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jekyll and hyde

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Introduction

How does Stevenson present the conflict between good and evil in 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'? In this piece of coursework, I will be presenting how Robert Louis Stevenson shows the conflicts between 'good and evil'. "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" is a novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson was born on the 13th November 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The novel was written in the late 19th century and is set in Victorian London. The precise date as to which the novel was written was within 1886. Stevenson wished to create a novel that was based on the duality of personalities which was much depicted within plays and films at that time and tried to make it influential to the growth in understanding the subconscious mind. Stevenson's background was strict as he had a strong up bringing in the sense of being forced to do things to ensure that he remained civil and to be brought up into a respectable and courteous man. He had been forced by his father to do civil engineering and also had a few problems and conflicts with his father along the way. This relates to the good and evil shown within Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This could be conveyed as a case of his father leading him to the 'correct' path which he desires his son to achieve, being firm and sophisticated like an upstanding person, therefore portraying the likes of Dr Jekyll in which case is the 'good' side of Jekyll's subconscious. Whereas Stevenson on the other hand, is heading towards the 'wrong' path, in which case he is becoming the dire and ill-mannered one which describes him with the same aura and ruthlessness as Mr Hyde who is the 'evil' side of Jekyll's subconscious. I believe that Stevenson at the time, felt as though he had these different sides to him due to his different emotions that he was going through because of his problems and wrote this novel in essence to explain and express his emotions. ...read more.

Middle

This flashback retraces into the past in which it fills in the missing gaps that we did not acknowledge at the time. As within chapter 9 this quote proves to be the most shocking and enlightening quotation within the novel, "For there before my eyes - pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death - there stood Henry Jekyll". This quote begins to fill all the gaps within the story and the mysteries that were never suggested are beginning to unfold as the readers begin to recreate the story as if they knew that Jekyll and Hyde were the same person from the beginning. They then realise small factors such as how throughout the story they had never seen Jekyll and Hyde in the same place. This is very effective as it makes the reader feel urge to fill in the gaps and solve the mystery for themselves. It is also effective as it leaves a sense of suspense for the final chapter 10, in which all is explained if there is still any confusion. Stevenson's use of multiple narrative structures has proven to be very effective throughout the novel. This is because it allows the readers to entail the different perspectives of one character in a number of ways. This allows us to see how the other characters feel about what is being focused on and see how it affects them due to the conflicts between 'good and evil' in their own ways. For example, Utterson introduces himself into the novel and immediately begins to mainly focus on the tale of Dr Jekyll. He then uses temporal markers as if you relate this to the ending, the novella explains the same thing and how everything was a flashback; i.e. in chapter 4 Stevenson says "nearly a year later". This allows the author to return to the past or 'jump' ahead of time when ever he/she pleases. ...read more.

Conclusion

All of these creative and clever techniques that are being used are all intentional as they in the Victorian times, anything that went against God was 'evil or impure' in some way. So yet again, he is using all this to his advantage to describe how 'evil' or 'ill-tempered' Hyde is. As it was based in the Victorian times, he uses archaic language as they spoke Standard English in that period of time and it was what they were used to. Useful examples for indicating this is quotations such as, "Full of premature twilight" actually means, that the day was already beginning to get dark, although it was earlier than usual. Stevenson uses many commas and semi-colons to begin to drag on with a lot of descriptive words and also uses short sentences and foreshadowing to give us small hints that Jekyll and Hyde could be the same person. However, the real problem of the story was Dr Jekyll's addiction to Hyde and the drug. It seems as though he was satisfied in some way or another of the feelings that Hyde had brought him while he was in control. It was as though he thrived off of the dark pleasures that Hyde brought to him, thus continuing to take the drug as modern people do when they abuse alcohol and drugs to continuously stimulate their bodies and become addicts. Ultimately, "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" is a very interesting and intense novel filled with mystery and suspense with an amazing and climactic ending which makes you feel as though you want to re-read the entire novel with the knowledge of knowing that Jekyll is Hyde to see the small clues that Stevenson has left for us. Stevenson has presented us with many different examples of how he shows 'good and evil' within the novel as I have already covered throughout the course of this piece of coursework. I believe that 'Jekyll and Hyde' is a great novel with a lot of meaning and deserves to be read by anyone. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sachin Visavadia 11KE 1 ...read more.

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