Emotional Aspects of Mary Reilly

1479 Words6 Pages
Emotional Aspects of Mary Reilly

Throughout her tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Martin maintains some emotional aspects of the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, while discarding and replacing others. Although the subtleties of the emotions in Stevenson's novel are deeper than those of Martin's, they may still be found spotting the plot in all of the different characters. Stevenson's primary characters, Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Utterson, display the strongest emotions, and can be most easily documented and interpreted. Martin, on the other hand, swaps out Mr. Utterson as the primary character and replaces him with Mary Reilly, a housemaid living with Dr. Jekyll. Unlike Stevenson, Martin provides a very grand emotional display. Mary is plagued by several distinct emotions, and the thoughts and feelings of Dr. Jekyll are brought to light far more vividly than in Stevenson's text. By utilizing a deep connection to emotion in her novel, Mary Reilly, Valerie Martin nearly transforms the genre of the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde into a psychological thriller.

Mary Reilly's emotions play the strongest role in Martin's novel. Since the Mary Reilly character does not appear in the original novel, it is difficult to compare her emotional characteristics to those found in Stevenson's novel; her point of view, however, can be loosly juxtaposed to the overall style of the narrators involved in Stevenson's novel. As previously noted, the emotions expressed by Stevenson are mostly implied, but they nevertheless carry a great deal of importance to the novel. As the Stvenson novel is told exclusively by upper-class characters and a narrator viewing only those upper-class characters, a great deal of detail is left out. The thoughts and feelings of Utterson, Lanyon, and Jekyll are all downplayed in a sort of "gentleman's modesty". Jekyll does not even reveal his chemically separated counterpart to anyone until desperate circumstances reqire that he release the information to Lanyon. Utterson masks his concern with his professional attitude, and Poole, Jekyl's butler, does the same. All of this masquerading begins to come to an end when at last the true identity of Mr. Hyde is brought to light. Until this point, the reader has only a few hints and his/her own thoughts to be guided by. In a plot-turning scene set in the street below Dr. Jekyll's open window, Jekyll tries to speak with Utterson and Enfield as they pass by:

More about Emotional Aspects of Mary Reilly

Open Document