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

What was Stevenson's view of human nature as portrayed in the novel "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What was Stevenson's view of human nature as portrayed in the novel "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?" In this essay, I am going to look at Robert Louis Stevenson's view of human nature as portrayed in the novel. "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". Stevenson thought that human nature consisted of good and evil in conflict inside a person. He believed that everyone had a good and bad side. Jekyll and Hyde was written in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is set in Victorian London. At this time people were concerned with appearing respectable so they were very keen on morals and manners. Society was divided into social classes. According to Darwin's theory of evolution, the upper classes were most highly evolved and they believed they were "naturally" superior to others and that the lower classes couldn't help some of their less respectable behaviour, such as drinking in pubs or taking opium. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a short novel. In the first part of the book it is written in short chapters, in the third person, from the point of view of Dr Jekyll's friend, the lawyer Mr Utterson. ...read more.

Middle

To his surprise the cheque was genuine Enfield felt that the little man must be blackmailing his friend. Enfield has since seen the little man go in and out of that door several times, but no one else. The man's name was Mr Hyde. Enfield and Utterson both know that the door leads to the back of the house. They both agree to never mention it again. Chapter 2 is the "Search for Mr Hyde". Mr Utterson returns home, feeling troubled. He took out a copy of a will his friend Dr Jekyll had left in his care. Dr Jekyll stated that in the event of his "disappearance or unexplained absence" Mr Hyde would take over all of Dr Jekyll's affairs. Mr Utterson did not like this will especially as he didn't know who Mr Hyde was. Enfield was now more convinced that Dr Jekyll had done something that Mr Hyde was blackmailing him over. He decided to contact a mutual friend of his and Dr Jekyll's called, Dr Lanyon. Dr Lanyon explained that he had had very little to do with Jekyll for over ten years because he had been coming out with some scientific theories that Lanyon felt were complete rubbish, but Lanyon had never heard of Mr Hyde. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stevenson presents Mr Hyde as being small, ugly and somehow primitive. At the time that Stevenson wrote Jekyll and Hyde, Darwin's theory of evolution had been recently published. So Stevenson is implying that Jekyll's evil side is more primitive and less evolved. Jekyll reveals in his full statement that "man is not truly one but truly two". Mr Hyde had no feelings of guilt or remorse at trampling a young child; only fear of discovery. When we look at Stevenson's own views about good and bad in society, we begin to understand some of the conflict we see in the Jekyll/Hyde character it is clear that it is nothing to do with nice Dr Jekyll, it was Mr Hyde's entire evil fault. Stevenson uses Jekyll/Hyde as a device to show that good versus evil is part of he inner man for all of us. The story shows what happens when the evil side becomes the stronger - when Dr Jekyll wakes up still as Mr Hyde - unable to return to his normal self as events spiral out of control. This theme of good and evil continues to constantly interest and intrigue people today. ...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. GCSE Jekyll and Hyde Essay

    It helps the reader to understand how Stevenson's concept works. It is not just the people that have split personalities, however, places and objects can have dual natures in this novella. For example, the areas of Jekyll's house where he accepts his guests are comfortable and very homely.

  2. How does Stevenson create intrigue in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    the night and good roams the day" is definitely supported by the two passages giving examples of how the settings creates a sense of intrigue. This can be elaborated, because during the novel all of the bad, evil and mysterious deeds such as the girl being trampled, the murder of

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

    This works well as it opposes the gender roles in society. One of the most effective tools Stevenson uses is the weather. The first instance of this is during Hyde's first appearance; it takes place in early morning where everywhere is eerily quiet and dark.

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

    In contrast to this description, however, Hyde's behaviour towards Utterson, initially, was extremely civil. The language Stevenson uses is very descriptive and creates a realistic picture of the city which is passionate yet powerful. A definitive detail of the night I have picked out like the 'the great field of

  1. The Strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde - letter

    I later compared examples of Hyde and Jekyll's handwriting only to notice the remarkable similarity which lead to further more confusion. I now know there is definitely a connection as Hyde was witnessed going through Jekyll's back door and also the similar handwriting.

  2. How does Stevenson create mystery and suspense in the opening 8 chapters of ;The ...

    the second chapter we get to meet him- a great build of suspense as we are eager to find out for ourselves if he is as 'hellish' as he is said to be. The description of him doesn't disappoint, and Stevenson doesn't concentrate much on his physical attributes, but the

  1. How does Stevenson Discuss and Reflect Victorian Society and Culture in the Strange Case ...

    He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong sense of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point. He's an extraordinary-looking man, and yet I really can name nothing out of the way. No, sir; I can make no hand of it; I can't describe him.

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

    The description of Hyde?s door gives the reader an understanding of the characteristics of Hyde. Hyde?s door is the opposite of Jekyll?s house which is described as beautiful ?The hall?was brightly lighted up?. With these themes Stevenson tries to convey that secrecy, dual nature of man and hypocrisy are a part oh human nature.

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