This strange case takes place during Victorian London around the year of 1886. New affluent buildings have been under construction to bring a noticeable change in the scenery. This time period is seeing new inventions start to unravel such as railways, the newly encompassed Big Ben clock tower, and more shipyards than anywhere else in the world. The first three quarters of this century saw light through candles, but in 1879 the invention of the light bulb came into place, allowing people to see at night. By the time Jekyll and Hyde takes place electricity would have been invented, but most of Jekyll’s life has been lived by candlewick, along with his alchemy. London’s new exhibition of the World Fair led it to become a culturally sound place to visit. Still, there was poor sanitation which transmitted disease and led to sickness in and out of cities. Joseph Bazalgette tried to redirect the sewage system out of the city to help combat this. England was emerging into a new society as many people were coming in from all over the world. In Jekyll and Hyde London takes more of an older volume. The book mostly occurs at night where little of the city is to be seen. There is a park, roads, cabs, and small homes of Lanyon and Utterson, but Jekyll’s is magnificent. His abode is sumptuous, containing many rooms, a courtyard, and an adjacent laboratory. This dark London forebodes an ill-eerie feeling cascading over the duration of the book.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is told in a 3rd person limited point of view. No one actually knows who the speaker is, but they seem to follow Utterson closely with almost every move. Some argue that it is first person with Utterson, Lanyon, or Jekyll/Hyde, but none of the previously mentioned actually told the story. Lanyon and Jekyll had their letters read which leads to some confusion of their point of view, but most of the story is closely associated with Utterson. This is the limited portion of the view. We go into Utterson’s thoughts and feelings, but never anybody else. Utterson’s journey tells us his motives and how he feels. “‘Henry Jekyll forge for a murderer!’ And his blood ran cold in his veins.” (34). His point of view is supported by Lanyon, Jekyll, through their letters, and Enfield’s story at the opening. This changes the point of view into more of a third person omniscient point of view. This point of view is what gives the book it's suspense. It punctuates and draws out the reader behind what is really happening.
The main theme is there is a good side and bad side, two sides in general, to everything, person, situation, idea, etc. Jekyll is a well known, endowed, and intelligent man. He has everything he could possibly want, but still he is torn between pure benevolent thoughts and malevolent, mischievous, threatening actions. Everyone has to control their purity and anger/frustration. Jekyll and Hyde refers to the splitting of the the two personalities, but in real life it’s not that simple. Human contain a nature full of emotions: joy, sadness, anger, love, hatred, lust, greed, envy, etc. One must learn to control their nature. There is a time and place for everything, but we must know when and where that is. Outburst happen all the time, but the worse are the causes for the most turmoil. This is outcasted by the numerous wrongdoings of today, despite this book being written in the 19th century. The application still applies to today; the terrorist attacks, school and nightclub shootings, and racial tendencies prove the two sides to every situation. In every person lies urges and personalities that we are afraid to reveal. Jekyll is the life of virtue; he accepts friends, lives to support others, wants to improve science. Growing up he lived a fulfilling life, but now that he is old he wants his youth again. He second side, the side he wasn’t able to live. One of freedom, lackluster to anything he wants. He hid behind a facade of being Jekyll when Hyde has committed trouble, but eventually his good side, his conscience kicks in. Good and evil aren’t the only two sides but they are the most practical and generally acceptable. Acceptance vs. denial, honesty vs. lying, etc, are all examples of two sides. There are plaintiffs and defendants, one suing and one countering. The world is full of sides, however a globe is rounded, like every person. A person is like a world, full of this individual sides, but a rounded individual as a whole. This is what makes each person unique, different combinations of each side.