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The Setting of Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde can be seen as both literal and metaphorical

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Introduction

How does Stevenson use Setting both Literally and Metaphorically In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson uses lots of dark and descriptive settings to help set the mood. At the time he was writing, there were many new scientific revelations such as Darwin's law of evolution which rattled the beliefs of religious people (mostly Catholics and protestants). On top of this, London had a significant reputation for being notorious for crooks and thieves. In this time also, there was a distinct social barrier between the poor and the rich. On top of this, Stevenson chose to use Soho as a home for Mr. Hyde as it was well known as an infamous area for robbers and poor people as well as prostitutes. Stevenson also wrote his novella at an interesting time as Jack the Ripper was killing in that time, perhaps adding another dose of fear when readers read his novella at the time. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson uses lots of vivid and imaginative description of the weather to help set the mood and describe what Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde represent. An alternative description is "...a fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was cloudless... was brilliantly lit by the full moon." which describe the setting which is reminiscent of gothic writing for horror. ...read more.

Middle

"to combat this mournful reinvasion of darkness", symptomatic of Soho being 'attacked' by darkness repeatedly, indicative of it's citizens not being able to do anything about it, once again linking to Soho being regarded as an area of poverty Stevenson also portrays Soho as "a district of some city in a nightmare..." hints that Soho this effect is further explained: "The fog lifted a little and showed him a dingy street, a gin place, a low French eating house..., many ragged children huddled in the doorways, and many women of many different nationalities passing out, key in hand, to have a morning glass...". When Mr. Utterson visits Mr. Guest, London is described as "The fog still slept on the wing above the drowned city, where the lamps glimmered like carbuncles; and through the muffle and smother of these fallen clouds, the procession of the town's life was still rolling in thorough the great arteries with a sound as of a mighty wind... and the glow of how autumn afternoons on the hillside vineyards, was ready to be set free and to disperse the fogs of London.". Stevenson described this particular scene and made it sound like that day is pleasant as he uses the description "glow of how autumn afternoons". Later on in Chapter 8, where Utterson discovers Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

This represents the goodness of Dr. Jekyll, which contrasts the darkness of Mr. Hyde. A good metaphor to use would be that Dr. Jekyll is light, while Mr. Hyde is darkness. Another example of the dissimilarity between Jekyll and Hyde is the how the lab (inside Dr. Jekyll's house) is described as "... the dingy, windowless structure with curiosity, and gazed round with a distasteful sense of strangeness... lying gaunt and silent, the tables laden with chemical apparatus, the floor strewn with crates and littered with packing straw and the light falling dimly through the foggy cupola.". This is reminiscent of gothic writings which are comparable to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. Throughout these uses of settings, it is clear that Stevenson's use of setting in London is seen as both literal and metaphorical in the sense that the setting is used as a background for portraying the scene, as well as a symbol for representing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: the contrast of differences using "fog" as Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll as clear weather and "glow of autumn afternoons". This is also illustrated as the front door of Dr. Jekyll's house being considered as good, while Mr. Hyde's house is considered as wicked and dismal. Glide mre stealthily through sleeping houses, or move the more swiftly and still the more swiftly, even to dizziness, through wider labyrinths (confusion) of lamplighted city. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bryan Tan 10P English The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ...read more.

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