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Why Does the Story of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde both Fascinate and Appal The Victorian Audience?

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Introduction

Why Does the Story of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde both Fascinate and Appal The Victorian Audience? The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written by an author called Robert Louis Stevenson. It was written in 1886 in the heart of the Victorian era, a religious yet progressive time with great advances in engineering and science, for example in railways and in architecture. Robert Louis Stevenson (November 13th, 1850 - December 3rd 1894) was born and raised in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. As he got older he became a great admirer of the man Deacon Brody and the novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was inspired by the life of Mr Deacon Brody himself. Deacon Brody was also Scottish man, and a highly respected one at that. He was not only a well-known carpenter but also a high member of the Edinburgh council and led a very respectable life, or at least that is what people thought. To very few people's knowledge, Deacon Brody also led a second life, away from the one everyone knew him by. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the story Jekyll slowly becomes addicted to the transformation drug and then his addiction gets worse. He started in full control, then started to lose slight control and ended up having no control over Mr Hyde whatsoever. For example, he says, "I had gone to bed Henry Jekyll and awakened Edward Hyde" showing that he has began to lose control. Then as conditions got worse, it sadly ends in death due to the addiction, to the Victorian audiences' great surprise. It says, "A man sorely contorted and still twitching, the cords of his face, still moving with the semblance of life, but life was quite gone". The novel has a theory-like message about the duality of man which is closely related to the split personality of man. It says, "that man is not truly one but truly two". In this case this phrase is explaining and describing how the two are Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Jekyll being the good side and Hyde being the evil one. This would be both shocking and fascinating for Victorian society, because they were very much concerned with appearances and would not want to acknowledge the seedier side of human nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

Now Lanyon I believe was shown to be a genuine member of the Victorian society, giving the Victorian audience a character they could relate to. If any member of the society then had seen Jekyll lying dead having changed and aged so quickly then they would have been horrified, which is exactly how Lanyon felt when this happened. "Lanyon was shaken to his roots." The audiences in the Victorian day were also totally appalled by the fact Dr Jekyll tried to invent a "potion" that he could simply drink and as a result of this make himself change into some kind of horrific creature. What made things worse was that some people did actually believe that it was possible, as there had been many major advances in engineering and science. To conclude, the novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde both fascinated and appalled the Victorian audience because its choice of subject matter was not only shocking through it's storyline but also in the way in which it was told. Furthermore it made readers acknowledge the existence of a less attractive side of human nature, which was at the same time revolting yet intriguing. ?? ?? ?? ?? Phil Danglidis ...read more.

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