Analysis of Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin
The book Mary Reilly is the sequel to the famous The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, is a stark, ingeniously woven, engaging novel. That tells the disturbing tale of the dual personality of Dr. Jekyll, a physician. A generous and philanthropic man, his is preoccupied with the problems of good and evil and with the possibility of separating them into two distinct personalities. He develops a drug that transforms him into the demonic Mr. Hyde, in whose person he exhausts all the latent evil in his nature. He also creates an antidote that will restore him into his respectable existence as Dr. Jekyll. Gradually, however, the unmitigated evil of his darker self predominates, until finally he performs an atrocious murder. His saner self determines to curtail those alternations of personality, but he discovers that he is losing control over his transformations, that he slips with increasing frequency into the world of evil. Finally, unable to procure one of the ingredients for the mixture of redemption, and on the verge of being discovered, he commits suicide.
Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin, is a powerful and moving novel. It takes the story Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, and gives a fresh take on the distinguished Dr. Henry Jekyll and the nefarious Mr. Edward Hyde. It is told through the psyche of a Victorian servant named Mary Reilly. The book's structure purports to be Mary Reilly's diary. The entries articulate Mary Reilly's feelings and experiences while in service for Dr. Henry Jekyll, and how she often empathizes with Dr. Jekyll on his afflictions which she cannot comprehend. As the book progresses Mary Reilly continuously comments on her Masters every changing state of health. Towards the end of the book her mother passes away leaving Mary in grief. Soon after this personal catastrophe, she encounters Mr. Hyde while looking around out side. In this confrontation Mary is bitten on the shoulder by Hyde and is near death when Hyde abruptly ceases his frenzy. Not long after this the body of Mr. Hyde is found dead in Jekyll's laboratory.
Naturally two books related to each other in this way have their similarities and differences in certain areas. Most of the similarities between both books fall in the areas of historical correctness and actual happenings to characters. In terms of historical correctness, the abundance of historical detail is purely authentic. The only flaw, which I look at more as comic relief is the mention of Mary using an Omnibus to get across town. Due to the fact that Mary Reilly was so meticulously crafted, the events in the book were in compliance with Stevenson's original.
Despite the books' many similarities, there is also a presence of differences, especially in the areas of writing style, the narrator's point of view, and the significance of certain characters. The writing style of Stevenson in Dr....