Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson was born in November of 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland. At 17 he enrolled in the town’s university for engineering, but soon found he wanted to be a writer. He met his wife, Fanny, who lived in California. Stevenson ventured over to her and wrote a book about it. He wrote a couple books from his own experience at this point. He then began writing short stories, then children’s books. Then, around 1885, he began to write romances and novels. Stevenson goes on an expedition around the Pacific. This experience inspired many books, and moved him into a darker style of writing. He died in December 1894.
Doctor Jekyll: A very respected and ...view middle of the document...
He and Utterson break down the door to discover what’s wrong with Jekyll.
Mr. Guest: A close friend to Utterson, to whom he tells secrets. Utterson confides in Guest the letter from Hyde which he discovers to be Jekyll’s handwriting.
Mr. Einfield: Another friend of Utterson who goes o n walks with Utterson. During one walk, they experience a weird episode with Jekyll.
Carew: This old man is viciously killed by Hyde.
The Victorian Era brought a change to England through technological advances. There was a long period of peace, and prosperity. Political and social reforms helped to completely change England. The conflict of good and evil became a theme for many writers of the time. Good usually won out, as well as hard work and high merit.
Themes and Symbols
Duality: Jekyll and Hyde are the examples in the book of duality. While Hyde is pure evil, Jekyll is not exactly all good. Actually, he has negative energy he cannot use because of his reputation. The two men conduct themselves very differently, and this is where duality comes into play. There lives are complete opposites; Hyde does whatever he wants, while Jekyll keeps in mind what he is required to do and what is expected of him.
Reputation: Almost all characters of the book are very focused on keeping their image. Jekyll creates Hyde to do things he cannot do in his position in society. Utterson is always concerned with doing everything the correct way, and keep his professional position. Reputation is what holds back the characters from finding the truth or being themselves.
Appearance: Descriptions of characters throughout the book are very important in characterizing and setting the mood. The description of Jekyll and Hyde are very different, and so too are the men. The descriptions of Hyde are all very negative and set the expectations of his character.
The door/ laboratory: The door in the first chapter is described very deeply. This door leads to the laboratory Jekyll experiments in, and eventually creates Hyde in.
The story is told from a third person point of view, with many written letters and documents of the events of the story. Mr. Utterson is a well-respected lawyer in the town. Doctor Lanyon and Jekyll are reputable doctors. The book begins with a witness of the account of a murder of a young child by a man trampling them to death. Weird occurrences with Jekyll begin to happen with Utterson and Lanyon, and they become worried for his safety. Utterson fears that the mysterious Hyde is blackmailing him and threatening his life. In the end, Jekyll finds his downfall, and Utterson has to give up reason and face the realization that the supernatural is...