An Analysis Of Robert Louis Stevenson 's ' Dr. Jekyll '

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Robert Louis Stevenson shows a marvelous ability to portray. He depicts the surroundings, architectural details of the dwellings, the inside of the houses, the instruments and each part of the environment in detail. He even specifies that the laboratory door is “covered with red baize” (p.24). Not only does he offer a precise picture of the setting, but also he draws accurately the characters. About 200 words are used in order to describe Mr. Utterson the lawyer (p.5). Dr.Lanyon, the gentleman who befriends Mr. Utterson and Dr. Jekyll, is described as “a healthy, dapper, red-faced gentleman, with a shock of hair prematurely white.” (p.12). Each of the characters are described according to their importance in the novella. Each of them except one: Mr. Hyde. Nobody seems to be able to make a proper description of the other body of Dr. Jekyll. There are several attempts to make a portrait of this gentleman through the text, seven properly speaking. In addition, there are three descriptions of a watershed moment in this question: The transformation. Nevertheless, all of them are circuitous, enveloping Mr. Hyde in mystery. The first one appears at the beginning of the novella. Mr. Enfield, Mr Utterson good friend and distant relative, explains to him an horrifying story about a “little man” (p.7) who stepped into a little girl. In his narrative, Mr. Enfield describes Mr. Hyde’s body-build and especially the strange sensations caused by him, but not his guise, hence Mr.Utterson question: “What sort of a man is he to see?” (p.9). The answer that he received is one of the most famous descriptions (attempt to description, I should say) among scholars: "He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something dis... ... middle of paper ... ...can accustom our eyes to it, a great deal of the apprehension vanishes. Every one will be sensible of this, who considers how greatly night adds to our dread, in all cases of danger, and how much the notions of ghosts and goblins, of which none can form clear ideas, affect minds. (Burke 1761: 99) Mr. Utterson imagination, as well as ours, is drawing his own version of Mr. Hyde using what he doesn’t know about him. Tom Hubbard said it best: “If we do not seek Mr. Hyde, he will seek us.” (1995: 30) To conclude, here is the evidence that Mr. Hyde is depicted in a very ambiguous manner mainly on the grounds that what we cannot perceive is more frightening than any horror we already recognize. Stevenson knew that our imagination, properly stimulated (for example with Schalk 's idea), can create a monster much more terrifying than the one he could describe in words.
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