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

What are the Main Difficulties for a twenty-first Century reader in fully appreciating Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde(TM)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What are the Main Difficulties for a twenty-first Century reader in fully appreciating 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' The most prominent factor that affects how a twenty-first century reader can fully appreciate the novella, is simply the 'old-fashioned' grammar and vocabulary. This novella displays expressions that have either died out or changed meaning over the years. There are concepts within the novella that may have been controversial and new at the time it was written but have now have been discovered as a result of scientific advancement. The description in the novella is limited in such a way that the reader has to know a lot about London before the introduction of modern transport and roads. "...the low growl of London..." (p21), which most likely refers to the sounds of a horse and cart going along the cobbled roads. Although nowadays the 'low growl' could be related to the noise of cars, it is not a thought-provoking image as the reader has to relate the sound to something in the reader's experience and cars are an unrealistic idea to imagine in this novella. ...read more.

Middle

It is not something used as guidelines to judge the actions of others anymore. "...go to the devil in his own way." (p1) shows how this threat, in my opinion in the nineteenth century, would have been a substantial one. However, from my limited experiences, I would say that this comment would not have such a high impact. The transformation from human to a beast-like creature seems very unrealistic as science has evolved to an extent where such a thing is known to be impossible. But at the time that this novella was written, there would be less scientific knowledge which may enable nineteenth century readers to consider the realistic possibility of the transformation taking place. The structure of the novella also poses a difficulty in the sense that it echoes the moral message of the text. There is a split ending in the same way that Dr Jekyll has a split personality, as the last two chapters are first person, but the rest are all in third person. ...read more.

Conclusion

shows how the writer conveys the emotion of Mr Hyde, which enables the reader to relate to the character and therefore have no strong feelings against him. There is a common feature through all of these points and this is that the novella is written for readers who have a similar way of life to Robert Louis Stevenson. Plots are best understood when the reader can relate it one way or another to their own experiences. A lot of the novella is built on assumption that the reader will recognise what he is describing. For example, "...the foggy cupola." (p34) which is not something that occurs in modern day society. This novella is challenging in the sense that it is a twenty-first century reader trying to picture nineteenth century life with little background and only small pieces of information given by the writer. The main difficulties for a twenty-first century reader in fully appreciating 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' is that the detail given, is designed to add to the surroundings, not create the scenery from scratch. The novella works on the basis that the reader is aware already of what a city in the nineteenth century is like. ...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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

This question orientates around the belief that Robert Louis Stevenson's 'The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is not as potent a novella as it would be considered in the Nineteenth Century. This is a common exam question ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This question orientates around the belief that Robert Louis Stevenson's 'The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is not as potent a novella as it would be considered in the Nineteenth Century. This is a common exam question for this novella, and as such candidates should do well to appreciate the temporal effect of text that has been interpreted in so many ways to a modern day audience; it's hard not to feel slightly underwhelmed when reading the original scripture and so this question requires a very sensitive awareness of how the effect of the novella has eroded over time. There is a successfully consistent focus on the proposed question steer and there are a number of highly valid analytical comments made about why the novella isn't as potent as it once was to it's original, Nineteenth Century audience.

Level of analysis

This answer addresses many of the aspects about the novella which prevent it being fully-appreciated in today's society, such as Louis Stevenson's choice of language; thematic elements like religion and ugliness as a sign of criminality; the advancement of science and the readers' schema and expectation of setting which prevent the appropriate atmosphere being conjured in their minds. In every sense, this novella has aged very badly, but instead of simply condemning it as such, this candidate handles the topic very sensitively, realising a number of challenges for the modern day reader and, with every point made, has drawn upon an appropriate source from the text itself. This is an excellent form of effective analysis as it shows the candidate has overcome the hurdles the novella presents and understands it on a level profound enough to comment objectively (and subjectively, in part) and provide evidence from the source text.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is very good. There is a wide range of vocabulary used in this answer and a good range of punctuation. To improve this answer further, the candidate should work on their ability to use all manner of punctuation with confidence and flair (colons, semi-colons, parentheses, etc.) to vary the structure of their answer and to show examiners they are comfortable writing with more complex linguistic tools.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 05/03/2012

Read less
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. Peer reviewed

    Dr Jekll and Mr Hyde

    4 star(s)

    a nonhuman primate1 and has so much rage to the point of committing the most unspeakable horror against innocence. Utterson is biased when guiding the reader through the novella. In the first chapter, Story of the Door, Utterson tells us that he is a 'modest man' and that his friends are 'those of his own blood'.

  2. Jekyll and Hyde

    Jekyll's house has a lot of windows which may represent that he is trying to escape from the norms of human nature and use his evil side instead. When they were destroying the door of Jekyll's laboratory the "wood was tough", so it was hard to break down but it

  1. In the novel, Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins experiences a relationship with Long John Silver ...

    Benn, who is scared of Silver, warns Jim to be on his guard. However, when entering the stockade, Silver is still praising Jim and showing his faith in him as he said, "I've always liked you...time goes so pleasant in your company."

  2. "If I Am The Chief Of Sinners, Then I Am The Chief Of Sufferers ...

    been more acceptable and this sort of unpredictable transformation may not have been necessary. We, as the reader must constantly ask ourselves whether Jekyll actually has any control over his actions at any given point before we blame him directly for what he does.

  1. " How effective is the setting in creating tension and suspense in Stevenson's works?"

    Sometimes when there is dialogue between Mr Hyde and Utterson, Stevenson will use simple, short, answers or responses, while at other times, longer sentences in the dialogue are used. In this story questions are asked as a way of finding out more about the characters, and depending on the length

  2. How does Utterson's role in 'Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde' reflect the social concerns of the ...

    Through Jekyll, Stevenson sends out his own message that we should be wary of this darker side and try to repress it in all forms. Utterson's refusal to indulge in his darker side shows yet again how he applies himself religiously to the Victorian values of life and will not allow himself to waver from that particular path.

  1. Jekyll and Hyde chapter by chapter summary.

    Analysis: An important literary element of both this chapter, and the next chapter, is the concept of overlap. At this point, the reader already realizes some of the things that Lanyon has described. This time, however, the reader gains a different perspective that illuminates the situation and makes it clear.

  2. Jekyll and Hyde

    identities they would stop irritating each other and he was excited by separating the two personalities because he says he'd 'learned to dwell with the pleasure...of the separation of these two elements.' Therefore, this was Jekyll's ultimate desire and he worked towards this ground-breaking experiment.

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