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The evaluation of tension, horror and mystery in chapters 1 and 2 of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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Coursework piece no.1 The evaluation of tension, horror and mystery in chapters 1 and 2 of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Version 2) To create tension, horror and mystery Stevenson uses a variety of writing techniques. These include sentence structure, (e.g. complex sentences or short sentences) choice of vocabulary, language, repetition and style of description of characters, objects or situations. This use of style became a trademark of his, and his writing style made him famous. This is why his books are still with us today. Chapter 1 The first example of such a descriptive technique is used on the first page for Mr Utterson (the reader's representative for the larger part of the book). This description of Utterson could be seen building mystery in the story, and this is because Utterson is described as a dark character that has friends but, at the same time, does not seem very close to any of them. We get this impression on the first few pages when he takes a walk with Mr Enfield (a distant kinsman of his), nether of them speak, they walk at a brisk pace and they eagerly wait for the site of friends. If they obviously don't have anything to say to each other and neither of them want to be there, why do they do this? ...read more.


This is a great example of mystery as this person, Jekyll, who is supposed to be a person; "very pink of the proprieties" (according to Enfield) has just basically left everything he owns to a murderous, evil, unstoppable machine. Why on earth would he have done this? Utterson and Enfield suspect blackmail, and as we are given no other evidence we are supposed to agree. This builds tension perfectly. That's because this makes the twist at the end so much more shocking (horrifying). Utterson then has an idea. He thinks that if anyone would know Hyde or would have seen him before, it would be his friend Dr Lanyon. While there at Lanyon's house, he brings up the subject of their old friend Henry Jekyll. Directly after mentioning him, Lanyon's tongue slips and he likens him to, "such unscientific balderdash." This is another example of mystery, for this means that Lanyon and Jekyll must have had an argument over some important scientific matter. What was it? Is it important? These questions build tension and compel the reader to read on and find out more on the subject. But the subject is not mentioned again in this conversation. Instead Utterson allows Lanyon to regain his composure and then moves the conversation along to the subject of Hyde. All Utterson can ascertain from Lanyon is that he has never heard of him. ...read more.


And it builds tension perfectly for the next chapter where Mr Utterson meets Dr Jekyll. Conclusion That is my essay on the first two chapters of "the Mysterious case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". I have covered all the points concerning mystery, tension and horror in the first two chapters. There was a lot of mystery in those chapters as well as tension. But there wasn't much in the way of horror. This is because most of the horrifying incidents happen later in the book, nearer the end. The murder of sir Danvers Carew is an example. People in Stevenson's time feared the devil more than anything, so this is why the devil is mentioned often. Also people were very superstitious at this time. So this is why the story is about the metamorphosis, the evil within and the devil. This is because these are things, which people, not only feared, but also saw as a reality. Also this book has some historical significance too. For at the time when this book was written Darwin had just said that man was not put on the earth as man, but as ape (the theory of evolution). Considering that people followed religion like the law in those days, this was a huge shock/scandal. And in the midst of all this, for some one to write a novel, not about ape evolving into man, but good evolving into evil. This would have been considered a very tense, mysterious and horrifying book. ...read more.

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