Evaluate Stevenson's depiction of the murder of Sir Danvers Carew

Authors Avatar
Prose Study:

Evaluate Stevenson's depiction of the murder of Sir Danvers Carew

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the novel "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde." The novel is set in the society of Victorian London and was written in 1886. The story tells of a middle-class respectable man, who's profession as a scientist one day leads him to experiment with a potion in his laboratory. He does this due to the fact that he is living in a society where he is seen to be highly respectable and where individuals have only one personality, i.e. being good. This potion goes wrong, resulting in a personality splitting into two opposite directions, one being evil and the other being good, causing horrific situations and terrible events like murders. The scene in which Carew is murdered is a very important scene as it is a turning point in the novel. It is the first major crime that Hyde has committed, and so it makes the reader wonder whether the mystery is finally going to be revealed as he has committed a serious crime and there is no way that he can escape. In this scene, Stevenson utilizes a range of different devices and techniques to add efficacy to the scene and the novel.

The scene starts off with a strong first sentence. Stevenson uses the first sentence to grab the reader's attention and to make them want to read on and know what is actually going to happen that is so momentous. The reader gets the idea of momentous because Stevenson uses the words "London was startled," this emphasises that this "crime of singular ferocity," effected the whole of London, not just one or two people. Another purpose of this first sentence is to prepare the reader for what they are going to read next. This is efficacious as using words like "rendered" and "high position of the victim," makes the reader feel that we know that something really really horrendous and dreadful is about to happen, which makes the reader want to definitely read on.
Join now!

The reader is also made to notice another one of Stevenson's techniques as he helps the reader to see things from the house-maid's point of view and through her eyes. The reader is able to become aware that the maid is looking out of the window, the maid is feeling very warm and affectionate as she is looking at Carew. The reader gets this impression as her exact words are "aged and beautiful" and "polite," and "gentlemen." But suddenly then comes in a totally opposite appearanced man, which after a few seconds of thought she realises is Hyde, ...

This is a preview of the whole essay