- Location: London, England
- Time: 18--'s
- This novella was written during the Victorian England time period. We can feel the difference between the upper class area, where it is busy and lively, and lower class, foggy and mysterious, especially in the town of Soho. Robert Louis Stevenson does not write his story in one area of London but in multiple locations to show the differences in life, specifically in Dr. Jekyll's and Mr. Hyde's. Even in the bright part's of London, the story is still painted with a dark, dreary feeling to give the entire novella an eerie feeling. There are also servant's in Stevenson's tale. Dr. Jekyll is a very wealthy man who is able to afford a butler, Mr. Poole, and many servant's who care for and obey him. This is another indication that this novella was set in the Victorian era. Many biblical references throughout the story which also leads us to believe that this is Victorian England. During that time, different religions were spreading and the building of churches had began. Steveson mentions in his book multiple biblical allusions. For example, on the first page of the first chapter, Mr. Utterson use to say, "I incline to Cain's heresy... I let my brother go to the devil in his own way." Once again, the reader is suppose to feel a Victorian vibe. These three examples are some of the biggest indications of where the book is set. This helps the reader be able to picture the time frame and understand our character's a little better.
- Dr. Henry Jekyll- "A large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty ..... , but every mark of capacity and kindness" (Stevenson, 19). He was a well respected doctor in England and was known for his good works. He is very friendly but does have a dark side that he is ashamed of since he was young. Through the use of chemicals and salt he is able to switch back and forth between his good and evil self. Eventually, his evil side becomes too strong and Jekyll get permanently stuck.
- Mr. Edward Hyde- The evil side of Dr. Jekyll. He was quiet but impatient. He would break "... out in a great flame of anger, stamping his foot..." (Stevenson, 23). He was described as ugly but no one could describe why.
- Mr. Gabriel John Utterson- A "... lean, long, dusty dreary and yet somehow lovable..." man who is a lawyer in London. ( Stevenson, 1). He is a somewhat boring man who only does what is right but he is awoken from his dull life when his two friends, Jekyll and Lanyon, die in a mysterious mystery.
- Dr. Hastle Lanyon- Another one of Jekyll's close friends. He is a rational and skeptic man who see's Jekyll's supernatural side first when he is asked to assist his friend.
- Mr. Poole- Dr. Jekyll's faithful chief butler who is in charge of the house and the other servant's. He cares greatly for Jekyll and has been around for so long he knows what his masters footsteps sound like. When Poole hears a change in Jekyll's steps and voice, he is the first to go for help.
- Mr. Richard Enfield- A distant cousin of Mr. Utterson who he is much different from. The only thing they have in common is their liking of the Sunday strolls they take together throughout London. It is Mr. Enfield who is the first to mention any description of Mr. Hyde.
Examples of Metaphors and Allagories
1. Metaphor: "From that time forward, Mr. Utterson began to haunt the door in the by-street of shops" (Stevenson, 12).
- He is "haunting" his way through town looking for Hyde so he can address him about his relationship with Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Utterson is being compared to a ghost who is trying to blend in with his surroundings and trying not to be seen by others until he wants to be.
2.Metaphor: "Mr. Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of the breath" (Steveson, 14). - "
Hissing" allows us to believe that Hyde is being compared to a snake who is sly and full of malice. It could also be a reference to the devil because Hyde is more or less considered "supernatural". This helps the reader to picture the Mr. Hyde's appearance and his frame of mind.
3. Metahpor: "my mind misgives me he is in deep waters!" (Stevenson, 17).
-Deep waters gives a feeling of danger and hazard. Mr. Utterson is not actually saying that Dr. Jekyll is literally in water but one can assume that Utterson means he is in deep trouble.
1. Allegory: "The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained" (Stevenson, 3)
-This is the door behind Jekyll's house that allowed Hyde to come and go as he pleased. The door is out of the ordinary because its an eerie low class looking door connected to a high class beautiful house. The door represents freedom. It allows Jekyll to leave his proper life to go live a wilder life as Mr. Hyde who can do as he pleases without Jekyll feeling guilty for the consequences.
2. Allegory: Mr. Hyde himself is really an allegory.
- He represents the wild side in everyone. Lots of people wish they could live as Hyde, who has no feeling or regrets. Proper people wish they could break their lives of manners and be able to do what they want without being judged. He is not concerned with what others think of him and he can do as he pleases because everyone stays away from him. Mr. Hyde is the dark side in everyone.
3. Allegory: As Mr. Hyde is an allegory so is Mr. Jekyll.
- He is a respectful, smart, and rich man in London. He is friendly and always doing good for others. He longs for the life of Hyde's where he is not idolized, a life of sin and violence. He represents the human nature in all of us who are striving to do good but sometimes crack and fall into sin.
Third Person Limited
Third Person Limited is when the point of view follows and limits the reader to one character's thought and actions.
- Mr. Utterson is the character that is being followed during this story. We find out everything the same time he does. It gives a more suspenseful, thrilling feeling. Although he is quite boring and only does what he is told, we do not hear a lot of his thoughts throughout the novella.
- There is a change in the last two chapters though. In Chapter 9 we have the point of view of Dr. Lanyon through a letter. During this time information is given leading up to his death.
- In Chapter 10, we are in the point of view of Dr. Jekyll. This is when the pieces of the puzzle start coming together. He goes by a timeline, starting when he was young, his feeling towards his wild personality, giving an explanation to the window trauma and Dr. Lanyon's terror, and ending with how Mr. Hyde took him over.
- These last two chapters and their point of views are key to the novella as a whole. It answers many questions that occurred and clears up the entire mystery of the tale.
- Mood- The readers attitude towards the subject
- The over all mood that is painted is a sinister, disturbing story that keeps the reader on their toes and in constant suspense.
- Tone- The authors attitude towards the subject
- The tone Stevenson has created a mysterious yet serious one that weaves throughout the book constantly keeping the reader interested.
- The theme in The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is how humans are conflict with themselves and their good and bad side. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde represent human nature and the struggle between personalities. It is a constant battle between what is right and wrong. This story ultimately makes one question whether or not the evil side is stronger than the good. Is it so incredibly hard to fight temptation and do what is right? Can someone be solely just good or evil? Or do they both come together no matter what? It is a matter of opinion.