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

What views of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'

Extracts from this document...


What views of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'? The purpose of this essay is to consider the different views of human nature that Stevenson presents in his book: 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. The main character has a split personality, where one is the opposite of the other. Stevenson believes that evil is just as much a part of the human personality as good is, and this essay will analyse just how his views are revealed in his novel. It will also show the conflict of good and evil throughout the whole book, and how Stevenson's background and other factors may have influences how he portrayed it. Stevenson lived and grew up in Edinburgh, therefore in the novel, his references are vary vague, for example: 'not far from the river', or just totally made up, for example Gaunt Street. However some real names are mentioned, like Soho or Cavendish Square. One story that Stevenson would have heard in his childhood in Edinburgh is the story of Deacon Brodie, a cabinetmaker by day and a criminal by night. ...read more.


This could be the reason why Hyde has 'something wrong with his appearance'. Jekyll feels trapped inside a world full of boundaries, so he gets addicted to the potion that enables him to turn into Hyde. Jekyll feels liberated and calms him hunger for freedom, while Hyde goes around killing and hurting people. We see the Then the inner struggle (dichotomy) appears. We see this when Mr Hyde has 'trampled' over a little girl, or when he killed Sir Danvers Carew. 'Henry Jekyll stood at times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde... grasp of conscience... his good qualities seemed unimpaired he would even make haste... to undo the evil done by Hyde' Jekyll has to face a hard decision: good or evil? He is torn apart as good is 'the right thing', while evil is the thing that feels good and is effective. The above quote shows us just how torn apart he is, as he feels dreadfully guilty, yet he carries on taking the potion. I think that Stevenson used Hyde to represent the heavily primitive side of the human personality, yet he also used other characters, as there are more demonstrations of a primitive conduct. ...read more.


Also, it symbolises good and evil living side by side, as the north and the south are cut in half by the river Thames. The whole of London could symbolise the human personality, because the north could be the good side, and the south could be the evil side, and the river Thames could be there the boundary between good and evil is. 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. This is like all those people with a reputation that are pretending to be someone they are not. In the 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', Stevenson presents the human nature that he believes everybody has: good and evil together, He uses everything possible to create the atmosphere of duality, secret, and crime. I think Stevenson is telling his readers not to hide who you really are, yet not to totally forget about one side of the human personality. You should be just like the river Thames: just weaving through the middle. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katarzyna Lakus Page 1 5/9/2007 ...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. What view of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel "The strange case ...

    In Victorian time women were regarded as second-class citizens and it was a time of sexual repression, which is why there are no female protagonists in the novel. In the novel Stevenson refers to women as "wild as harpies". Robert Louis Stevenson explores the dual nature of Victorian men, and his link with an age of hypocrisy.

  2. How Stevenson uses his techniques as a writer to present character and atmosphere in ...

    This atmosphere is one of controlled suspense. A gradual building up of a sense of horror and destruction is achieved through a slow building of unemotional detail, which begins in this chapter. There are two main character presented to us in the first chapter.

  1. How does Stevenson Present Good and Evil in "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll ...

    The idea of evil hiding behind a mask is also portrayed by Stevenson in the novel. He represents this idea by using the two main protagonists in the novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. We see Dr Jekyll using Mr Hyde as a mask to hide himself away from society

  2. "Man is not truly one, but truly two" - A discussion on how this ...

    Another issue that surprises and puzzles the unsuspecting audience is the fact that all his possessions were to pass into the hands of his 'friend and benefactor, Edward Hyde.' This adds to the unfathomable enigma of Jekyll. Hyde, who as the reader know to be Jekyll's 'dark side', is a rather diverse character altogether.

  1. How does Stevenson present the conflict between good and evil in Dr Jekyll and ...

    Rather, we experience the tale with Utterson first, and then are filled in on events that happened previously by Lanyon, and finally told all that had happened by Jekyll, starting from long before we were first introduced into the plot.

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

    He wanted the audience to realise that everyone, regardless of social stature, finance or credibility, had the potential to be evil. Yet, in his novella, Stevenson almost determines that there is no real definition of "good and evil". The human body is a complex machine and, like a snowflake, the human body changes with each individual.

  1. 'How does the Author, Robert Louis Stevenson, present Victorian attitudes to the nature of ...

    Hyde as we see is capable of huge crimes and injustice, such as brutally murdering a leading MP, and we interpret that Jekyll would not do anything as inhuman. At first Jekyll turns into Hyde after drinking his potion, does his evil actions, drinks his potion, becomes Jekyll, back in his normal state, a respectful gentleman.

  2. What view of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel, The Strange Case ...

    Stevenson wrote the novel in the Victorian period. He probably chose to set his novel in London because at the time this was the most important city where all classes of society lived. Therefore this enabled Stevenson to create Hyde and Jekyll living in two dissimilar societies such as the poor, Soho area and the wealthy, respectable area.

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