The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde Essay

866 words - 4 pages

The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a confusing and perplexing one. R.L. Stevenson uses the devices of foreshadow and irony to subtly cast hints to the reader as to who Mr. Hyde is and where the plot will move. Stevenson foreshadows the events of the book through his delicate hints with objects and words. Irony is demonstrated through the names of characters, the names display to the reader how the character will fit into the novel. These two literary devices engage the readers; they employ a sense of mystery while leading the readers to the answer without them realizing the depth of each indirect detail.
Many mysterious events occur throughout this novel. Stevenson foreshadows the imminent end of Dr. Jekyll in the very beginning. As Utterson reads the will of Dr. Jekyll, he is perplexed by the statement that “in the case of Dr. Jekyll’s disappearance” (6), all of his money will go to Mr. Hyde. This questionable intent of Dr. Jekyll leads the reader to assume that there is something for complex connecting Mr. Hyde with Dr. Jekyll. Utterson not only tries to protect Dr. Jekyll from Mr. Hyde, but Utterson wishes to solve Jekyll’s entire problem. In the first description of Mr. Utterson, the reader learns that he is “inclined to help rather than to reprove” (1). This simple description implies that Utterson will be helping to solve a problem in this novel, though it is not identified whose problem he will try to solve. This also foreshadows a problem in the book; Utterson leads the reader to believe that a horrid situation will arise between Jekyll and Hyde. Mr. Hyde is driven purely by the temptations of evil; the urges that Dr. Jekyll is unable to act on. This temptation causes Mr. Hyde to murder Sir Carew with the walking stick. The walking stick is described in great detail at the scene of the crime. Not only is it important to lead the police and Utterson to find Mr. Hyde, it is an important connection between Hyde and Jekyll. As the walking stick is presented to Mr. Utterson, “he recognized it for one that he had himself presented years before to Henry Jekyll” (15). This realization strengthens the growing suspicion that Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll are connected in a larger way than the reader primarily suspected. This new theory brings the reader deeper into the plot and gives the novel a greater feeling of mystery.
While the novel has a tremendous amount of mystery, the names of...

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