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

What have you learnt about the darker side of human nature from 'Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde,' and how does Stevenson create a feeling of evil?

Extracts from this document...


What have you learnt about the darker side of human nature from 'Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde,' and how does Stevenson create a feeling of evil? 'Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde' is famous novel written in 1886. Stevenson became fascinated with the lowlife of Edinburgh when he attended university there, and the novel deals with the idea that 'evil is potentially more powerful than good.' As a young boy, Stevenson suffered from ill health and spent most of his early years in his bedroom where Alison Cunningham would labour to teach him the difference between the pursuit of life of good or evil, the latter course leading inevitably to the everlasting torments of hell. She made sure that Stevenson was not spared details of these torments, causing him to suffer terrifying nightmares which he often recalled in his memories and which afflicted him throughout his life. She would try and convince him, 'there are but two camps in the world- one of the mundane and vicious..The other on the high road to the gallows and the bottomless pit.' It was from one of his adult nightmares that 'Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde' grew a story that would argue there is a light and dark side in all mankind, in the words of Jekyll, 'man is not truly one, but truly two.' Jekyll had a strong fascination with a dual personality of a man. Jekyll is a well respected Physician and Chemist who is 'well made, smooth faced man of fifty with something of a stylish cast, perhaps but every mark of capacity and kindness.' This illustrated that even the most well respected man is captured by the temptation of evil, and tampers with this. ...read more.


This quote clearly highlights the fact that despite the risk, Jekyll felt drawn to evil even though he was aware that there may be consequences, showing the power of temptation that the evil had on the good inside Jekyll. Jekyll here clearly tampers with nature, which first brings a feeling of liberation and freedom to him, yet soon there become consequences. Jekyll however feels the power of controlling evil as he is aware that he can do as his wishes with no-one recognising him, 'Enough, then, that I not only recognised my natural body for the mere aura and effulgence of certain of the powers that made up my spirit.' Because of the way in which the characters reacted when confronted by Hyde, Jekyll gains a compelling feeling of power as he realises that there is no-one else like Hyde. This clearly shows a motive in which Jekyll continues to tamper with the unknown, and Jekyll is also aware of why people shrink instantly away from Hyde. Jekyll feels people form such a loathe for Hyde because everyone in mankind is 'truly two' being half good, and half evil, so therefore it takes time to know these two sides before judgement. However Hyde is unique in that he is pure evil, so people can immediately judge him, 'this, as I take it, was because all human beings, as we meet them are commingled of good and evil, and Edward Hyde alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.' This gives a clear impression to the reader that evil can be judged quickly and people are often able to instantly recognise it, hence why they all find Hyde 'downright detestable.' ...read more.


This provided the stem to which he thought up the setting of where evil lurks in his own novel. 'Utterson thought he had never seen that part of London so deserted,' building up a feel that 'something is seriously amiss,' the setting adding tension to the novel. Stevenson describes the weather as 'a great chocolate-coloured pall lowered over heaven.' The reader would associate a 'pall' with funerals and coffins, creating a very sombre mood, and enhances the effect and mood evil creates as the reader begins to understand the depressed and grave status of evil. In conclusion, Stevenson has used a number of techniques to convey to his readers the concept of evil. Not only the character of Mr Hyde accomplishes this and the characters forceful reactions to him, but the 'deserted' setting described and the 'square full of wind and dust,' which describes the eerie weather. All these factors help to add a sombre mood when reading the novel and helps the reader to set a mood which is realistic idea of the corrupt, giving a strong feeling of evil. Stevenson, I feel by showing such consequences of murder by tampering with evil, wants to show his reader the power and seriousness of meddling with the unknown, clearly showing he disagrees with tampering with nature. Evil in this novel is shown to be malicious, dangerous, yet exciting initially. By using characters of such varying character traits and different morals, I feel Stevenson is trying to make the point that there is evil in everyone, as everyone has two sides, however some are not content with this and feel the need to explore the unknown and meddle with the mystery of evil. ?? ?? ?? ?? Florence Swann Page 1 ...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. Discuss how Stevenson, through the themes, language and setting, creates a world of double ...

    shutters, well polished brasses and general cleanliness" The back door which Jekylls evil side, Hyde, used to enter the house was described as: "The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained." This reinforces the doubled nature of Jekyll.

  2. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    As this quote conveys, Stevenson has written about how someone can be addicted to drugs. It shows that even someone of high stature can become addicted, in this case Dr Jekyll. Jekyll is addicted to how he can do what he wants as Mr Hyde, without losing any of his

  1. How does Stevenson create an atmosphere of mystery and suspense yet at the same ...

    Enfield collared the man before he could get away, and then brought him back to the girl, around whom an angry crowd had gathered. The resident's immediate reaction was of shock and horror. The woman in particular, whom Stevenson had described ''as wild as harpies'', had responded in the same

  2. How does Stevenson explore the theme of duality in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

    This constant fear and flight to stop Jekyll is what Stevenson shows when Poole and Utterson discover the dead body of Jekyll but in the form of Hyde who tried but failed to repear and stop Jekyll: '...Right in the middle there lay the body of a man sorely contorted and still twitching.

  1. How did Stevenson create horror and tension around the character of Hyde?

    He uses repetition; the nightmare repeats itself, haunting Utterson. He also makes the sentences long, giving the illusion of a never-ending nightmare that Utterson was unable to escape from. Throughout the dream Utterson never sees Hyde's face. This gives the effect of Hyde being a stranger and therefore highlighting Mr Enfield's vulnerability.

  2. jekyll and hyde

    By day he was the respectable councilman that was well-mannered and civilized, but by night he altered into the reflection of his desires within and committed countless robberies to fulfil his needs. This character is familiarly similar to Dr Jekyll as he reacts in the same way as Brodie, within

  1. Discuss Stevensons portrayal of the nature of good and evil and the dual nature ...

    In Christianity, and Calvinism, the Devil is both feared and yet paradoxically respected. His fundamentalist Nanny would have taught him of the threat of the Devil and also of the reason why the Devil was cast into Heaven (most prominently for failing to understand that he was created by God (that he had a dual nature)).

  2. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    he ?conceals his pleasures? for the reason that the position he has earned in society and his reputation, depend on it. Jekyll learns that ?man is not truly one, but truly two?. Based on this theory, Jekyll researches and develops a potion that could allow him to try and split

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