson writes: "As we were pitching it in red hot, we were keeping the women off him as best we could, for they were as wild as harpies." ...read more.

Middle

This sounds completely ridiculous, but I think it is effective description from Lessing to show how much of a freak Ben really is. This is what Harriet asked herself: "Did Ben's people live in caves underground while ice age ground overhead, eating fish from dark subterranean, or sneaking up into the bitter snow to snare a bear, or a bird - or even people, her (Harriet's) ancestors?" Ben and Hyde are extremely aggressive people. They also do not have any remorse for their victims. For example, Hyde tramples over a little girl, like a 'human juggernaut.' This is very aggressive, to trample over a small girl. Yet he does not have any remorse for the little girl, he has 'a black sneering coolness.' This is terrible, someone who walks over a child and does not care, who is completely cool about it. The language also shows that Hyde is a terrible person, his coolness being 'black and sneering', as if he is satisfied with what he has done. Ben is the same. Doris Lessing writes: "Paul went into Ben's room by himself. Of all the children, he was the most fascinated by Ben. Dorothy and Alice, who were together in the kitchen, Harriet having gone off to take the older ones to school, heard screams. They ran upstairs to find that Paul had put his hand in to Ben through the cot bars, and Ben had grabbed the hand and pulled Paul hard against the bars, bending the arm deliberately backwards. ...read more.

Conclusion

An issue that has popped up in the fifth child is that you cannot always rely on authority, and when you cant, what are you supposed to do? This is what Harriet faced. Dr Brett and Dr Gilly would not even admit to Ben having a problem. Mrs Graves, Ben's primary school teacher would not admit to it, just saying sidetracking comments like: "He is hyperactive, perhaps?" Dr Brett and Dr Gilly are the same: "He is in the range of normality. He is not very good at school, I am told, but often slow children catch up later." The doctors and the headmistress did not admit to Ben having a problem, because if they did, they would have to find a solution to it. Because Dr Jekyll uses chemicals to create Hyde, some might say one issue is ethics of doctors involving cloning and medicine. This arises from Jekyll losing control of Hyde, as Hyde gets stronger and stronger. In my opinion, I will find the fifth child most memorable. This is because I find the language more simple to understand, and the issues more modern. Stephenson's book, Jekyll and Hyde, has words that I have never come across before; meaning that reading it was quite slow. Also, when something happens, Stephenson describes what other people think of it. For example, Enfield says: "It was nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see." Lessing usually describes exactly what happened and rarely puts an opinion into what she writes: "They ran upstairs to find that Paul had put his hand in to Ben through the cot bars, and Ben had grabbed the hand and pulled Paul hard against the bars, bending the arm deliberately backwards." ...read more.

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