• 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

    Obviously, Stevenson believes that there may be a dual nature to everyone and the second-side is beneath the surface. In Jekyll's account he says, 'Jekyll was now my city of refuge.' At the end of the book, Stevenson includes this to show that despite the physical appearance of the character being Jekyll, Hyde is lurking within.

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

    It explains to Mr Utterson why Dr Lanyon was given a mysterious letter from Dr Jekyll. The letter requested him to break into one of Jekyll's cupboards and take home all the contents of a certain drawer and that someone would come to collect them from Mr Lanyon at midnight.

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

    This whole scene has been personified; the fog almost appearing like a creature battling with the wind that was aggressively attempting to drive it away. This scene is suitably supernatural; Utterson describes it as "a district of some city in a nightmare."

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

    solution to everything that's happening; as being shut away, locked behind the mysterious red door, like a stop to everything because Hyde is nowhere to be seen. When Utterson visits him he sees the mans appearance has much changed, and his house has a dinginess and eeriness about it, certainly not 'homely'.

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

    So Utterson and Mr Hyde have similarities in their emotions. I can understand if Mr Utterson is said to be the 'opposite' of Mr Hyde as he represents 'good' and Mr Hyde represents 'evil.' But I still feel that Mr Utterson isn't free of evil, I expect he has a lot in common with Mr Hyde than he expects.

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

    Utterson suggests that Jekyll may have some disease that changes his voice and deforms his features, making them unrecognizable, but Poole declares that the person he saw was smaller than his master and looked, in fact, like none other than Mr.

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

    in getting to the bottom of this and to find out what the relationship is between Dr. Jekyll and this monster Hyde. I could sense there was a steady build up of horror. I later found out a connection between Jekyll and Hyde.

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

    Nevertheless, there are hints within the novel to direct the reader onto unravelling the secrets. When a character is describing Hyde all they seem to say is that he is deformed ?must be deformed somewhere?. This tells the reader that the characters are terrified of Hyde.

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