The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Analyzing Literary devices


Setting plays a critical role within The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that cannot be portrayed through any other literary devices. The novella takes place during the Victorian Era of London in the nineteenth century. Setting allows for a description of what people were like during the time without even revealing any character to us yet. Mr. Utterson is the first character that we meet and he is a perfect representation of the Victorian man. He always minds his own business and keeps his own standards up to a maximum. In the public eye, your appearance and standards mean everything and Mr. Utterson was well respected within the community. Through setting, we can tell that Mr. Utterson fully represented the ideal Victorian man.

Different settings within the story:

  1. Street outside of Dr. Jekyll's and Edward Hyde's home
  2. Inside of Dr. Jekyll's home and his laboratory,
  3. Dr. Lanyon's home,
  4. Mr. Utterson's home.

All of these different settings allow for the reader to get a full grasp of what is going on within the chapter. It helps us to realize the full impact of being in Dr. Jekyll's laboratory, or even Mr. Utterson's study. The impact draws us closer to each character within the novel.


Characterization is defined as the creation or construction of a character. We see much characterization within the novel, especially in regards to Mr. Utterson and Dr. Jekyll. Characterization allows for us to grow on an emotional level alongside the characters themselves. Stevenson engages the reader to grow with the characters by not revealing everything about a character until we get to the end of the story. Once we reach the end of the story, we now know the full intentions and motives that a character holds and we relate that to ourselves in our lives. Characterization allows the reader to be engaged within the novel by understanding what every character desires.

Uses of characterization within the novel:

"Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any namable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a husky, whispering, and somewhat broken voice: all these were points against him, but not all of these together could explain the hitherto unknown disgust, loathing, and fear with which Mr. utterson regarded him." (19, Stevenson)

At this time, this is the first interaction with Mr. Hyde that we see within the novel and we get this description that tells us who he is in description. We get this notion that we should already not like this man due to his deformities, and malevolent presence. Mr. Hyde's characterization gives us the inclination that he is not a standard, moral character and we base this off of Mr. Utterson's impressions. This sets up the story to give other characteristics to the same people like Mr. Hyde.


Metaphors and allegories are used to symbolize an object or an abstract idea into something that cannot literally be applicable to it. Using these within a novel allows for a deeper word choice to describe an intense feeling or action. Metaphors and allegories help to convey certain messages to the audience as well.

Examples of Metaphors and Allegories

"you will learn from poole how i have had london ransacked; it was in vain; and i am now persuaded that my first supply was impure, and that it was that unknown impurity which lent efficacy to the draught." (72, stevenson)

I believe the metaphor within this statement is that the appearance of Mr. Hyde represents that unknown impurity. When Dr. Jekyll created the concoction to create Mr. Hyde, he also created the concoction to turn back before he created Mr. Hyde. This makes me want to believe that the impurity was that maybe he, Mr. Hyde, didn't want him to change back to Dr. Jekyll so he purposely made the potion wrong in order to stay Mr. Hyde.

Point of View

Point of view is defined as the position or way that a story is being told . Within The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story is being told from a third person limited point of view for eight of the ten chapters. Being told in a limited view only shows us the insight of some certain people like Mr. Utterson for example. The last two chapters are told in a first person sense through letters. These two chapters give us a switch to show the minds of others around Mr. Utterson

Changes in point of view.

  1. Chapters 1-8: 3rd person limited through an unseen narrator.
  2. Chapter 9: First person limited through the speech of Dr. Lanyon.
  3. Chapter 10: First person limited through the speech of Dr. Jekyll.
"Yes I know," said Mr. Utterson; "I know it must seem strange. The fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is because I know it already. You see, Richard, your tale has gone home. If you have been inexact in any point, you had better correct it." (13-14, Stevenson)
"Here then, as i lay down the pen to proceed to seal up my confession, i bring the end of that unhappy henry jekyll to an end." (72, Stevenson)

Mood and Tone

Mood and tone are other literary devices that authors can use to appeal to the reader. Mood reflects to the deep and mystifying nature of what circumstances are happening within the novel. Tone, I believe, reflects the impact that it had upon the reader. Within the novel, there are many moments where the mood seemed ominous and foreboding, but the tone was forceful and made the reader engaged to absolutely know what will happen next. Mood and tone help the reader to engage more within the story to find out the true plot within the novel.

Mood and Tone

Nearly a year later, in the month of october, 18--, london was startled by a crime of singular ferocity, and rendered all the more notable by the high position of the victim. (27, Stevenson)

The tone that starts chapter four is immense and profound. It immediately brings up the murder of a respectable, Victorian Era, man. It lowers the mood to a somber, and investigative mood. Mr. Utterson is sad to realize that a respectable man by the name of Carew had been killed and this thickens the mood to a lower state. Moods and tones are important to the story because it helps the readers to reflect the mood that Mr. Utterson has towards Carew.


Themes have a wide variety throughout the world, but they all have the same impact. They are intended to be used to direct the reader onto a specific topic and to understand why the novel has a certain impact upon that topic. Throughout The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one prevalent theme that is brought up is the discussion about the duality of man. Dr. Jekyll hits this subject hard within his statement of the case and this stuck out to me as the important theme within the novel. Theme's, like the duality of man, create a moral story-line that a reader can follow. Themes help to make the reader discover his own belief within the novel and to have their own input towards a topic.

Theme - The Duality of Man

This inexplicable incident, this reversal of my previous experience, seemed, like the babylonian finger on the wall, to be spelling out the letters of my judgement, and i began to reflect more seriously that ever before on the issues and probabilities of my double existence." (65, Stevenson)

Dr. Jekyll writes this out to Mr. Utterson to show how he was a man who shared two personalities. His double existence shows how he could live a life of good, moral being, but at the same time he could live a life of immorality and evilness. These two aspects of one man can show how only one side will prevail in the fight of good and evil. In the end, Dr. Jekyll had created Mr. Hyde, but his evil had triumphed over the good that Jekyll had within himself. In the end of the story we see the theme take it's course throughout the whole story. We learn that Jekyll had been afflicted by the struggle between good and bad through the whole story and at the end the theme comes to fruition and we learn that evil had triumphed over the good of Jekyll.

Created By
Edward Schultz


Created with images by Karen Roe - "Ickworth Park (NT) 02-03-2012" • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - """I must beseech you to contemplate again the fearful course to which you have been impelled.""" • mzmatuszewski0 - "man male vintage" • Unsplash - "grass wilderness green" • djedj - "telescope field-glass spyglass" • PublicDomainPictures - "steam victorian industrial" • Malinda Rathnayake - "Duality"

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