Mystery is a literary genre that hooks the reader in with thrill and suspense. Mary Reilly is a 1990 parallel novel by American writer Valerie Martin inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson 's classic novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Faithfully weaving in details from Robert Louis Stevenson 's classic, Martin introduces an original and captivating character: Mary Reilly, a survivor who is scarred but still strong, familiar with evil but brimming with devotion and love. The novel Mary Reilly both compliments and complements Stevenson’s novel.
This novel can be seen as a medical thriller rather than a romance because of the way the chain of events take place throughout the laboratory. It cannot be called a romantic novel, but it is a truly thrilling one with the combination of mystery in it.
Mary Reilly is the central character of the novel and also its hero. An Irish housemaid, Mary finds herself attracted to her master, Dr. Jekyll, in spite of all the warnings from her heart. Dr. Jekyll also appears to be developing a fondness for Mary, as is evidenced by his growing concern for her well-being, and the way he appreciates her literary skill, frankness, and loyalty, even entrusting her to carry a message to a brothel.
The novel initially appears to be a romance, but a twist in the story comes when the master of the house declares that his assistant, Mr. Hyde, will be joining him to help in his lab work, and that Hyde should be accorded all the respect that Mary shows to Jekyll. Mary, being a devoted servant, senses that something is dreadfully wrong with the weary and laboratory-obsessed scientist, who has hired Edward Hyde as his assistant.
At the outset there is no suspicion or doubt in ch...
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...is antidote and injects it into himself. He finally becomes Jekyll once more and breathes his last in Mary’s arms.
The characters Mary and Stevenson make this novel terrifying and mysterious. Mary represents a character that shows goodness, whereas Dr. Jekyll is a character that completely contrasts with this goodness. As the Medina County District Library puts it, “Mary represents the apex of devotion, goodness, and honesty, in contrast to the dual nature and complexity of Dr. Jekyll, whose shadow side threatens to destroy all bounds of decency, law, and order.”
Martin finds Edward Hyde to be an evil person, and the duality of Jekyll and Hyde to be a normal thing that could occur in any human. As she states in one of her novels, “You want to surprise and shake up your readers, but at the same time, you want to entertain them and draw them in” (Martin).
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