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Jekyll and Hyde Essay; How does R. L. Stevenson convey the dual nature of mans personality in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

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Introduction

How does R. L. Stevenson convey the dual nature of man's personality in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Robert Louis Stevenson conveys the dual nature of man's personality in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in many different ways, he does this by firstly having stories about two different people with different personalities and feelings about the world, these two men are Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. This essay will outline the major points to show how Stevenson conveys the dual nature of man's personality and what makes the points effective. This novella was set in Victorian London, and had several different characters in it with major roles in the overall story of Jekyll and Hyde; the two major characters were Henry Jekyll who was a respected doctor who seems tied to Mr Hyde in some way. The other is Edward Hyde who is an evil and unpredictable young man who is mysteriously linked with Dr Jekyll. The setting is highly significant as the Victorian Era was characterised by rapid change and developments in nearly every sphere from advances in medical, scientific and technological knowledge to changes in population growth and location. During the Victorian heyday, work and play expanded dramatically, the national railway network stimulated travel and leisure opportunities for all, so that by the 1870s, visits to seaside resorts, race meetings and football matches could be enjoyed by many of this now largely urban society. ...read more.

Middle

The language and imagery used by Stevenson is very effective, especially when describing both Jekyll and Hyde. Firstly when describing Jekyll, Stevenson uses various techniques when describing him as when he says 'a large, well-made, smooth faced man of fifty' an image immediately jumps to the reader's head of a man who looks handsome and respectable, this shows that Jekyll was a man who was a high figure in society. Although Jekyll is a man who is fine-looking, he has a peculiar character on him as this quote shows, 'the large handsome face of Dr Jekyll grew pale to the very lips, and there came a blackness about his eyes.' Stevenson put this quote in to show the other side to Jekyll as well and also show a sinister side to him. To describe the other major character known as Edward Hyde, or Mr Hyde for short, Stevenson describes his appearance and his physique to create an effect to the reader, for example when he says 'Mr Hyde was pale and dwarfish; he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile.' This shows a very thorough description of Hyde and uses an effective metaphor when he says, 'he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation' this quote's exact meaning is that the deformity in Hyde's body is there but the speaker can't pick it out. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is shown in the part 'lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow loveable' it shows a dual nature of his character and so Stevenson has put this in just to show that everyone has two sides to them. The structure of the novella is very unique as the first chapters are mostly all background information about the two people and how their lives are affected by each other, but the last two chapters are the most significant, with the first showing the reader the major storyline and question being who is Jekyll and who is Hyde and why do they know each other? However, these questions are answered in the final chapter by the man himself Dr Jekyll. It shows the dual nature in both. To conclude, R. L. Stevenson conveys the dual nature of man's personality in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by using ideas about the differences of both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, also with their differences in appearance with Hyde being small and dwarfish and Jekyll being 'upright' and respectable. Another way in which he conveys dual nature in a man's personality is when he shows that all the different characters within the novella have ideas in them showing that they too have a theme of duality and lastly Stevenson's moral message is that every person in the world has a dual nature however good someone is there must be once in their life that they have sinned. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gautam Ladva 10D1 Mrs Fereday ...read more.

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