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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Introduction

Raveen Joshi 10o In What Way Is 'The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr. Hyde', A Novel Of Secrets, Where Truth Is Hard To See? Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is about Dr. Henry Jekyll and his estranged alter ego Mr. Edward Hyde. The idea of truth is frequently come across in the novel but is never really found, on a few occasions in the novel, the truth is searched for and is sometimes found. Through the use of different settings and also the encounters within the book, the truth becomes very difficult to see, both literally and metaphorically. An example of this, being the two doors on either side of Dr. Jekyll's home, the door at the back which was often used as Mr. Hyde's entrance, is hidden to the general public of the novel. The author, Robert Louis Stevenson, purposely fills the novel with secrets, mystery and unanswered questions to depict the true nature of Victorian gentlemen and the duplicitous society which he lived in. A number of secrets are kept throughout Jekyll and Hyde. This is mainly the cause of hidden identities and people living separate lives, one being the good, the public figure seen, and the second life being the dark and evil side. In the novel, one character, Mr. Enfield states he was 'coming home from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock'. ...read more.

Middle

Hyde has the key. With the front door, the truth is revealed more easily and the truth reveals the good in Dr Jekyll. The entire novel is written to resemble a mystery or some type of investigation. Many police investigations often involve a lot of secrets and mystery, which is common throughout this novel. Throughout Jekyll and Hyde, there are constant references towards the idea that the structure of the novel is one of a mystery. In the case of this mystery, Mr. Utterson would be the detective, and that role is often associated with his character, usually with the events that take place, or the comments that he makes. For example, in the chapter Search for Mr. Hyde, Mr. Utterson, says 'If he Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek', explaining that he shall make several attempts to get to the end or the bottom of this investigation, where hopefully there will be answers to the many unanswered questions within the novel. As Mr. Utterson is the detective, the minor characters are portrayed to be the 'witnesses' in the case. Dr Jekyll's butler, Poole, and Mr. Hyde's maid are examples of these witnesses. Furthermore, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has several similarities to that of a police investigation, we can see this instantly from the title of the novel and the chapter titles. The key words in the title; 'strange' and 'case', immediately indicates that this is about a type of exploration or events. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Dr Lanyon's Narrative, this is the chapter where a number of secrets are finally revealed and questions begin to be answered. In the chapter, Lanyon says 'what he told me in the next hour I cannot bring my mind to set on paper'. This indicates that the truth he was shown was to disturbing to show or repeat to another person. The truth also raises the idea of good and evil and what is good and what is evil. In Henry Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case, Jekyll analyses the idea of being two and 'that man is not truly one, but truly two', meaning that there are two sides to everything. Jekyll, in the end realizes the truth that separating the two sides of him means releasing more evil into the world then good and this evidently causes Jekyll to become very happy with himself in the later days of his life, which lead to his suicide. The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde is a novel of secrets. People keep these secrets for the pure benefit of themselves and rarely for others who are close to them. As each secret becomes clearer to the reader, we gain more of an insight the idea of reputation, to the life of Victorian gentlemen and Victorian society. Truth being hard to see, strengthens the secrets, as it is therefore difficult to reach a final conclusion as to what is correct, what is isn't a secret and what isn't hard to see. ...read more.

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