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Stevenson's Use Of Literary Techniques In The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

974 words - 4 pages

Stevenson's Use of Literary Techniques in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In his novella "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", Robert Louis Stevenson
explores the dual nature of Victorian man, and his link with an age of
hypocrisy. Whilst writing the story he obviously wanted to show the
people of the time what happened behind closed doors. In Jekyll's
suicide note he makes the following observation " I have observed that
when I wore the semblance of Edward Hyde, none could come near to me
at first without a visible misgiving of the flesh. This, as I take it,
was because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of
good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was
pure evil." I believe that the underlying moral of this novella is
that we are all comprised of good and evil, and that we should possess
the ability to control and acknowledge the darker side of ourselves.

Dr Jekyll is described as "a large, well made, smooth-faced man of
fifty, with something of a slyish cast perhaps, but every mark of
capacity and kindness". However, when angered "The large handsome face
of Dr Jekyll grew pale to the very lips, and there came a blackness
about his eyes". He is a very strong-minded man, as he argues about
his will with Mr Utterson, however he does become addicted to Hyde,
and too weak to oppose him. Mr Utterson after meeting Hyde for the
first time, starts to feel sorry for his friend, however he does
suggest that Jekyll has a dark past "was wild when he was young; a
long while ago to be sure".

Mr Hyde is presented as a very dark and sinister character. Hyde " was
small and very plainly dressed, and the look of him, even at a
distance, went somehow against the watcher's inclination". When Mr
Utterson is speaking to Hyde, mentally he described Hyde as having
"displeasing smile, he had borne himself to the lawyer with the sort
of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a
husky, whispering and somewhat broken voice. He is described in
animalistic terms, for the first time Mr Utterson speaks to Hyde
outside his house, when Mr Utterson calls out his name, "Mr Hyde
shrank back with a hissing intake of breath." Then at the end of the
conversation, " The other snarled into a savage laugh". Jekyll
describes Hyde as " the animal within me licking the chops of memory".
Stevenson uses inhuman phrases when describing Hyde, he describes him
as impulsive, amoral, impatient, and a mad man. The reactions that Mr
Hyde gets when he meets people are of hatred. Mr Utterson got a
feeling of loathing and "gave an impression of deformity without any
nameable malformation". Mr Enfield had felt pure hatred when he first
saw him and described the doctor as turning "sick and white with the
desire to kill him". The maid that witnessed Sir Danvers Carew's
murder, passed out after seeing what Hyde had done to the man.

Sir Danvers Carew's murder is meant to shock the reader, as it...

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