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Jeckyll & Hyde

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Introduction

Written in the 1880's by famous British author Robert Louis Stephenson, the novel Jekyll and Hyde is about one man with dissociative personalities. Jekyll and Hyde, although are portrayed to be two very different characters all together, are in fact the same man, wanting to fulfil certain "evil" pleasures whilst still being a well respected member of society. However both of these desires cannot be overcome without a magic potion created by Dr Jekyll, used to transform himself into the ghastly looking and somewhat evil being, known in this book as Hyde - his other half. In the late 1800's there were a few ideas and theories arising which could be what inspired Stephenson to write such an odd and interesting book. The significant developments in ideas which could be associated with this story are Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and Sigmund Freud's psychological theories on dissociative personalities, which came around at the time of Stephenson writing this book. These could be linked to how Hyde is from an era where there was no such thing as morality, Hyde can also link to Freud's id (animal instinct), ego (what controls us in order to achieve others approval) ...read more.

Middle

to "have a mask upon his face" as such an appearance is too inhuman and unnatural to be that of a normal man. Also in that chapter Hyde is commonly referred to as "it" rather than "him" which suggest he has a lack of humanity. He is also called a "creature" and described as having a dismal screech, as of mere animal terror. This creates a sense of animal imagery, which is one of the ways that Stephenson portrays Hyde as being evil. Hyde's clothes are described to be far too big, and that is because they are the exact same clothes worn by Dr Jekyll. This therefore shows that Jekyll is considerably taller than Hyde, and Stephenson here could be saying that not only does Jekyll overshadow Hyde in a physical sense, but also in the sense that the good in Jekyll is much greater than the evil in Jekyll. Dr Jekyll is a rather interesting character who wants and respects his good reputation, but still craves some of life's somewhat quirky pleasures. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jekyll is generally good but is only human so he will have his secrets, which as deep as they may be, show that he is not evil, but nobodies perfect? From reading this book, it is clear to see that Stephenson uses several ways to show the true personalities of Jekyll and Hyde. The first way in which Hyde is depicted to be evil is through the descriptions of his actions, in Chapter one he is described to be stumping along and this creates a sense of negativity rather than just walking. The violence and severity of the verbs Stephenson uses also contribute to the portrayal of Hyde's evil nature. He also uses animal imagery such as "ape-like fury" which compares him to an animal, a creature with no morals, and of a lower class. Then there is Jekyll, who Stephenson portrays to be the complete opposite of Hyde, and does this by talking about his privileged background, good stature and good looks, and also gives him the title Dr rather than Mr, as anyone would think of a Dr as a well respected and highly intellectual member of society. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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