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Jekyll and Hyde

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Stevenson's purpose in writing this story was not only to create a good horror novel, but also to bring to light recent scientific discoveries such as Darwin's theory of Evolution. Maybe this was his way of disagreeing with society without being labelled a heretic as people who disagreed with society were labelled. The inspiration for Hyde comes both from Jack the Ripper and Darwin's theory. I say this because Hyde is a small and ape like man that was murderous and had a liking to cause chaos and destruction wherever he went as did Jack the Ripper. This classic gothic novel fits in with other novels of its time such as "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. Stevenson builds up suspense in the novel by using numerous witnesses and documents, many of which were sealed in envelopes and not to be opened until a later date; the most important of which are quite bulky and left until the last two chapters. There are also a number of questions that are left until the last two chapters, like why does Jekyll like Hyde, where does Hyde come from, and why does Jekyll protect Hyde. ...read more.


is quite effective; also the way in which Stevenson answers almost all of the in the last two paragraphs, which are made up of Dr. Lanyon's narrative and Dr. Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case, almost forces the reader to read on to find out what is going happen in the end. The house that Jekyll experiments in and the weather are typical of gothic setting because the house is both mysterious and unapproachable as it has a solid oak door on the ground floor but no windows which means that there is no way to see into Jekyll's laboratory which is situated on the ground floor. The weather is dull and dreary with a sinister hint of violence that is created because the wind and fog appear to be battling each other. "The wind was continually charging and routing these embattled vapours" this quotation seems to give the wind the human like characteristic of consciously attacking the wind. The atmosphere that is created is one of fear and violence, the fear is hinted at by the fog which many people were scared of because it can cause near blindness and is confirmed by the atmosphere in London at the peak of Hyde's crimes and Jekyll's sheer fear of transforming into Hyde again. ...read more.


which makes Jekyll out as he is a mix of good and evil-"I stood already committed to a profound duplicity of life"-which is not a normal feature of a gothic novel. The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is not just a gothic novel as it also has the defining features of a detective novel, such as the mystery of Carew's murder. In conclusion I think that Jekyll and Hyde is not a gothic novel but a hybrid of a detective novel and a gothic novel; I say this because, although Jekyll and Hyde has very distinct gothic features it also includes a large number of detective features such as the hunt for Hyde through legal documents for Carew's murder. I think that this story would have scared people in the 1880's as it describes experimenting on humans and scientific revelations which would have scared most god fearing people at the time; This story did not scare me but it did interest me but it also bored me by avoiding the matter at hand. Overall I think that Jekyll and Hyde is an interesting novel but it lacks excitement towards the end. ...read more.

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