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The Portrayal of mans duel nature in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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Introduction

English Coursework: Discuss Stevenson's Portrayal of man's duality nature Throughout "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" Within Robert Louis Stevenson's renowned novella "The Strange Case of DR Jekyll and MR Hyde" published in 1886, duality is a key factor in building the basics for the ideas and concepts that make up both the majority of the plot and Stevenson's personal beliefs. Duality can be seen in the portrayal of the characters, setting, Victorian society and the many references to secrecy throughout the novella. Characters play a large part in the representation of duality. This can be seen on many instances and in almost every character throughout the story. First of all we see this in the depiction of the character Utterson. We are told that Utterson is "austere with himself" and "though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years". This tells us that, although he wants to go to the theatre, he refrains from earthly temptations and oppresses his second self or his duality nature. It is this duality nature that Utterson oppresses, that Stevenson believes is in everyone and of which can be seen prominently in Victorian society, in which many thought it disgraceful to act in an uncouth manner and so had to be oppressed. ...read more.

Middle

From this we can see the two sides of London and how it can be transformed in to its Duality nature, the first being that of day where it can be seen as safe and secure, the later being that of night, a time where it would be seen as unsafe to venture out alone. This then links back to Stevenson's representation of secrets where many of the crimes are committed at night so as to hide the criminal from view this then being the reason that London is described in this way. We next see the portrayal of duality in the description of the house that Jekyll lives in where one side has "no windows", "tramps slouched on the recess" and a "blistered and stained" door, and the other "there is a chimney which is generally smoking", "there are three windows ... always shut but they are clean" and "the pleasantest room in London". This shows how even the house has both an un pleasant and a pleasant duality in which the first side is dirty and unkempt and subsequently the side that only Hyde uses, and the latter is clean and well looked after and is the side that Jekyll uses. Another method that Stevenson uses to portray duality throughout the novella is the theme of secrecy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lastly alliteration is used occasionally throughout to emphasis points made such as Hyde's animalistic qualities, "hardly human". This not only emphasises but draws the reader's attention to points of importance and note. Its use also achieves a wider range of exotic techniques which makes the story ever more interesting and readable. Duality is prominent throughout Victorian society and maybe the reason for the popularity and fame this novella has achieved. It gives the reader an explanation as to why certain people do certain things and gives a strong message about duality. This message could be that it is not healthy to hide away ones duality but to express it in moderation and in control ergo keeping us healthy in body and mind. The popularity may also be due to the new ideas achieved by Stevenson and the way these are portrayed in an almost believable fashion. The fact that he uses science to explain Jekyll's transformation to Hyde rather than using magic or other less believable ways of describing it, make it seem all together more real or feasible making it more believable and explainable. Its success may also be due to it being written in the style of gothic literature which was very popular in the Victorian era as other Gothic literature such as Frankenstein's Monster and Count Dracula which both became popular novels in their time. By Alexander Achilleos A1 English Coursework, 30/11/08 ?? ?? ?? ?? Alexander Achilleos A1 ...read more.

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