Allegory and Tone in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essay

Allegory and Tone in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essay

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Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel about the good and evil of man has long been a topic of debate and study. Duality of the human soul has daunted humankind since the dawn of time; Cain was the antithesis of Able. Stevenson knew that all men had two natures, one good and one evil with his novel that transcends time, and although the story takes place over 100 years ago, its legitimacy is still pertinent. Perhaps Stevenson was suggesting that we are capable of even the most heinous wrongs even if we are the best of people, which Dr. Jekyll was in his prime. Through somber conversations and the volatility of the antagonist’s character Robert Louis Stevenson uses dark tone and allegory in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to underline the reality that humans have dueling natures.
The very first conversation in the story takes place between Mr. Utterson and his cousin Enfield. In this conversation, Enfield introduces the character Hyde, giving baleful detail into his person; Hyde is described as a “very odd story” (Stevenson 2171). The tone is set, and both the reader and Utterson must know more about this mysterious character. Enfield describes in a little more detail when he says "He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something down-right detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point. He's an extraordinary looking man, and yet I really can name nothing out of the way. No, sir; I can make no hand of it; I can't describe him. And it's not want of memory; for I declare I can see him this moment."(Stevenson 2173) The tone Stevenson uses pl...


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...ics debates. Through his allegorical story and shadowy tone, the author efficiently told the story of humanity, that every coin has two sides.



Works Cited

Fraustino, Daniel V. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Anatomy of Misperception." Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Anatomy of Misperception 38.3 (1982): 235-40. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Web. 27 Feb. 2011.
Greenblatt, Stephen Jay, and Meyer Howard Abrams. "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." The Norton Anthology of English Literature: the Major Authors. New York: Norton, 2006. Print.
Perkins, Wendy. "Critical Essay on "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"" Literature Resource Center. Gale, 2011. Web. 27 Feb. 2011.
Rogers, Fred, Johnny Costa, Bobby Rawsthorne, and Carl McVicker. "Sometimes People Are Good." Rec. 1985. Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Jazz. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Records, 1985. MP3.

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