The word 'Gothic', taken from a Germanic tribe, the Goths, stood firstly for 'Germanic' and then 'mediaeval'. It was introduced to fiction by Horace Walpole in 'Castle of Otranto, a Gothic Story', and was used to depict its mediaeval setting. As more novelists adopted this Gothic setting; dark and gloomy castles on high, treacherous mountains, with supernatural howling in the distance; other characteristics of the 'Gothic Novel' could be identified. The most dominant characteristic seems to be the constant battle between the good and the dark side of the human soul and how that, given a chance, the dark side of human nature will gradually develop, through the actions of the character in question, until it has engulfed the good, and also raises the theme of suffering and isolation. Other keynotes of 'Gothic Novels' seem to be the misuse or abuse of technology. For example, science is used to create new beings, the characters turning against or abusing nature and/or God, where the character may take on the role of God, the forbidden attraction of evil, the thrill of the kill, and death.
The novels Frankenstein, Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Confessions of a Justified Sinner all contain important truths about human nature and mankind. By looking into these three texts, I am going to explore exactly how they fit or do not fit into the various interpretations of 'Gothic' I have laid out.
The two most prominent themes in Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde are those of the 'misuse of technology'and 'the dark side of man and all its attractions.' These two themes are, in fact, directly linked with each other as it is as a r...
... middle of paper ...
... Making monstrous. Frankenstein, criticism, theory. Manchester University Press, 1991.
Boyd, Stephen. York Notes on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Longman York Press, 1992.
Mellor, Anne K. Mary Shelley. Her Life, her Fiction, her Monsters. Methuen. New York, London, 1988.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. Edited with an Introduction and notes by Maurice Hindle. Penguin books, 1992
Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. New York:Dover Publishing, Inc., 1991.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 1886. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Stories. Harmondsworth: Penguin,1979. 27-97.
Svilpis, J.E. "The Mad Scientist and Domestic Affection in Gothic Fiction." Gothic Fiction: Prohibition/Transgression. Ed. Kenneth W. Graham. New York: Ams, 1989.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson both show Freud’s ideas of Id, Ego and Superego as well as of innate desire. Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus shows Freud's stages of psychosexual development. Collectively both novels should be considered Freudian through these ideas. Jekyll and Hyde works as a symbolic portrayal of the goodness and evil that resides in equal measure within the soul of a man. It pre-empted Freudian psychoanalysis by twenty-five years and yet is similar to some of his theories.... [tags: Frankenstein Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde]
1443 words (4.1 pages)
- Monsters are creatures that don’t fit into society. Some don’t try to hide themselves, but some on the other hand do. Since society doesn’t accept them, they try to find a way to fit in society’s image. Even when monsters try to hide their true identity, society makes them who they actually are by pushing them back to their monstrous state. Several monsters that go through this are Frankenstein’s Monster, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Edward Cullen. In the story Frankenstein, Frankenstein creates a creature.... [tags: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde]
964 words (2.8 pages)
- Monsters are creatures that don’t fit in society. Some don’t try to hide themselves, but some on the other hand do. Since society doesn’t except them, they try to find a way to fit in societies image. Even when monsters try to hide their true identity, society makes them who they actually are by pushing them back to their monstrous state. Several monsters that go through this are Frankenstein’s Monster, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Edward Cullen. In the story Frankenstein, Frankenstein creates a creature.... [tags: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde]
855 words (2.4 pages)
- “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” is a gothic horror novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson in the Victorian era. The novella follows a well-respected doctor - Henry Jekyll - and his struggle between good and evil when he takes a potion and becomes Mr Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson - the author of the novella “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”- was born in Edinburgh in 1850 and died at the young age of forty-four. He wrote the book in 1886. As a child he was very close to his nurse and when he was ill she used to read him Bible stories as he was brought up in a strict Catholic tradition, which he later rebelled against.... [tags: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Essays]
2528 words (7.2 pages)
- The late eighteen hundreds was a time of abundant scientific discoveries, medical advances, and drug outbreaks (Wolf). Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson united all three happenings into a single novel. Stevenson grasped the fear of the Victorian people and the unfamiliar concepts and findings of scientific advances to create the novel as a horror (Wolf). Robert Louis Stevenson was one of the first authors to truly explore and inquire in the concept of the duality of man and how it affects us and our society Wolf.... [tags: Robert Louis Stevenson]
1663 words (4.8 pages)
- How Stevenson Explores the Nature of Good and Evil in the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The story is about a doctor called Jekyll who has an alternate identity called Hyde. Until the last two chapters it is told from the view point of Mr Utterson; a friend of Jekyll’s who is trying to piece together the story. It uses features of gothic novels such as doppelganger which is an alternate identity. It also uses multiple narratives to make the reader think, it also helps the reader solve the case themselves, and piece the story together, from the evidence given.... [tags: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde R.L. Stevenson Essays]
1080 words (3.1 pages)
- Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, takes place in 1870’s England and centers on a man by the name of Dr. Henry Jekyll, who is a respectable doctor among his own community. In the beginning of the story, Mr. Utterson (who is the lawyer responsible for drafting Dr. Jekyll’s final will and testament) is walking with his friend, Mr. Enfield. As they are walking past this street, Enfield reminisces about a nighttime stroll that he took past this street, where he saw a small and disproportionate man attacking a young girl in the street.... [tags: monster, transformation, frankenstein]
2534 words (7.2 pages)
- One characteristic of a monster is that they are violent. Many people question why monsters are violent and why they want to put humans in harms way. Monsters are violent because society makes them that way. This statement is justified by the many various monsters in the following: the monsters are Frankenstein’s Monster, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Saw to name a few of the more iconic classic monsters. Humanity pushes monsters to be violent because that’s the only way they know how to react.... [tags: Serial killer, Ted Bundy]
2260 words (6.5 pages)
- The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Discussion as an example of Gothic Fiction and as a critique of Victorian society. This book was written at a time of change in the world of fiction as a new form of gothic literature emerged. Fin de Siecle was a new type of New Gothic that had elements that differed from previous gothic stories. Stevenson's story is based around various shards of the gothic and is mainly focused on exposing the "duality of man" and his struggle to hide it from the outside world.... [tags: Gothic Literature]
1047 words (3 pages)
- How Does Stevenson Intend His Readers to Respond to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. What Methods Does He Use to Bring About These Responses. Robert Lewis (later changed to ‘Louis’) Stevenson was born in Edinburgh November 13th 1850, into an engineering family. Although he had been plagued with illness all his life, after inheriting tuberculosis from his mother, he enrolled at Edinburgh University to study engineering, to follow in his successful father’s footsteps. However he abandoned that road of studies and swapped to law, where he ‘passed advocate,’ although he had the education to practise law he did not follow that either, because by this time he had realised that he could and would write inste... [tags: English Literature]
2858 words (8.2 pages)
- Comparing Maturation in Sons and Lovers, Out Of The Shelter and The Rachel Papers
- Bridging Two Worlds in Girl Interrupted
- American Society Portrayed in Tolkin's The Player and Among the Dead
- Comparing Zoline's Heat Death of the Universe and Calvino's Cosmicomics
- Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): The Character of Meursault
- Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): Parallels Within