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In what way is the 'profound duplicity' exhibited by Jekyll a reflection of the Victorian way of life?

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IN WHAT WAY IS THE 'PROFOUND DUPLICITY' EXHIBITED BY JEKYLL A REFLECTION OF THE VICTORIAN WAY OF LIFE? Robert Louis Stevenson was a famous author during the Victorian era. He was born in 1850 and as a young child had many nightmares which he brought to life in his books. His nanny also influenced his stories with her strong Calvinist beliefs . He wrote many well known stories including a horror novella called 'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.' Simplistically, this fictional story shows how two worlds co exist; the rich and the poor and there are many detailed descriptions which portray the stark contrast. ' The dismal quarters of Soho...with its muddy ways, and slatternly passengers...like a district of some city in a nightmare.' ...read more.


The story illustrates this in the two characters of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Mr Hyde is the evil side of Dr Jekyll, but he is restrained from being wholly evil by Victorian society. When looking at Dr Jekyll closely, the reader can see his duplicity. He is portrayed as a good person but if this were true, he would not have wanted to create such a wicked being as Hyde. The main point that Stevenson was trying to bring across to his readers was the dangers of ignoring this theory. Stevenson's novella shows that the more you restrained the bad side of you, the more it comes out raging which reflects the 'profound duplicity' of Victorian life. ...read more.


These are all examples of how the Victorians believed you should behave. Both classes were religious and went to church regularly however it was becoming fashionable to question things for instance the church. Philosophical thinkers like Darwin began to disagree with what the church said which infuriated the Victorian people. Darwin's most well known theory is about humans evolving from apes. Of course this was dismissed by the Victorians and they thought of him as a madman but Stevenson uses this idea in his novella. There are many references to Hyde acting animalistic and like an ape, 'Mr Hyde broke out of all bounds...Ape-like fury...Ape-like spite...Ape-like tricks...insensate cruelty...' Lanyon is an old friend of Utterson and Jekyll and he appears to be well respected and an excellent Doctor. However towards the end of the novella, we find that Lanyon has a greed for knowledge. ...read more.

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  1. How does the character of Dr. Jekyll reflect the duplicity of Victorian society?

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  2. In what ways is the 'profound duplicity' exhibited by Jekyll a reflection of the ...

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