How is “transformation and or survival” depicted in two of the works you have studied and what is its significance? The transformation in both novels of the characters shifting from good to a darker twisted evil version of themselves, the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (text 1) and Lord of the flies … Read more
Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Utterson The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a wonderful science fiction story that was published in 1886. It was written by a Scottish novelist named Rober Louis Stevenson. That author uses technological ideas to create a plot with good and real characters. Two main characters that play … Read more
In this extract Utterson is presented by Stevenson as an individual in a contradicting state of two minds, who is also very concerned for his close friend Mr Jekyll. Stevenson describes Utterson’s imagination as ‘engaged, or rather enslaved’ as his mind is restless from thinking about this ‘human Juggernaut’ in the name of Hyde. This … Read more
Importance of Science and Humanity in Moreau and Jekyll The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson are two novels that both focus on the themes of humanity and the ethics of science. The two novels, although written a decade apart they … Read more
As you start to fall asleep after a long and tiring day you suddenly see a shadow move out of the corner of your eye. Paralyzed in fear you think of what it could be, a ghost, a demon, an evil monster coming to steal your soul. You muster the courage to get out of … Read more
Evidently, by living and interacting with one person you could see and absorb their good or bad characteristics as a valuable lesson. In the story Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Coraline goes into the other mother’s world (Beldam); the other mother who doesn’t have her own identity but who has the ambition to confine and possess … Read more
The terminology of the “monster” formerly often relates to a creature that has a deformity physical appearance. The monsters are often described to have a disgusting, detestable and abominable appearances with the supernatural power that can control everything as well as they can create a massacre to destroy violently everything getting in their ways. However, … Read more
In the novel Rebecca, Rebecca de Winter’s sexual endeavours and wild attitudes are abruptly concluded when she is killed by her husband for her actions in her own cottage. Edward Hyde’s struggle with addiction and his fight against his gothic double in the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde comes to an end … Read more
Question 1 (a) Tension in incident at window The extract starts with Mr Enfield and Mr Utterson seeing a half-way open window. This straight away creates slight tension as we want to know what is going on inside the room. Rather than saying an open window, pointing out it is only half open presents there … Read more
In both texts, ‘American Psycho’, and ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, the writers successfully explore characterisation as the main character displays a “two-sided” idea of man: good and evil. In ‘American Psycho’, the main character Patrick Bateman, appears to be an intelligent, handsome, wealthy man. He is publicly viewed as being a perfectly sane individual … Read more
Dissociative Identity Disorders have been in the literature and entertainment culture for over a century. Beginning with Jekyll and Hyde in the late 1800s, up to the rather recent film in 2016, Split. This movie most focuses on three girls who are kidnapped by a man named Kevin. Kevin is suffering from the extremely rare, … Read more
The conflict in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one which exists internally inside Dr. Jekyll, yet comes alive externally by calling into question human values and fundamentals in general. The dual nature of Dr. Jekyll can be interpreted in several ways and its symbolic meaning varies between readers. Some may recognize Dr. Jekyll as … Read more
‘[M]an is not truly one, but truly two.’ ‘Divided identity’ and the ‘duplicity of life’ (p81) form the central idea explored in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In 1886, the same year as the novel’s publication, reviewer, James Ashcroft, observed that ‘Appearances are deceitful’ and that despite it being … Read more
The 19th century was classed as an era with many incredible changes; from the increase in secularisation due to Darwin’s theory of ‘evolution’, to technological advancements and inventions such as the telephone, cinema and more. As well as it being a time of anxiety, it was also a time of hope. As well as new … Read more
Queer can function as a noun, an adjective or a verb, but in each case is defined against the ‘normal’ or normalising . Queer Theory is a literary theory that studies gender and sexuality as a ‘fundamental category for historical analysis and understanding’. The term ‘Queer’ was re-appropriated from its negative connotations traditionally used with … Read more
Literature books Summary The Tempest – William Shakespeare King Alonso of Naples, his son Ferdinand and a few others sail home after attending the wedding of Alonso’s daughter in Italy. They encounter a rough storm which is caused by Prospero. He lives on an island with his daughter Miranda and Ariel, a spirit who is … Read more
The body is a parasite to the soul, feeding off of its intellect and distracting it with desire. While in human, mortal form, the body and soul are bound together, and the soul must cope with the needs of the body. In Plato’s Phaedo, Plato uses Socrates to explain the harmful effects of the relationship … Read more
The Tempest – William Shakespeare King Alonso of Naples, his son Ferdinand and a few others sail home after attending the wedding of Alonso’s daughter in Italy. They encounter a rough storm which is caused by Prospero. He lives on an island with his daughter Miranda and Ariel, a spirit who is also Prospero’s servant. … Read more
About Jekyll and Hyde
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson is a typical novella that was written during the late Victorian era, where there was rather pessimism than optimism, industrialization, and urbanization. Common characteristics that are present in this work are gothic fiction, double identities, and the dark side of society.
Firstly, characteristics of gothic fiction are present throughout the entire novella, as Mr. Hyde is a murderer, which can be seen on page 27 for example, where he murders another man. “And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great flame of anger, tampering his foot, brandishing the cane, […] under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway” (l. 10-19). Not only did he murder people, but he also did other horrible things such as trampling over a child, which can be seen on page 6: “for the man trampled calmly over the, child’s body and left her screaming on the ground” (l.11-13).
Furthermore, all descriptions of Mr. Hyde are rather creepy. There are various descriptions in the book and he is always referred to as deformed, small and dislikable, as can be seen on page 19, where Utterson sees Mr. Hyde: “Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile” (l. 10-12). This description and the dark incidents indicate gothic factors.
Secondly, it is important to mention that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person. While Dr. Jekyll has always been present, Mr. Hyde becomes his second identity. In the chapter “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of The Case” Jekyll describes having two sides and stated that, “that man is not truly one, but truly two” (p. 74, l. 16). He then mentions inventing a drug, that could turn him into Mr. Hyde (p. 76, l. 1-8). Mr. Hyde is Dr. Jekyll’s “evil side” (p. 77, l. 29). All of this suggests, that Dr. Jekyll can use his second identity to let out his evil self. However, he soon starts to struggle with choosing which identity might be better for him and thus he slowly goes insane until he kills himself, as he can no longer control Mr. Hyde. An example can be found on page 84, where he is unsure if he can keep his control: “I began to spy a danger that, […] the power of voluntary change be forfeited, and that the character of Edward Hyde become irrevocably mine” (l. 7-11). On page 96, he dies. “I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end” (l. 7).
Additionally, the influence of gothic fiction and this double identity represent the dark side of society as well. An example would be on page 6, where a child is being trampled over. “All at once, I saw two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was running as hard as she was able down a cross street. Well, sir, the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man trampled calmly over the, child’s body and left her screaming on the sound” (l. 6-13). This seems like a selfish act and could indicate that human beings are often too focused on themselves and neglect other people’s needs. The description “little man” and of course this behavior, also fits Mr. Hyde.
In conclusion, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson includes typical characteristics of the late Victorian age with a primary focus on gothic, double identities and the dark side of society, as the late Victorian era focused on negative impacts and darkness and is thus a great example for the Victorian age.
Writing an essay on Jekyll and Hyde – key themes:
- Duality of Human Nature: Analyze the duality of human nature in the novel and discuss how it is represented in the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- The Struggle between Good and Evil: Explore the themes of good and evil in the novel and discuss how the struggle between them is portrayed.
- Social Prejudice: Examine the issue of social prejudice that is presented in the novel and how it affects the characters.
- Repression of Desires: Analyze how the repression of desires is explored in the novel and how it leads to the transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde.
- Victorian London: Discuss how the setting of Victorian London is used to convey the themes of the novel.
- Science and Technology: Analyze the use of science and technology in the novel and how it is used to create the duality of human nature.
- Interpretations of the Ending: Discuss the different interpretations of the ending of the novel and how it reflects upon the themes of the novel.