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Literary Analysis Of The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde” By Robert Louis Stevenson

1846 words - 8 pages

The city of London proved to be the sole dominant location in the 1800’s during the Victorian era in this novel. As the story unfolds in the classic literature novel, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” written by Robert Louis Stevenson, the magnificent city of London becomes a darker and mysterious location. The powerful city of London embodied the freedom and solitude required for the antagonist of the story, Mr. Hyde to hide his wicked behavior from the society as a whole. According to the history of the Victorian age, “Traditional ways of life were fast being transformed into something perilously unstable and astonishingly new” (1049). The population in England was growing at an astounding rate, illustrating the transition that the country of England was enduring. Instead of being strictly set in one specific location for the duration of the novel, the city of London was divided into two distinct societies consisting of both east and west London. East London, which is where most of the actions are taken place in the novel, was inhabited with the more poor people facing great poverty. On the other hand, west London was inhabited with the wealthier and they were exposed to more opportunities for the well-educated individuals. According to Darwin’s findings, “These two highly distinct societies were challenged by Darwin’s beliefs in the survival of the fittest” (1057). Darwin emphasized that only the fittest individuals regarding their wealth, intelligence, and reputation will survive within the British Empire during the Victorian era. The others living during this time will likely fade and not survive within the society. In Robert Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, Hyde embodies what happens to the normal healthy dual aspect in human nature when it’s overly suppressed by a strict society.
The novel begins with the layer, Mr. Utterson who is the sole protagonist whom is linked to all of the main characters. Within the exposition, Utterson’s appearance was described as being “cold, scanty, and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable” (1780). Initially, Utterson comes off as having a dull and shy personality, which is quite contradicting to his career as being a prestigious lawyer. Although, upholding a law degree promised the confidentiality of all of Mr. Utterson’s cases. “For he was undemonstrative at the best and even his friendships seemed to be founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature” (1780). He believed that it is not a moral thing to talk about others behind their back. In addition, Enfield and Utterson’s conversation in the exposition of the novel illustrated the strict suppression everyone had to constantly obey: “He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years” (1780). Stevenson emphasized that you need to “play by...

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