The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Written by: Robert Louis Stevenson

Setting:

  • London, England (1886)
  • Late 19th century
  • "...Busy quarter of London" (10)
  • Mr. Utterson (lawyer) and Mr. Enfield (cousin) take weekly walks
  • "Encountered them in their Sunday walks" (10)
  • Run into a man named Hyde who stumbled upon a girl
  • Split of upper-class London and London Utterson describes
  • Foreshadowing element:
  • "Two doors from one corner..." (10)
  • The whole door setting foreshadows the whole setting that takes place. The occurrence of these doors is frequently referred to throughout the whole book to show significance.
  • Many people are isolated and to themselves. It demonstrates to the audience that people are more reserved and more worried about themselves.
  • There are many old, tall buildings with many street lights which lights up everyone's path. The author set the story in a mysterious scene to build suspense and enhance the bigger picture. While there are strange people and big laboratories, London contains very determined people. Even though many people are more reserved and to themselves it makes one think that they weren't all open with one another.
  • During the Victorian London, there were extreme districts of poverty. Thus meaning, that there was a lot of diversity at this time. Many people didn't come together because the poor rarely associated with the wealthy. They were many different economic institutions and trading infrastructures. At this time, it was governed by the London County Council.

Characterization:

Mr. Utterson: Well respected lawyer in London community, serious, lacks imagination, intimidating, can rationalize which makes him equip to figuring things out

  • The importance of Mr. Utterson is the audience receives his perspective in the book. He gives the audience step by step illustrations and imagery, so that we can picture what's going on. Throughout the whole book, Utterson attempts to discover the Jekyll-Hyde relationship.

Mr. Jekyll: A well-respected doctor, friend of Utterson and Mr. Lanyon, tends to look at different situations with a unique kind of lens, known for his charitable work, finds the dark side of burden

Mr. Hyde: An unsightly man, ugly and deformed, inhuman like, violent and cruel, cannot use language appropriately, "dark side"

  • The representation of Hyde is to demonstrate the 'evil.' Hyde is an unsightly man in which has appeared out of nowhere. At the beginning of the book, he doesn't make a good first impression which overall gives the audience in tell on who Mr. Hyde is. The whole idea that there is evil within us is true unless we are willing to try and overpower the evil and show the good.

Dr. Lanyon: Formerly one of Jekyll's friends, doctor, rationalizes just like Utterson, materialism, attitudes and emotions contrast with others, death represents victory of super naturalism

Dr. Enfield: Takes frequent walks with Mr. Utterson, cousin of Utterson, similar qualities like his cousin: reserved and formal, goes on walk with Mr. Utterson quite consistently

  • Overall, Each character brings meaning to the story and enhances the plot. They illustrate and give a deeper meaning to what's occurring throughout the book and brings it all together. There's an important role that each character plays in the story.

Metaphors/Allegory:

Metaphor: A word or phrase that is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable

Allegory: a short poem, story, or picture that reveals a hidden message

  • The streets were often times quiet and dingy
  • "...Its dingy neighborhood. like a fire in a forest" (10)
  • Biblical refrences
  • "...Really like Satan" (12)
  • If someone lets things build inside without getting them fixed, then it will take over and essentially control one's actions.
  • "...Doom and burden of our life is bound forever on man's shoulders, and when the attempt is made to cast to it off, it but returns upon us..." (61)
  • Once someone is aware of what is happening, then one can get help to make a change.
  • "...I was suddenly aware that I had lose in stature." (61)
  • The contrast between Hyde and Jekyll where Hyde is the bad and Jekyll is the good.
  • "...And Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil." (62)
  • Furthermore, this shows that all human beings face good and evil, but overall everyone should conquer evil and show good. Unfortunately, in this case Jekyll could not achieve this. However it demonstrates to the audience and the other characters in the book to try and work that much harder for what they are trying to achieve in one's life. Also, the symbolism in which the door is demonstrated. The door which can be found in the back of the laboratory is what connects Jekyll's house to the lab. This shows somewhat of a freedom from Hyde. This is because Hyde 'adapted' to the environment in which he was created; therefore, when taken out of that environment he doesn't thrive as much.

Point of View:

  • Imagery
  • "...Fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was cloudless." (27)
  • Mr. Utterson reflects on life and describes a story of events that have taken place
  • "I was born in the year 18- to a large fortune, endowed besides with excellent parts..." (59)
  • Second person point-of-view
  • "...No doubt that the feat was easy to Mr. Utterson..."
  • First person point-of-view
  • "...When I seized again with those indescribable sensations that heralded the change..." (70)
  • The transition from third person to first person shows that there's a switch from observing to illustrating. There's a rich description when narrating a story in first person. Therefore, the audience is ware of the writer's purpose and intentions.
  • Towards the end Lanyon and Jekyll report their own experiences. This allows for different point of views to reflect on the events taking place.

Mood and Tone:

  • Reflective tone:
  • "...I found it hard to reconcile with my imperious desire to carry my head high." (59)
  • Mr. Utterson is reflecting on the letter that he has in hand. Not only does this make him reflect on Jekyll's life and presence, but on his own.
  • Reminiscing tone:
  • "It was the curse of mankind..."
  • The fact that there's so much more to people than anyone really knows about. Something can easily control someone in the matter of minutes.
  • This creates a connection between alcohol or drug (substance) abuse. Once one gets highly addictive to it, they can't control themselves anymore. Eventually, it will take over and can be fatal.
  • Determined/affirmed (tone):
  • "... He took up a candle and went into his business-room..." (15)
  • Throughout the book, Utterson is very persistent. He is determined to figure out what is going on and why this is happening. The significance of this is that it demonstrates to the audience that as a character, he is not willing to give up on something so big.
  • Mysterious/Suspense
  • Throughout the whole book, the audience is constantly on the tip of their toes trying to find out what's going to happen next. It seems mysterious because the author illustrates the scenery describing scenes saying "...The steps drew swiftly nearer, and swelled out suddenly.." (18) and "...To the building which was indifferently known as the laboratory or the dissecting-rooms" (31).
The Duality of Human Nature
  • The reoccurring theme throughout this book is the idea of good and evil. In addition, the contrast between the two 'personalities.'
  • When reflecting on the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the idea that there's an "evil side to nature" (62) is demonstrated throughout the book as a reoccurring theme. The author uses biblical references such as "... the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death." (61) enhances and foreshadows what's going to later occur and brings out the overall meaning. Everyone should recognize their potential and the limits of their natural body. There's no such thing as "The curse of mankind" (60) unless someone allows for that to happen. Everyone should realize that humans can do anything as long as they are willing to overcome their biggest problems. We are faced with many pressures, but we as humans have to discover ways to overpower those problems. That is what will make us show how strong we really are. If we continue to help others and focus on what really matters, rather than pushing the little things aside allowing them to build up, then, we will become better people.

Credits:

Created with images by cdrummbks - "strange case of dr. jekyll & mr. hyde" • garryknight - "A Fragment Of Jekyll And Hyde" • cdrummbks - "strange case of dr. jekyll & mr. hyde" • cdrummbks - "dr. jekyll and mr. hyde" • mononukleoza - "Lucius Henderson - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912)" • Mooganic - "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde" • summonedbyfells - "OBVIOUSLY A NAUGHTY BOY..."

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