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What view of human nature does Stevenson present in the The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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Introduction

What view of human nature does Stevenson present in the novella 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'? 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' is a novella that was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in the late Victorian period. It was published in 1886. The novella tells the story of a prominent doctor (Dr. Jekyll) who conducts a scientific experiment in which he compounds a certain mixture. He consumes this and transforms into an ugly, repulsive creature (Mr. Hyde), representing the pure evil that exists within him When this book was published it caused a lot of controversy as Mr Hyde resembled an ape-like human. This scared a lot of the Victorian people as Darwin had just published his book on human evolution saying we are descendents from apes, so it made people rather anxious. It was because nearly everyone believed in God and they had never heard such a thing so it came as a shock. Not only that but, this was around the time of 'Jack the Ripper'. He was a mass murderer that killed prostitutes in the Soho area of London without ever getting caught. ...read more.

Middle

This could mean he has been doing something bad which no one knows about. This links in with human nature as he could be up to no good and he's not telling anyone about it, which does happen in everyday life. There are also a handful of minor characters in the novel. One of the minor characters is the MP Sir Danvers Carew. He is a well known MP who gives off a sense of innocence. When Mr Hyde murders him, it makes it seem much worse than it actually is. This is because Sir Danvers is a really old, gentle, loveable person who hasn't done anything to deserve getting killed off. I also think it shows that Hyde's getting stronger and taking over Jekyll. Another minor character is the police officer. The police officer is a greedy character who is only bothered about himself. After he finds out that Sir Danvers Carew has been murdered he all of a sudden becomes interested. It quotes "his eye lighted up with professional ambition". All he is bothered about is getting the credit for solving this case as he wants to be well known and thought of. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also could relate it to life in London as some areas such as Soho were in decay. London had just undergone a period of darkness at this time and this book in a way told the story of what it was like to be on the streets. In my opinion Stevenson believed that it doesn't matter who you are or what you've done you always have a good side and a bad side. Even the nicest of people have bad sides. Throughout the novel he shows this by secretly hiding in how he describes and write things. One example is the door. The tattered and scruffy door which stands in the middle of a beautiful street is basically giving us the message. That is human nature. In a way I still think that this novel has influences on society today. For example people with split personalities and people with schizophrenia. These are both examples of like a 'Jekyll and Hyde' scenario as they are the same person but are completely different at times and don't always remember who they are. There are also steroids which I think this relates back to the idea of 'Jekyll and Hyde'. People who take steroids generally get more aggressive at times and start to change into a 'Hyde' like character. ...read more.

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