Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The novella ‘Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde’ was written by Robert Louis
Stevenson in the Victorian era. The book was first published in 1886
in England and it brought high success to the author. The final
chapter of the novella which is ‘Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement Of The
Case’ explores the ways that the author presents Victorian attitudes
to the nature of humans. Stevenson explains to the reader that humans
have lots of different sides to each other and not just one. He also
explains how duplicitous humans are.
“I stood already committed to a profound duplicity of life” Pg69
The text was written in the Victorian era which was around the 1800’s.
In those days the Victorian culture was very different to today’s
culture. They had strict moral codes to live under as middle class
people. They argued that as Victorian values they should look after
themselves and their family first and also they should not rely on
outside help. Another Victorian value expected of them was to live a
life without any sin. Even though the cultural context influences
people, not every Victorian person obeyed the values outside the
public. The Victorian people had paradoxical views because they would
go out drinking and also the porn industry was famous out side public
life. Beliefs in religion were having a turn point because of the
introduction of science in to the Victorian era. Victorians were
expected to live a life of Puritanism.
The main characters in this text are Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde, Mr Utterson
and Mr Enfield, Dr Lanyon and Poole the butler. Mr Utterson and Mr
Enfield are both Victorian lawyers who are well respected from other
‘those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that they said
nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with obvious relief
the appearance of a friend’ Pg10
The novella begins with the introduction of Mr Utterson as being a
calm and steady Victorian gentleman.
‘a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile;
cold scanty and embarrassed in discourse’ Pg9
Even though he is introduced as a person who lives a cold life, he is
‘yet somehow loveable.’ Pg9 Mr Enfield too is introduced in this
chapter as being pretty much the same Victorian gentleman as Utterson.
Stevenson sets the location by contrasting descriptions of the shops,
streets and that of a strange house while Mr Utterson and Mr Enfield
are having one of their ‘Sunday walks’.
‘The street shone out in contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a
fire in a forest’ Pg10
The use of the simile in the quote by Stevenson shoes the reader how
colourful the streets of Victorian London are and also it creates
imagery to the reader. The narrative structure of the novella is
introduced into the text by the introduction of the strange house the
showed nothing but a door from its front view. While the two Victorian
lawyers were having their walk, Mr...