The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde RObert Louis Stevenson

Setting- London, 1886

This novel takes place during the Victorian Era. It beings with Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield walking through London. It is described as "[S]mall and what is called quite, but it drove a thriving trade on the week-day... so that the shop fronts stood along that thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling saleswomen (10)." It contrasts to the black door Utterson talks about that is seen several times in the book "[E]quipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and disdained (10)." This is later known as the back door of Jekyll's laboratory. The scene switches to Utterson's "bachelor house" and to Dr.Jekyll's home where he threw great dinner parties.

They represent the rich of London's society, and show how well off they all lived. In the last chapters, the story switches its tone when Hyde becomes more involved. He represents the poor of London because of the way he acts and how people act towards him. Everyone wants to avoid him, which is exactly what people did with the poor.

In chapter 8, London changes. Utterson thinks "[T]he streets [were] unusually bare of passengers, besides; for Mr. Utterson thought he had never seen that part of London so deserted (42)." At the end, the scene has returned back to Jekyll's home where none of his servants are working, and the kitchen's "[F]ire was out and the beetles were leaping on the floor (43)." When Utterson and Poole finally enter Jekyll's chamber it is normal looking, except for the dead body lying on the ground. The book ends with Utterson in his home reading the letters that reveal everything.

Characterization

  • Mr. Gabriel John Utterson: Well-respected lawyer, reserved, dignified, minds his own business, rational, has Dr. Jekyll's will.
  • Mr. Richard Enfield: Utterson's cousin, well-known man, reserved, hates gossip. Him and Utterson take walks together. He has a dream about Mr. Hyde.
  • Dr. Henry Jekyll: Respectable doctor, prosperous man, well established in his community, known for his decency, charitable works, and throws dinner parties. He craves darkness and experiments to make another being that is evil. This is Mr. Hyde
  • Mr. Edward Hyde: Evil, repugnant, strange, violent, cruel, kills Sir Danvers Carew, ugly, deformed, Jekyll's dark side that takes over.
  • Sir Danvers Carew: Well liked nobleman, member of Parliament and client of Utterson.
  • Dr. Hastle Lanyon: Doctor, former closest friend of Jekyll, rational, materialistic, skeptic, dies mysteriously.
  • Mr. Poole: Jekyll's butler for 20 years, loyal, asks Utterson to help him with Jekyll.
  • Mr. Guest: Utterson's clerk and confidant, expert in handwriting, notices Hyde's handwriting is the same as Jekyll's just slanted the other way.

Metaphor

A metaphor is a comparison of two things not using like or as. An example of this from the book would be the scene where Utterson says Jekyll is drowning. He's not really drowning in water, he is drowning in his problems because of Hyde.

"'Poor Harry Jekyll... my mind misgives me he is in deep waters (20)!'"

Allegory

An allegory is a comparison of textual references to real life occurrences that reveal a hidden meaning. In this novel, one allegory is Mr. Edward Hyde himself. He represents addiction, and how even though Jekyll tries to get rid of him, he takes over his body and consumes him, ruining his life, until Hyde drove Jekyll to kill himself.

"I felt younger, lighter, happier in the body... I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine (61).' "It was on this side that my new power tempted me until I fell in slavery (63)."

Point of View- 3rd Person Limited

The point of view of this book is through the eye's of Utterson, so we only know what he knows. If it was opened to Jekyll's or Hyde's thoughts we would have known who Hyde was and the plot would have been pointless. It would have lost the suspense aspect of the novel.

The other point of view that takes place is in the last two chapters. They are narrated by Lanyon and Jekyll in their letters. This allows the readers and Utterson to know the truth about Jekyll and Hyde.

Mood

The mood is suspense. This story makes you want to keep reading until the end. It keeps you on your toes and confuses you by throwing in questions that remain unanswered, but you think you might have an idea, like you're Mr. Utterson solving this mystery.

Tone

Mysterious, and serious is the tone of this novel. The entire time you are reading you want to know who Hyde really is and why a person like Jekyll is keeping him around. Then there are more strange things that go on throughout the book like, what is wrong with Jekyll? why won't he see anyone? why did Dr. Lanyon die and why isn't he friends with Jekyll anymore? You want to know the answers, so you continue to read until the last chapter where the truth is revealed and your questions are answered.

Theme

The theme of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the duality of human nature. This shows the two sides of human personality and the struggle there is to keep them separate or hidden. Hyde represents the evil, loose, cruel, and deformed part of humans. Dr. Jekyll represents the respectable, lovable, and moral parts, but wants to know what it's like to set your bad side free. This is just like all other humans. They want to know what it would be like if they set the other side of their personality free, and when that happens it changes the person and it's hard to conceal the truth about them.

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