• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Man is not truly one, but truly two" - A discussion on how this concept is explored in the text 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Man is not truly one, but truly two" A discussion on how this concept is explored in the text 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' 'Man is not truly one, but truly two' outlines Robert Louis Stevenson's idea that to all there was a 'double being' and 'two sides'. Whether these two sides were ego and id, or good and evil, 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' considers the reality of splitting these two sides, which to many, including Stevenson himself, was strangely attractive. When he decided to write the novel, Stevenson was a very sick man. During a three-day attack of haemorrhaging and fever, he was confined to his bed. Even though he was quite used to being ill, he had complained of 'bad dreams' and 'nightmares of damnation'. These frequent nighttime occurrences were to be the inspiration for his new novel. As a child, at number seventeen Herriet Row in new town Edinburgh, Stevenson spent much of his time at home, the victim of many diseases. Because his mother was an invalid, and his father was often away on business as a lighthouse consultant, Robert had a full time nurse - Miss Alison Cunningham - a woman with strong Christian values. Stevenson was often so terrified of the stories Miss Cunningham told him, he was too petrified to even close his eyes for fear of going to hell. Edinburgh had two sides, which starkly contrasted each other, in the nineteenth and twentieth century. There was the new town, where, with its wide streets, squares and crescents - and its strong mid-Victorian rules, 'respectable' was the best compliment one could receive. Beyond the castle cliffs, however, lay the old town, which Stevenson looking at it once said that it was like 'watching a derelict fall down and die'. He was fed up of the Presbyterian values of the new town and fell in love with the medieval side. ...read more.

Middle

Hyde, however, loved the feeling of the overpowering evil. 'It was not till weariness had succeeded that I was suddenly, in the top fit of my delirium, struck through the heart with a cold thrill of terror,' shows how he was only able to feel the 'cold thrill of terror' when he began to get weary, and shocked me because it shows how much he was in ecstasy through the pleasures of evil. Hyde can be symbolic of 'the beast in man'. Throughout the book, Stevenson describes him, using animal imagery For instance, when Utterson confronts him after trampling on the girl towards the beginning of the book, he was described as 'hissing' like a snake with nowhere to escape, and a 'Juggernaut' which is, in my mind, a huge thing which crushes all that dare gets in its way. There is also animal imagery of Hyde when Poole, Jekyll's manservant tells Utterson that the man in the room [which the audience know is Hyde] moves 'like a monkey', and a 'thing' that cries out 'like a rat'. All these similes put together have connotations of a huge beast made up of many creatures - which is linked to Stevenson's idea that man was made up of many personalities. Stevenson also uses this book to get across his thoughts about hypocrisy. All the characters are so repelled by Hyde, but it is not exactly pinpointed what it is that is so repelling. It is these feelings of Hyde that the other characters have of him, that provokes violent and antagonistic responses from them all. Stevenson uses these characters as a symbol of man. He believes that all men and women are hypocrites - like Jekyll - because we all refuse to accept the dark side that Stevenson thinks is present in all human beings. He believed that people knew they had a bad side, but they all refuse to accept the truth, as 'the dark side' is so unpleasant. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another use of this is authentication. Authentication is making the reader feel that what they are being told is more fact than fiction. By learning about the plot through the eyes of others, the reader feels they are seeing the intimate unravelling of true feelings and events, rather than being told a story. A factor that must be taken into account is the reality that a Victorian reader would have had a highly different experience reading the book than a modern day reader. This is because as a modern reader, I already knew that Jekyll and Hyde were the same person, either through word of mouth, or television adaptations of characters to suit other situations. The effect of this is firstly, the heightened experience of suspense and excitement for the uninformed Victorian reader. Because they do not know Jekyll and Hyde are one, the tale is a true mystery to them. Secondly, it has an advantage to a reader like myself. Because I know the outcome, I can appreciate the complexity of the plot and theme, and because I am studying the novel, I can look out all the way through for 'giveaway signs'. In conclusion, I feel that as a novel, 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is an excellent demonstration of a complex ideological theme. It explores many avenues of thought connected with contemporary psychological ideas. The thought of man being 'truly two', to me is rather chilling, and the thought of 'separation of these elements' is not at all attractive to me. I can understand Stevenson's thoughts, and appreciate the intricacy of his ideas associated with hypocrisy. I must, however say that I do not agree with him, and I have no interest in psychological ideas. I feel that the contents of one's mind should remain that of that person, whose inner thoughts are being available to anyone. I would hate the thought of others reading my mind. This is, however my opinion, and others are welcome to theirs.HH HHHe\ 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. How does Stevenson build up tension in 'Dr Jekyll'.

    of the buildings in the street because of its shabby and dilapidated state. Stevenson makes the door mysterious by describing 'a sinister block of building' which 'showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower story and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on the other.'

  2. How does Stevenson Present Good and Evil in "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll ...

    protagonists' names in the story which can be interpreted in many ways. The words, Jekyll and Hyde, when written as Hyde and Jekyll, show a resemblance with the term "Hide and Seek". This pun is appropriate because the reader is constantly in search of the true meaning behind Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde but the mystery would "Hyde" itself.

  1. How does Stevenson present the conflict between good and evil in Dr Jekyll and ...

    Poole turns out to be a useful character, helping bring Utterson to discover the truth. Another critique of society's views is the character Enfield, described as a "well-known man about town," who is of upper class and yet appears to be not exactly perfect.

  2. How does R.L. Stevenson create fear and suspense in the novel " The Strange ...

    Alliteration has been employed throughout the book to help give Stevenson's descriptions a distinctive angle. For instance, Dr. Jekyll has been portrayed as the chief of 'sinners' as well as the chief of 'sufferers.' Here, Stevenson tries to establish the timeless message that one cannot sit "beyond the reach of fate" by burdening his life with mistakes and blunders.

  1. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde build of Tension

    adverb which means to hear something, it strongly emphasises the brutality of the murder because if a woman a floor above watching the incident who can clearly hear bones shattering, the attack was extremely vicious. This adds even more tension.

  2. How does Stevenson create an atmosphere of suspense and horror in "Dr Jekyll and ...

    where even upon a Sunday there were still some stirrings of life, that Mr Utterson at last turned and looked at his companion. They were both pale; and there was an answering horror in their eyes 'God forgive us! God forgive us!'"

  1. How does Stevenson create mystery and suspense in the opening 8 chapters of ;The ...

    Stevenson takes inspiration from gothic literature to keep readers on edge for this home visit; "even in houses the fog began to lie thickly" and "light falling dimly through the foggy cupola" more uncertainty and mistery again using pathetic fallacy.

  2. How Stevenson uses his techniques as a writer to present character and atmosphere in ...

    The well-known basic theme of the novel involves the duality between good and evil, but it also involves a study in hypocrisy, as encompassed by Jekyll and Hyde. The opening chapter of Jekyll and Hyde brilliantly begins a novel that is largely symbolic.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work