• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde more than just a simple horror story?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jekyll and Hyde Coursework Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is more than just a simple horror story- it contains thoughts and feelings that everyone, especially when it was released back in 1885, could connect with. It was one of the most popular books ever published at the time, selling 40,000 copies in its first 6 weeks. It is still popular today, with many stage and film versions, and the fact that 'Jekyll and Hyde nature' is a figure of speech, meaning two-faced. Another key to its success was the novels accurate reflection of Victorian society- respectability versus crime and prostitution, the rift between the rich and the poor, and mainly the great divide between good and evil. The story has many reasons behind its success. One of the most important features is that the reader has to wait right until the end to discover the truth behind Jekyll's experiment on himself. This allows Stevenson to build up suspense throughout the novel- it leaves the reader wondering why a respectable man like Jekyll would be in league with an evil man like Hyde. Another factor is how Stevenson tells the story using more than one narrator- Utterson mainly, but also Jekyll and Lanyon. This allows Stevenson to tell the story from more than one point of view. Stevenson also uses his description of settings to create an atmosphere throughout the story. He also increases the possible symbolic meaning of Jekyll's experiment- Perhaps most importantly; Jekyll is playing God in a way by tearing his two sides apart, creating an actual split personality- one of good, and one of pure evil. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, Utterson's description of the morning after the murder makes Soho seen like some kind of hellhole. 'Muddy ways,' 'slatternly passages,' '...some city in a nightmare,' all make the city seem dark and disturbing, as though the evil of Hyde has changed the city completely. The other description that is very effective is that of the last night, which Utterson when Utterson was trying to find out what had happened to Jekyll. 'The pale moon, lying on her back as though the wind has tilted her,' gives the scene a very strange and dark atmosphere, as if there is something wrong with nature itself. 'The wind made talking difficult, and flecked blood into the face.' Talking is a very easy thing to do, so it must have been some kind of unnatural wind, therefore continuing with the sense that there is something wrong with nature itself, and the 'flecked blood...' makes the setting more dark, disturbing and maybe becoming violent. The third point I wish to discuss is how different people's points of view are used throughout the novel. Stevenson uses Utterson's point of view to tell the story- a respectable man, and a good friend of Jekyll. He found out things that connected Jekyll to Hyde, and he tried to cover them up to keep Jekyll's respectable nature intact. This suggests that in the Victorian world that Jekyll lived in, reputation was more important than the truth. The first time Utterson 'protects' Jekyll is when he is talking to his friend Enfield about the events that transpired that day involving Mr Hyde. ...read more.

Conclusion

It suggests that Jekyll thinks the experiment was a complete success: "I felt younger, lighter, happier in body." This feeling could be compared to taking a drug- at first, it feels good, but it slowly becomes a burden until Jekyll can no longer deal with it. Releasing his bad side has freed Jekyll, but it has cost him his life. Later on in the story, he begins to spontaneously change into Hyde. This shows that the evil inside of him is growing; the addiction is becoming worse. Hyde is becoming the more dominant side, and Jekyll now has to take the potion to change back. Jekyll has tried to keep these two sides in balance for so long, and now Hyde is taking over. Hyde could even be seen as the new Jekyll- taking the potion to mask himself from the truth. By originally taking the potion to become Hyde, Jekyll released his true self, condemning himself to death. The end of the story is ambiguous to us- we don't know which side was in control when they died- Jekyll could have wanted to kill Hyde, Jekyll could want to kill himself because he was stuck as Hyde, or Hyde killed himself so that he didn't have to atone for his sins. Another reason could have been that Hyde wanted to kill Jekyll- he was hidden away for so long, and Jekyll was 'so much better' than Hyde. Hyde could have wanted to make sure that Jekyll stayed hidden forever, just as he had been. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. How does Stevenson create the atmosphere of suspense, horror and mystery in the first ...

    this is scary for the reader, as even after the conversation, Utterson left with a cold unsettling feeling of 'disgust'. As well as this, in several examples e.g. the story of the door, everyone Hyde manages to encounter with, he seems to have some sort of loathsome effect on them, 'sick and white with the desire to kill him'.

  2. Duality of Jekyll and Hyde

    and very secretive, and it had no windows, and windows are let you see what is going on, they have no secrets. Through this idea of doors and windows, reflects also on the people. Before Hyde was entered into the picture, Jekyll was a very open and honest man.

  1. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - How Does Stevenson create an atmosphere of tension ...

    He was let in by Poole and led to the dissecting room, which was cluttered, dusty and dingy. Then Utterson saw Jekyll sitting in the cabinet, next to the fire "looking deadly sick". He held "out a cold hand and bade him welcome in a changed voice".

  2. How does Stevenson build up tension in 'Dr Jekyll'.

    The mystery and intrigue of the door is further added to by the story. We hear about a collision between a man and a young girl which in itself was not unusual, but when we hear the man's reaction as 'hellish to see' and 'it wasn't like a man', we

  1. Is ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ a detective story, a horror story or ...

    A doppelganger, is the ghostly double of a living person, it can also be known as a person's evil twin. Although Mr Hyde is not a twin, he is the evil double of Dr Jekyll. A doppelganger is usually the omen of death, and for Sir Danvers Carew seeing Mr Hyde did in fact result in death.

  2. Explore the ways in which Stevenson uses setting to enhance the readers understanding of ...

    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

  1. How does Stevenson create intrigue in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    The one witness, a maid looking through her window above them, instantly fainted. This chapter involves an appropriate amount of gothic/horror to intrigue the reader and cause themselves to wonder why Mr Hyde would attack a supposedly innocent man with no apparent reason.

  2. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde build of Tension

    Enfield has a very detailed description of what happened, for example when he says, " about three o'clock of a black winter morning," This is effective because it is so detailed. It sets the scene for something to happen because of the night time description, adding to the tension.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work