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'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is a mystery novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886.

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Introduction

'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is a mystery novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. At the time it was written, the Victorians that read it would have been shocked at the events that unfolded as the story progressed. Although the novel was a thriller, it held groundbreaking theories about human nature: that everybody has a hidden dark side. The novel is very well known, the outline of the story is known by people who have not read it. Therefore, the story of Dr Jekyll who created a potion that unleashed his wicked side that caused many problems and did not fit in with society at the time. The novel highlights the point that the Victorians were often hypocritical about submitting to their desires and frowned at people who were seen to be doing anything unrespectable. Dr Jekyll was a very respectable gentleman; whereas Mr. Hyde was a complete scoundrel, used in this story to represent the inner-self, the part of each person that experiences primal, basic emotions, urges and desires. People rarely succumb to these desires or they do where it can't affect their reputation. ...read more.

Middle

In the section where Mr. Hyde tramples over the girl, the actions of Hyde and the reactions of those around him show the effect of people meeting their inner self. This section of the story is very effective at conveying a sense of evil within Mr. Hyde: no-one present in the story can understand how a person can feel evil, as if it is escaping through pores in his skin. The women, some of the very few in the story, are said to be 'as wild as harpies' because they were trying to attack Mr. Hyde. When Enfield was asked to describe Mr. Hyde, he was unable to do so; he said it was 'not want for memory; for I declare I can see him at this moment'. Later, in the next chapter, Mr. Utterson informs Mr. Enfield of how he sees Mr. Hyde: 'something troglodytic, shall we say? Or can it be the old story of Dr Fell?' A troglodyte is a cave-dweller, and the story of Dr Fell is a rhyme: 'I do not like thee, Dr Fell, the reason why I cannot tell. But this alone I know fair well, I do not like thee, Dr Fell.' ...read more.

Conclusion

These different monitors are present in varying amounts in each person, for instance, a person with only 'id' like Mr Hyde, acts only upon animal instincts and urges, without a thought for safety or reason. Someone like Dr Jekyll had a mixture of the three to start off with, but the potion allowed his 'id' to break away and form a new being in the same body. Stevenson used a large range of techniques in this novel to convey evil; the metaphor 'incongruous compound' was particularly effective, as it shows accurately the relationship between the good and evil in the story. The reason there is no specific description of Mr. Hyde in the novel is because Mr. Hyde is intended to represent the whole human race, as everyone has a dark side. If there was a specific description of Mr. Hyde, this evil would not be visible in every single person, as the evil would have a face. The point Stevenson was making about Victorian society is also very clear, his beliefs about the hypocrisy of his people may have been lost at the time of first publication, but they provide valuable insight from an insider's point of view. It is a story about self-destruction in a way; Stevenson showed the consequences of what happened when a man tried to live his dream in that particular society - he died. ...read more.

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