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What view of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel: 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'

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Introduction

What view of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel: 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'? Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the novel of 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. He was brought up in Edinburgh in the Victorian Era, and his references to places in London are very vague or inexact. He has a strict Calvinist upbringing, although he eventually rebelled against the Calvinist beliefs of his father, and the themes of good and evil can be easily found the novel. When Stevenson was a child, he would have been familiar with the story of Deacon Brodie, who was a cabinet maker by day and a criminal by night. This story may well have affected how a double life is portrayed in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Stevenson held strong beliefs of good and evil conduct, and he believed that evil was just as much part of human nature as good was. At the time the story was published in 1885, people found it shocking, but it was an immerse success. ...read more.

Middle

Notice how their names are phonetically linked to two completely different images: Jekyll is linked to jackal (a cute furry animal), while Hyde is linked the to word hide (this could symbolise Hyde hiding under the blanket of London, fog and mystery). The behaviour of My Enfield and Mr Utterson tell us a lot about human nature because they are a living example of how people are really evil, but try to conceal it. In the incident of when Hyde trampled over the girl, Enfield blackmailed Hyde: money in exchange for not blowing the incident out of proportion and handing him over to the police, when Enfield himself had been returning from 'some place at the end of the world', a place that would ruin his reputation forever if anyone found out, therefore Enfield had no right to blackmail Hyde. In the Victorian Era reputation was the most important thing for a man, and a man without one was worthless. People were willing to do anything to save their reputation from being shattered. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main reason however, was that nobody cared about anyone else. London is also used as on immense metaphor as the River Thames was used as a dumping ground for among other things human waste, and as it runs through the centre of London, it can symbolise the foul elements within the whole book. The Victorians were infatuated with death, black, ghosts, mourning and spiritualism, although they did not admit to it and acted as if they were fascinated with fairies and the kind. Death was the influence of ghost stories, which is why books like 'Dracula' and 'Frankenstein' were published. Jack the Ripper was also dominant then, and he influenced the book about Sherlock Holmes and more crime novels and realistic case studies. One of the founding fathers of spiritualism was Arthur Conan Doyle who was a great writer. In conclusion: The views of Stevenson on human nature in the book 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' are one of primitiveness, evil and the dark side of human nature. It shows the inner struggle of good and evil, and how dominant evil is no matter how much people try to suppress it. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kasia Lakus Page 1 09/05/2007 ...read more.

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