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GCSE: Robert Louis Stevenson

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 7
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  1. How does Stevenson Discuss and Reflect Victorian Society and Culture in the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

    Soho was a haven for drug dealers, drug users, prostitutes, all types of crime and very poor people. This is reflective of a common situation that was seen in the late eighteen hundreds. It would have been a shocking and unthought-of of idea to discuss this concept openly at the time the book was written, however, as it would make those who carried out deviant acts feel scrutinised and less safe. As if their secret was being made public. This is a very innovative and original reflection of a Victorian situation that was commonplace yet underground. We see more of this social situation when Jekyll himself explains that, as Hyde, he could perform acts that in his normal form he could not.

    • Word count: 2509
  2. GCSE Jekyll and Hyde Essay

    but managed to compound a drug by which these powers should be dethroned from their supremacy...' By taking this drug, he becomes Edward Hyde, a being that represents all the evil Jekyll possesses, '... and the thing that was projected was Edward Hyde.' Hyde is pure evil and sends shivers up the spines of everybody he comes across, 'I never saw a man I so disliked.' As readers, we obviously respond to Jekyll and Hyde in totally different ways. We warm to Jekyll as he is described as, 'A smooth-faced man of fifty...' The word 'smooth' has a comforting, lulling sound to it and gives the reader the impression that Jekyll is a friendly, peace-loving man.

    • Word count: 2467
  3. Jekyll and Hyde

    Gothic Horror was a major genre used in writing and theatre in the Victorian era. The Gothic Horror genre was inspired by a supernatural doppelganger effect used to demonstrate the dual personality of a character. The Gothic Horror genre in the Victorian era related scientific elements as the cause of supernatural characteristics. The novel The Stranger Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is an example of the doppelganger being triggered by a scientific element in the story. In the story Dr Jekyll a well known, respected and prosperous doctor and scientists who is engrossed by his studies of experimenting on animal behaviour, aims to do good by finding a cure for evil.

    • Word count: 2869
  4. How does Stevenson create the atmosphere of suspense, horror and mystery in the first two chapters of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde?

    The reader is not ready for an act of suspense, especially in such a calm environment. Consequently when it comes it creates a surprised response, therefore is all the more unexpected. Stevenson creates suspense, as just as the reader is about to read on expecting an ordinary walk through town, 'a certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street'. Stevenson uses the word 'sinister' to describe the house. Immediately the reader is surprised as this 'sinister' house doesn't seem to fit in with the original description of the street, since it gives the impression of evil.

    • Word count: 2062
  5. Explore the ways in which Stevenson uses setting to enhance the readers understanding of character in Jekyll and Hyde.

    The full of life, happy street leads the reader to believe that this description describes some of the characters personalities, good etc. The atmosphere created by the thriving street is an inviting one, welcoming anyone to visit. However in contrast to the bright welcoming street is the "sinister block of building" at the end of the street. The way it is describes give the impression that the building is shrouded in darkness and holds many secrets. The description of the building builds up tension of something terrible that either happens early on in the story or at a later point, "discoloured wall...showed no window...marks of prolonged and sordid negligence...blistered and distained".

    • Word count: 2074
  6. How Far Is The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde(TM) A Study Of Human Nature

    Also Jekyll by day was a respected doctor but at night when he drank his potion he went mad and killed innocent people much like 'Jack the Ripper' was suspected to be a doctor the way he professionally mutilated his victims. This book shows an interpenetration of human nature between two alter-egos. In the initial descriptions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde given to us by Stevenson it is instantly oblivious who is the bad half and who is the good half.

    • Word count: 2208
  7. Jekyll and Hyde, Evil

    Stevenson uses Hyde to explore the concept of good and evil in many ways including their physical appearance. The physical differences between the two are a metaphor for what happens when the Victorians took drugs; Hyde is mentioned to be comparatively younger than Jekyll, certainly wilder, and completely care free - "liberty, the comparative youth, the light step, leaping impulses and secret pleasures;" This quote implies a whimsical sense to Hyde; however, from other descriptions of Hyde, the audience know this is far from the truth. Drugs were at the forefront of the Victorians' minds, not only due to their recreational value, but also within the many medical breakthroughs of the time.

    • Word count: 2012
  8. How does Stevenson explore the theme of duality in the novella 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and how does this reflect the time in which it was written?

    Some of the other themes in the novella also reflected Victorian society. The secrecy and hypocrisy shown throughout the story are as relevant now as they were at the time, which may account for why the novella is still read with interest. There are also many biblical parallels, particularly relating to the devil, which reflects the strong religious beliefs held by the Victorians. Part of the power of the novella is given through its narration. The chapters are narrated mainly by Mr Utterson, a lawyer, with the final two as documents - a letter and a statement - from Dr Lanyon and Dr Jekyll, two scientists.

    • Word count: 2862
  9. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Enfield states he was 'coming home from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock'. His statement shows us that although he may be respected in the public eye, he still takes improper excursions which are unknown by others, apart from those he tells. The main secret that is kept from us is the true identity of Mr. Hyde. It is often said that he is 'not easy to describe', but he is said to be ape like or an un-evolved form of man. A similar thought to this was of Charles Darwin, who, lived during the same era.

    • Word count: 2593
  10. Edwards Hyde

    This irregularity is created to correspond to real life. The fact that "man is not truly one, but truly two" as represented in this novella means that all human beings have a good part in them as well as a bad one. Mr Hyde symbolizes this for he incarnates the evil side of Dr Jekyll, and thus his secondary personality. The gothic dimension of this novella is also present in the atmosphere around Hyde. Stevenson's use of pathetic fallacy serves to create an "atmosphere of evil", a very effective way of creating a dark atmosphere whenever Hyde is present, in keeping with his character and acts.

    • Word count: 2142
  11. How does Stevenson create mystery and suspense in the opening 8 chapters of ;The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'? How are we given clues as to the identity of Hyde?

    He is introduced with great care and detail to portray him as a trustworthy man-"the last good influence in the lives of downgoing men" to the reader. After all, who wouldn't trust a quiet renowned and respected lawyer? His thoughts being put into our minds lead us to see the story unravel as he does and make the same-unfortunately incorrect- assumptions as he does. In fact, all the characters are introduced very quickly, with the first chapter being entitiled'Story of the Door'.

    • Word count: 2502
  12. How does Stevenson build up tension in 'Dr Jekyll'.

    'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' incorporates the mystery and horror genres to satisfy its audience. These genres are used as a springboard which allows Stevenson to successfully build tension, using a number of techniques including pathetic fallacy, thought provoking themes, terrifying characters and an uneasy atmosphere. People's curiosity and apprehension is now, as it was when this Victorian novella was first written, aroused and maintained from the very first pages. Stevenson uses long, descriptive sentences with many intriguing and evocative adjectives.

    • Word count: 2401
  13. If 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' intrigues us as a window into the Victorian World, it is also a brilliantly crafted story.

    This is much like 'Dracula', where the entire book consists of pretend diary entries, letters and other such documents, although Stevenson merely incorporates these things into the story as opposed to creating the book with them. There are different accounts in the story besides the main character and narrator's, almost like a set of eye witness statements, which bestows it the realism which sets Stevenson's 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' part from all others. Stevenson uses a very particular character for his choice of narrator of his story, the respectable lawyer Mr.

    • Word count: 2500
  14. Dr Jeykll and Mr Hyde. The Duality Theme

    The second influence he had was where he grew up. He was born in Edinburgh. Edinburgh had two sides to it; one the extremely respectable and highly religious, the other represented brothels and shadiness. This idea of good and evil strengthened his fascination about duality... Respectability and reputation were very important factors to consider in the Victorian society. The Victorian society was very strongly divided into classes, with the aristocracy having the highest value of respect. The split personality of Jekyll and Hyde symbolises the splits in Victorian society, as revealed by the divided classes in the Victorian society.

    • Word count: 2213
  15. Explore Stevensons presentation of evil in the novel 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'

    This is closely linked to Jekyll not telling anyone about his double life and split personality. In university he led a double life, his life that his parents believed he led a strict and respected one compared to a hidden life of a poor, strange, evil boy. He was a lot like Edinburgh as it was in two parts. The old, dark, dangerous side and the modern, neat, respected side. This links with the novel because Jekyll is a neat and respected man whereas Hyde is an evil and dirty man.

    • Word count: 2049
  16. Duality of Jekyll and Hyde

    "These polar twins... continuously struggling", describes the duality fighting in Jekyll mind before he split himself. The "polar twins" is cleverly used and the two poles (Arctic and Antarctic) are on two different sides of the world, in two different hemispheres of the earth. This could be that the poles are so far apart, but similar in climate, so closer than they might think, as is the case for the 2 sides of Jekyll, and each is struggling to gain power over the other.

    • Word count: 2132
  17. Jekyll and Hyde

    They went out at night and through dark alleys to experience what went on in the other half of the city. Here, among the dim lit alleyways and under the protection of darkness, the upper class were frequently involved in such illicit activities as gambling, prostitution, brawling, heavy drinking and opium taking. They wanted both to break from the restraining shackles of society and to experience the thrill of something dangerous that was shunned by the tight morals that governed the upper class.

    • Word count: 2733
  18. Stevenson claimed that the inspiration of 'The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' was a 'fine bogey tale'. To what extent do you believe it to be a mere horror story?

    Science is also used as almost 'modern' magic, as another classic trait of horror is the presence of supernatural elements. This use of science to create a supernatural element is made clear in the line '...the course of my scientific discoveries had began to suggest the most naked possibilities of such a miracle...' The use of the word 'scientific' makes it clear that within the confines of the novel science is seen as the new magic. This is due to the word 'miracle' later on, as science would have to have supernatural powers to cause a miracle; one wouldn't expect a miracle to be caused by natural means, as it would defy the meaning of the word.

    • Word count: 2798
  19. Dr Jekyll Me Hyde

    He believed that mankind originated from apes. He also believed that there was two parts to human nature. Stevenson took this to an extreme when he introduced the character 'Hyde'. Although there isn't an exact description of Hyde's appearance, Enfield did say in the first chapter "He is not easy to describe, there is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable", "and he must be deformed somewhere". This quote is the best to show the beastliness of Hyde.

    • Word count: 2444
  20. How good and evil is presented in Dr jeykle and mr Hyde

    This then influenced him to write the novel Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson had many different influences that helped him write Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Including Darwin's theory of human evolving from apes. Stevenson was intrigued by the fact that humans may have originated from animals. However many other people in the 19th century lacked enthusiasm for Darwin's theory? They believed that god created humans. This is because this was a very religious time. Stevenson believed that if every human evolved from apes that we all must have "animal in stinks" within us.

    • Word count: 2648
  21. Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde

    He came up with an idea of humans possibly could have shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees. This theory increasingly spread, however was rejected as it came in conflict with the creation of Adam and Eve which is in the bible. This era was a turning point in the British history because inventions were being introduced, industrial revolution had begun and gothic horror was rapidly being believed. The story was popular when written at the time because there were all these ideas of evolution and gothic literature which were being believed quickly and therefore caught people's interest.

    • Word count: 2218
  22. Prose Study Coursework

    This creates the effect on the reader of sadness, as they really feel for Jim, as he is trapped on the island with those monsters. Jim also gives away hints towards the future events of Treasure Island when he says 'my heart sank' when he realises what he has done in sneaking ashore with the pirates away from people he knows he can trust and this shows his disappointment. Jims downbeat mood portrays a bad effect to the reader, and they start to feel for Jim, as bad things obviously loom later in the novel, for instance, the planned mutiny

    • Word count: 2366
  23. The role of the first chapter of 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', as with the first chapter of any novel, is to capture the reader's interest. This is vital, so that they are captivated enough to continue with the novel.

    At the same time, Froid was investigating the theory of dreams, another timeless question. After hypnotising his clients, he concluded that people's dreams revealed their subconscious thoughts, their true desires. This view was indeed supported by Stevenson's own confession that in dreams, his "sins are strangely attractive". Living in Edinburgh would no doubt have affected Stevenson too, especially as the city was now split into the New Town and the Old Town, or the informal good/evil split. Edinburgh was now a town of secrets, and the influential Old Town where Stevenson spent much of his time was clearly the idea behind Jekyll's street in Stevenson's novel.

    • Word count: 2398
  24. Jekyll and Hyde

    Jekyll believed that man was made up of 2 personalities, one good and evil. This is clear in the text when Jekyll explains, 'That man is not truly one, but truly two'. He had a large interest in the duality of nature. He believed he could split everyone's two personalities into two different people. Jekyll was excited by the idea of separating the two identities. This is apparent when he says ' I had learned to dwell with the pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements' he thought that by separating the two

    • Word count: 2912
  25. The evaluation of tension, horror and mystery in chapters 1 and 2 of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    The book says they do this regularly. That brings us back to mysterious-Mr-Utterson. Why does he have such a dark personality? And why is he so unexplained? The first mystery this book has to offer. The next is the door. While on this walk with his distant kinsman (named Mr Richard Enfield) Utterson and his friend come across the door (the door we now know as Mr Hyde's). Stevenson uses phrases such as, "a certain sinister block of building," and,"sordid negligence."

    • Word count: 2378

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • To what extent does the novella

    "In conclusion, the book often compares things to having a good or evil side, even in the imagery of simple objects. There are strong connections to each person containing a good and evil side, which I believe Stevenson fully thought. I also believe that a person has a good and evil parts, it just depends on which path you choose to follow in your life."

  • Analyse how Stevenson uses settingatmosphere and characters to help the reader interprete a sense of danger,threat and horror.

    "Dr. Jekyll in his will leave all of his possessions to Hyde in the strange case of his disappearance. The readers are truly mystified to find that a highly thought of person such as Jekyll wishes to leave all of his possessions to such a horrible person such as Hyde. I found that the part of the story containing the most suspense was when Jekyll had locked himself in his room. Stevenson describes what goes on in this extract. But the words were hardly uttered, before the smile was struck out of his face and succeeded by an expression of such abject terror and despair, as froze the very blood of the two gentlemen below. They saw it but for a glimpse, for the window was instantly thrust down; but that glimpse, had been sufficient, and they turned and left the court without a word. In silence, too they traversed the by street; and it was not until they had come into a neighbouring thoroughfare, where even upon a Sunday there were still some stirrings of life, that Mr Utterson at last turned and looked at his companion. They were both pale; and there was an answering horror in their eyes God forgive us! God forgive us!"

  • Discuss Stevensons presentation of the charchacter of Mr Hyde in the novel

    "In conclusion, I think that Hyde has been portrayed to be the pure evil of Victorian times and that Robert Louis Stevenson was really writing about the battle between good and evil. For example the times all through the book when Jekyll has had to clear up after Hyde's mess (trampling the child was covered up with a cheque) is like the Victorians having to clear up after mistakes in their society and lives. Another example is Hyde being scared that Jekyll could stop him from living, which is saying that in the end good has more power over evil. In the book there is also an element of pity towards Hyde, as if he is the misunderstood character, but I suppose this pity for him could be a trap and in the end you will never see any real good out of him, this is along the lines of what Jekyll said in the final chapter. In this book, Stevenson has focused on Juxtaposition (opposites) and Jekyll and Hyde's battle with each other is a metaphor of this. This book was a horror novel in Victorian times, and rightly so, with their obsession with hell and "Jack the Ripper" still roaming the streets this novel gave them even more reason to fear God and the evils that surround them."

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