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Comparative Essay On Three Victorian Stories "Doctor Jekyll And Mr Hyde" By R.L.Stevenson, "The Red Room" By H.G.Wells And "The Man With The Twisted Lip" By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

3425 words - 14 pages

"How did the Victorian authors create fear in thier readers?"This essay compares three Victorian Stories - 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Lewis Stevenson, 'The Red Room' by H.G.Wells and 'The Man with the twisted lip' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These authors have toyed with the readers' belief as well as questioned their way of life and opinions. These weaknesses seem to play a vital part in the stories as they are used very effectively against the audience.Right and Wrong. Joy and Despair. Good and Evil. The juxtaposition of these themes are addressed by Robert Lewis Stevenson in his work, 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.' The story is told from the point of view of John Utterson, a lawyer and friend to the brilliant scientist, Dr. Henry Jekyll. After relating a disturbing tale of an angry fiend assaulting a small girl, Utterson begins to question the odd behaviour of his friend. As he investigates further into the life of Dr. Jekyll he uncovers a story so horrific, so terrifying, that he can hardly believe it.Stevenson creates the character Hyde to goad fear in his readers. He gives Hyde negative descriptions, making him seem hostile, also he plays with the religious beliefs of Victorians as Hyde's actions are describes as 'hellish' and also a man who's personality was like 'Satan' himself. These words would have been enough to frighten a Victorian reader and also draw them deeper into the story by capturing their attention. It would also make them to compare these descriptions to people of real life.Stevenson describes Hyde as being a 'damned juggernaut', meaning him to be a large vessel-machine, rather than a man. This would have made the Victorians shiver with the prospect of having a machine live amongst them, walking and talking. This was also the time in history when the novel 'Frankenstein's monster' was written by Mary Shelly. The possibility that a human like robot creature could be created was a very disturbing thought. So, using this feeling Stevenson makes them wonder whether Hyde could be devoid of any emotions - which is believed to be one of the greatest gift given to them by God.The doubt on whether Hyde is incapable of emotions is proved right by one of his actions. Hyde bumps into a girl on the street, but instead of helping her up he 'trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on the ground.' The term 'trampled' is often used to describe animals but in this case it has been used to describe the actions of a man. Also it seems awful and inhumane not only to walk over a child but also to do it 'calmly' without the slightest hint of guilt. Further more, when his actions were challenged, he stood 'in the middle' of a 'circle of...hateful faces' with 'black sneering coolness'. This sets a picture in a mind where his heart is completely black and a man bound to hell as he may be from hell itself.The author uses also uses metaphors and similes to emphasise the brutality and mercilessness of Hyde...

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