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The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Exploring Stevenson's style

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Introduction

The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Exploring Stevenson's style In this essay I will be looking at how Stevenson's description of setting in this novella help us the reader gain a clearer understanding about the themes and characters and learn more about them. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the story about a respectable man's strange associations with a "damnable young man" Edward Hyde; the hunt through fog-bound London for a killer; and the final revelation of Hyde's true identity makes this story a chilling exploration into the different natures of man. The main themes explored in this novella are the beast in man, duality of man and nature, secrecy, hypocrisy, repression and violence. These themes are mentioned in cryptic form throughout the story, giving the reader a better image of the horror and violence that happen in the story. Other themes include horror and evil, appearance vs. reality and light and dark. They come across strongly throughout the novella to remind the reader about the differences in man and how the appearance of someone/something might not be the reality, i.e. Dr Jekyll appears to be a respectable man in society at the beginning of the book but the reality of his dark secrets and strange links with Mr Hyde show otherwise. Jekyll and Hyde is a dark novella full of repression and violence, horror and evil, which reveals the dark secrets of split personalities. ...read more.

Middle

Dr Jekyll was the respectable man in society, good-natured and enjoyed the company of his friends. The description of the street represents Jekyll to a certain extent; he is good, welcoming, and all the characteristics of the charming street but with a dark secret, that also connects him to the sinister building of repression, horror and evil. Utterson was a repressed man, often denying himself of certain privileges of which he enjoyed, "though he enjoyed the theatre...twenty years". Although his character description at the beginning of the book makes him sound like a dark man- "never lighted by a smile, cold, scanty, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable" shows that he was a light character. The repression in Utterson is somewhat felt in the welcoming street as the street seems to be trying to hide its dark side by being full of happy, smiling people, florid charms etc. Other themes are showing through in these descriptions of setting are the theme of secrecy. This comes across in the sinister block of building that has no windows, making the reader believe that the building could conceal many secrets unknown to other people. Appearance vs. reality also happens in these descriptions. The appearance of the street nice bright florid and the appearance of the building at the end of that street casts shadows over the reader's mind as to what the building is hiding and why it is down what appears to be a charming street. ...read more.

Conclusion

However Jekyll was not happy about having to repress his dark side and released with drastic consequences; the fact that Hyde was pure evil and hatred and once he was released, it was bound to become impossible for Jekyll to repress him once more. The themes in the novella come across very strongly in the play, some in subtle hints and others boldly put. One theme is the beast in man. Most of the novel is set at night, showing the darker side of man. The characters in the story always seem to be doing things very late at night, or in the early hours of the morning. The only light in the novella, is the swinging street lamps and the moon, which is often hidden by cloud and fog. These descriptions of darkness and little light, show the darkness in man, the beast of man at its worst in the night. Many dark things come out in the night and stalk the city streets, man being able to live his life as he wished in the darkness where it seems, he is free to come and go as he pleases. This is a representation of Edward Hyde, who stalks the streets of Victorian London late night/early morning, putting fear, hatred disgust into those who have seen him or heard of his deeds. The descriptions of Hyde also represent the theme of beast in man, as he is often described as an animal, "ape like rage". ...read more.

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