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'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is more than just a simple horror story. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is more than just a simple horror story. How far do you agree? In many ways the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a simple horror story, typical of the Victorian time. However in some ways it goes beyond a simple horror story and incorporates new ideas of the Victorian era. The setting of the story is that of a typical horror story. All important events happen in the dark or dim light. This is usually at night or early morning. The weather is always foggy or cloudy and the man is always partially hidden: 'It was a wild, cold, seasonable night of March, with a pale moon..... and a flying wrack of the most diaphanous and lawny texture.' Visits of one character to another also take place at these dim lit times. Most events involving Mr Hyde take place at night. For example, the incident with the girl, the murder of Sir Danvers Carew and the revelation that Hyde and Jekyll are the same person. ...read more.

Middle

In the novel different chapters are written from different peoples' point of view. This is a common characteristic of horror stories. This technique builds the suspense of the story. The majority of chapters are written from the point of view of Utterson. Mr Utterson is told by his relative about Mr Hyde and he makes a strange connection between Jekyll and Hyde because of the will made by Jekyll. Utterson believes that Hyde is holding some power over Jekyll: 'I begin to fear it is disgrace.' Utterson's conclusion is that Jekyll has killed Hyde but in Chapters 9 and 10 he is proved wrong and the mystery of the connection between Jekyll and Hyde is revealed. This shows that when selective views are used many things can be kept secret as an event may happen when the narrator is not there. Secrecy is a development from the usual horror stories we read. Stevenson has used the secrecy in the book to mirror the secrecy and repressed feelings in Victorian society. Secrecy appears often in the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas Jekyll's door is elegant and on a 'pleasant' street. This symbolism is used to represent ideas and events of wider importance. The 'blistered and distained' appearance of Hyde's door symbolises his evil and aggressive nature. Although Jekyll has a perfect door the story shows differences from normal horror stories because Jekyll himself is not perfect. Jekyll is described as having a 'stylish cast' which suggests that he has something to hide or may have an evil streak in him. The main way that 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' differs from typical horror stories is the advance in scientific findings were discovered in the 1800's, science was a very popular subject. But the idea of the story was inconceivable to the people of that time which made the story far scarier. To conclude, with the advances made from other novels at the time, 'The Strange Cases of Dr Jekyll and Hyde' is much more than a simple horror story as it incorporates many new ideas and themes that were very advanced from the period in which it was written. Mikaela Wheatley 09/05/2007 Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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