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In order to perform a textual analysis of chapter 5 "Incident of the Letter" within Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde several issues need to be considered.

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Introduction

In order to perform a textual analysis of chapter 5 "Incident of the Letter" within Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde several issues need to be considered. Such as the concept of discourse within the narration of the chapter, the theoretical/ analytical tools of figurative language and genre. Also the meanings of the chapter need to be discussed such as the structure and language use, the broader cultural and representational issues and the chapters relationship with the rest of the novel. And lastly what broader and thematic roles it plays. Concept of Discourse "Discourses are ways of speaking associated with particular institutions and the conventions and values of those institutions." (Schirato and Yell, 2003, pg 61). Within chapter 5 there is evidence of at least three different discourses. The h********l discourse, the medical discourse and the legal discourse. The chapter is made up of two very distinct discourses. The first half has evidence of the medical discourse and the second half has the legal discourse. Throughout there are also hidden indications of the h********l discourse. The medical discourse is seen very early on for the chapter starts off with Utterson being led to Dr Jekyll's medical lab by Poole where he conducted his experiments. On his way Utterson pays close attention to all he sees, noticing that the lab is set up for chemical experiments rather than anatomical. Once at his destination, Stevenson, through Utterson describes the layout of Jekyll's lab and its contents. "Once crowded with eager students and now lying qaunt and silent; the tables laden with chemical apparatus, the floor, strew with crates and littered with packing straw.....It was large room, fitted round with glass presses....and a business table....the fire burned in the grate; a lamp was set lighted on the chimney shelf." (Stevenson, 2003, pg 26). Also throughout the chapter there are examples of medical jargon, such as the room being "known as the laboratory or the dissecting room." ...read more.

Middle

and a metaphor "with a sound as of a mighty wind". (Stevenson, 2003, pg 28). And later also in describing Utterson's house, "But the room was gay with firelight. In the bottle the acids were long ago resolved; the imperial dye had softened with time, as the colour grows richer in stained windows." (Stevenson, 2003, pg 28). And Dr Jekyll's Lab, "the tables laden with chemical apparatus, the floor strewn with crates and littered with packing straw.....It was a large room, fitted round with glass presses, furnished, among other things, with a cheval-glass and a business table, and looking out upon the court by three dusty windows barred with iron. The fire burned in the grate; a lamp was set lighted on the chimney shelf." (Stevenson, 2003, pg 26). These descriptive devices are used so that the reader can actually picture the city or Dr Jekyll's lab. Stevenson also personifies Utterson's profession as a lawyer "it is an ugly business at the best". (Stevenson, 2003, pg 29). By making the lawyer within Utterson human it allows him to challenge it. By personifying the situation of the letter there is a presence of conflict of interest, because as Jekyll is his friend and client he is damned if he does do something about the letter and damned if he doesn't. Genres "Genre's are types of communication practices which help us to organise and make sense of texts." (Schirato and Yell, 2003, pg 56). Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde can be seen as three different types of genres. The detective, the gothic and the mystery genre. Firstly the detective genre is a "type of popular literature dealing with the step by step investigation and solution of a crime, usually murder." (< www.britannica.com >, 2003). The detective genre can be seen with the title of the chapter "Incident of the Letter", for it has the feel of a police report. ...read more.

Conclusion

The first four chapters set the scene for chapter 5 by introducing Hyde and making him out to be an evil person. This then becomes highly suspicious to Utterson, which then leads him to investigate. Some of Utterson's questions are answered but more arise. These continue on into the next four chapters where all are to be finally answered through two confessional letters from both Jekyll and Lanyon. What broader structural and thematic roles does it play? Structurally, chapter 5 looks backwards to things that have already happened and forward to those things, which are to happen. This chapter introduces the reader to many new ideas such as Jekyll's guilt over creating Hyde. "I have had a lesson - O God, Utterson, what a lesson I have had!". (Stevenson, 2003, pg 28). It also gives the reader insights into two disciplines, that of medicine and law. The chapter also picks up the important themes within the book such as guilt, responsibility, importance of appearances and professionalism and slight indications of the duality of human nature. So therefore in performing a textual analysis on chapter 5 it can be seen that there are at least 3 discourses found within: the discourse of homosexuality, the medical discourse and the legal discourse. It can also be seen that there is a high usage of figurative language by Stevenson, such as personification, metaphor's and simile's. Also through the analytical tool of genre this chapter can be seen as being at least 3 different genres: a detective, a gothic and mystery. Also when looking at the meanings of the chapter of structure and language use it is considered factual and business-like and often at times resembling a police report. There is also evidence of broader cultural and representational issues such as that of homosexuality and of the importance of reputation. It can also be seen that this chapter is positioned directly in the middle of the novel with the first 4 chapters reviewing what has already happened and shaping the readers interest as to what is to happen in the future. ...read more.

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