Throughout the story, Stevenson characterizes Mr. Hyde as a strange man with odd features who nobody seems to like. The novella starts out with a story of how horrible Mr. Hyde acts, injuring and killing people without any trace of a guilty conscious. Before the readers even know about the real Mr. Hyde, they already think of him as a despicable person. Whenever someone describes Mr. Hyde’s unusual features, they say he seems to be deformed, but doesn’t appear to have “any namable malformation” (16). Strangely enough, most people in London have heard about Mr. Hyde but have never seen him in person and still know of the ‘deformity’ he has. Whenever Hyde comes around, the setting changes into fogginess and darkness. Mr. Hyde represents the dark, evil side that people hide, and so when he comes into play in the story, readers are usually warned with a change in setting, It becomes foggy because of the uncertainty of Mr. Hyde and his background, no one really knows about him. Since not many people have encountered Hyde and he usually only can around in the dead of night, peoples’ descriptions of him vary but...
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.... Hyde (23). Again the fog is brought back to make a point of the mystery of Mr. Hyde. The fog represents the uncertainty that lies within Mr. Hyde. Since it is only nine o’clock in the morning, Mr. Hyde is nowhere to be found because during the day he hides behind the mask of Dr. Henry Jekyll. Only at night he comes out as his evil self, then retreats back to the door and once again hides in plain sight, behind Dr. Jekyll.
R.L. Stevenson incorporates these literary elements to show the importance of the setting. Through the characterization of Mr. Hyde, Stevenson utilizes his strange features to make the story chilling and suspenseful. Although people now do not share the same fears and those did in the nineteenth century, when the story was written, Stevenson still creates an environment where people’s curiosity of the unknown, Mr Hyde, makes their blood run cold.
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