- Where: London
- When: Victorian Age ~ 1886
"a certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street... showed no window, nothing but a door...and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence," (Stevenson 3)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the most well-known mysteries ever written. It includes old, abandoned buildings, magic potions, and unanswered questions. The stage of this novella adds to the suspense of the story, happening in Victorian London. The abandoned Victorian building introduced in Chapter 1 is the ideal stage for a mysterious story. Along with the magic potions made in the laboratory, the abandoned streets of London, and the endless questions without answers, the historic background of Victorian London provides the perfect setting for the mysterious novella.
In Victorian London, the rich lived a very different life than the poor. This setting of the novella sets the stage to depict the difference between the personalities of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The distinction between the rich and the poor can serve as a representation of the men living inside Dr. Jekyll. The rich illustrates the strong and good man that Jekyll is himself. He is well kept, and well off after inheriting a large amount of money. However, the poor soul Mr. Hyde appears as the irrational, dangerous side of Dr. Jekyll. The poor were often avoided due to their dirtiness, just like Mr. Hyde is avoided because of the horrifying appearance of his face. The relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde represent the large difference in the poor and rich of the Victorian Age.
Point of View:
The point of view for majority of the story is told in third person limited. In the eyes of Mr. Utterson, the limited type of view allows for the story to maintain its suspense by only allowing the knowledge of Mr. Utterson.
The last two chapters of the book, the point of view shifts to Dr. Lanyon and Dr. Jekyll. These chapters are explained through their own experiences. By shifting the very last chapter to the view of Dr. Jekyll through his letter, the audience discovers the mystery of Jekyll and Hyde the same time Utterson does.
Good v. Evil - the main theme exemplified in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is "good v. evil". The main characters are those who are taking on those separate roles. Dr. Jekyll takes on the role of the "good" by being a well respected man in the community, and also very genuine. However, he struggles internally with his opposite nature, Mr. Hyde, who frequently takes over him. The "bad" is always surrounded by hate and trouble, who fights to take over the good forever. This represents the ultimate struggle human kind has within themselves, the bad trying to outlast the good.