The Importance of the House in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Importance of the House in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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The Importance of the House in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Steveson used the architecture of Dr. Jekyll's house very intelligently. The house can be regarded to be parallel to Dr. Jekyll's double personality. Throughout the book, the house lends itself as a powerful prop, by which it is possible for Dr. Jekyll to use his house even when he is in the form of Mr. Hyde. The house, like Dr. Jekyll, has a dark side. On the front side of the house, it seems to be an elite, upper class, respectable home. However, the rest of the house is quite the opposite. As the book described it – 'discolored wall on the upper; and bore in every feature the marks of prolonged and so did negligence.'; Therefore the back door could be used by Mr. Hyde, with very few suspecting Mr. Hyde of having any connection to Dr. Jekyll. Steveson fit the architecture of the house into the story cleverly. The house supports Dr. Jekyll's secret of being Mr. Hyde at times. The house symbolizes the double personality of its owner. Therefore Dr. Jekyll and his house have parallel characteristics.
We are introduced to the back door right at the beginning of the book. The door is said to be – ' equipped with neither bell or knocker, was blistered and distained.'; Along with the introduction of the door is the introduction of Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde's appearance is described as 'something displeasing, something downright detestable.'; So right from the beginning, we are aware of Mr. Hyde's connection with this mysterious door. Mr. Enfield's story on page 2 gives a good understanding of the shady character of Mr. Hyde. A quote from the book that best describes this is ' The next thing was to get the money; and where do you think he carried us but to that place with the door? – whipped out a key, went in , and presently came back with the matter of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance on Coutts's, drawn payable to bearer, and signed with a name that I can't mention.'; But as the story progresses we learn that the house belongs to Dr. Jekyll. The fact that Dr. Jekyll is only seen in the front of the house, which is well furnished and respectable, brings about the contrasting features of the house. This is also a good time to note that this contradiction of the two sides of the house signifies that Dr. Jekyll is obviously hid...


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...ekyll was a man, who had always followed the rules of society. He was a respectable man, and had never had any adventures. By becoming Mr. Hyde, with the help of his knowledge of science he was satisfying his evil side. But he could not altogether forget about society. Although Dr. Jekyll's reputation was still important to him, and he becomes a hypocrite in the process, he found a way to hide his hypocrisy and keep his reputation as it was. This is why he had to use his private and public identity the way he did. The house clearly caters to Dr. Jekyll's double personality. Steveson uses the house as a prop throughout the book. The story never would have worked if the house's architecture was not like it was. It is almost too much of a give-away that the house was made in this way. But no reader if the book would realize this unless, it was thought about more, or studied.
In conclusion, the house of Dr. Jekyll is much more important then one would think at the beginning of the book. If the architecture was not planned by Steveson the way it was, the story would not have been as good. Steveson used the house greatly to his advantage, and greatened the mystery of the novel.

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