Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson

Length: 543 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson

'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' was written in the late 19th century by an
English author named R.L.Stevenson. Victorians were interested in
Darwin's theory of evolution and Stevenson took advantage of this. Not
all classes were educated, so Stevenson had to aim for higher-class
people. Jekyll would be the same class as the readers, whereas Hyde
would be unknown to such people because he was associated with the
lower classes.

Stevenson was influenced by Darwinism in the novella to involve
Victorian Society. When "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" was released, Charles
Darwin had just revealed his theory of man evolving from apes. When
the Victorians read this book, Hyde was referred to as evidence of
Darwin's theory by the use of phrases such as: "With ape-like fury"
and "Like a monkey, jumped", which gives you an image of primate
characteristics.

Another thing that Stevenson referred to is the Faust legend from the
fifteenth century. Dr Jekyll gives Dr Lanyon a choice, very much
similar to Faust's. Faust drove himself so hard that the Devil
appeared and gave him the choice, to stay normal and behold the
restrictions of humanity, or he could have all the power and knowledge
that he ever wanted, but at a price. At the end of twenty-four years
Faust would lose his soul to the Devil. In Jekyll and Hyde, Lanyon is
given the choice of wealth and wisdom, or to be none the wiser. They
both made the same choice. Faust went to Hell, unable to go back on
his promise, and Lanyon died a few weeks later through shock from what
he saw.

Most of the themes in 'Jekyll and Hyde' can also be found in many
traditional narratives ie: Good versus Evil, Good and Bad guys and
monsters. Further themes are the Fear of science and the
transformation of the main character from good to evil.

At the time that 'Jekyll and Hyde' was released, science was not that
advanced. People were afraid of the unknown.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jun 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=139295>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Good and bad. Pure and evil. Right and wrong. Joy and despair. These are all themes Robert Louis Stevenson addresses in his novel, “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” Robert Louis Stevenson presents the view that no human has the capacity to be completely good or completely bad. Instead human nature is shown to exhibit both good and bad with dynamic results. Human nature encourages us to feel and experience a range of emotions....   [tags: Jekyll Hyde Stevenson Essays]

Research Papers
2412 words (6.9 pages)

Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essay

- Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The novella ‘Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde’ was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in the Victorian era. The book was first published in 1886 in England and it brought high success to the author. The final chapter of the novella which is ‘Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement Of The Case’ explores the ways that the author presents Victorian attitudes to the nature of humans. Stevenson explains to the reader that humans have lots of different sides to each other and not just one....   [tags: Stevenson Jekyll Hyde Essays]

Research Papers
2282 words (6.5 pages)

The Notion of Good and Evil in Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Essay

- The Notion of Good and Evil in Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde The book entitled 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' was published in 1886. Although in the book Stevenson does not ever state the exact year, it was at the time recognized immediately as a grand work. The main theme running throughout the book is about the duality of human beings and the battle in all humans between good and evil. This book is very allegorical because the characters and events are representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper spiritual and moral meaning....   [tags: Jekyll Hyde Stevenson Essays]

Research Papers
2857 words (8.2 pages)

Stevenson's Use of Literary Techniques to Portray Evil in Jekyll and Hyde

- This essay will focus on how Robert Louis Stevenson presents the nature of evil through his novel ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Using ideas such as duality, the technique used to highlight the two different sides of a character or scene, allegories, an extended metaphor which has an underlying moral significance, and hypocrisy; in this book the Victorians being against all things evil but regularly taking part in frown able deeds that would not be approved of in a ‘respectable’ society....   [tags: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson]

Research Papers
3971 words (11.3 pages)

The Mystery in Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essay

- Stevenson uses certain characters like Jekyll and Hyde to show how he engages and intrigues his readers. During the play many mysteries are created which makes the audience ask many questions about the characters. The character of Utterson is the narrator and is a good example of a typical Victorian gentleman. He doesn’t show his inward reality, he shows that he hides a lot behind the surface. ‘Long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow loveable.’ This suggests he feels he has to hide, some of his more human qualities....   [tags: Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, m]

Research Papers
656 words (1.9 pages)

Evil Personas in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Essay

- Evil Personas in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Some believe that every individual has an evil persona trapped inside that is just waiting to get out. This may be true for some but it may also just be another excuse for one to commit evil deeds. In the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson, a prominent doctor (Dr. Jekyll) conducts a scientific experiment in which he compounds a certain mixture he consumes and transforms into an ugly, repulsive creature (Mr....   [tags: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde R.L. Stevenson Essays]

Research Papers
1509 words (4.3 pages)

The Nature of Good and Evil in Stevenson's The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

- The Nature of Good and Evil in Stevenson's The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Introduction: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the story of a gifted doctor who discovers a drug which can release the evil side of one's nature. This drug changes Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde. Stevenson does not reveal the details of Jekyll's story until the end of the novel, but presents the tale as mystery, in which the main characters try to figure out the identity of Mr Hyde and understand his strange relationship with Dr Jekyll....   [tags: Stevenson Hyde Jekyll Essays Papers]

Research Papers
1548 words (4.4 pages)

Perils of Addiction Exposed in Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essays

- Perils of Addiction Exposed in Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde   The values, standards, and expectations of the upper-middle class in the 19th-century Victorian society were conservative and strict; the pressure to earn prestige and achieve upward mobility in social rank required men to sustain an image of propriety and respectability in public.  These obligations often created a longing to divert from the personality facades they had to keep, and from the ideal behavior and polite manners that were expected of bourgeois society men.  Some would fulfill their wishes by leading a secret double life that allowed them to temporarily escape from societal responsibilities and restrictions...   [tags: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essays Stevenson]

Research Papers
1761 words (5 pages)

The Amazing Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde By Robert Stevenson Essay

- ‘The uncanny,’ as explored by Sigmund Freud, is a theory that can often be found in works of literature intended to scare and unsettle the reader (Freud, 1919). “The uncanny has to do with making things uncertain… the sense that things are not as they have come to appear through habit and familiarity…” (Bennett and Royle, p36). ‘The uncanny’ in 19th century gothic literature creates feelings of unease, particularly among the repressive society at the time. To coincide with this, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Stevenson during that era, makes use of the unhomeliness to highlight truths about ourselves that often stay hidden, such as our dual natures and the propensity for...   [tags: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde]

Research Papers
1855 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Dual Personalities in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson

- Dual Personalities in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson INTRO The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a classic mystery story, enticing to all audiences merely upon it’s suspense alone. When Stevenson first wrote the story (after recalling a dream he had) he had only the intentions of writing such an entertaining tale. Yet at the suggestion of his wife, he decided to revamp the mystery to comment on the dual nature of man and of society in general. I believe that Stevenson is suggesting that "All human beings…are commingled out of good and evil.", as spoken by Dr Jekyll....   [tags: Robert Louis Stevenson]

Research Papers
1310 words (3.7 pages)

The people that either
had an education or could afford to read this book, found Jekyll as
their kind of person. But when transformed, they would be disgusted
and not know what to expect of him. Hyde was an obsolete species as
far as the higher class Victorians were concerned because many never
visited Soho.

This novella contains characteristics of both Gothic horror and
Detective genres. Of Gothic horror, it contains monsters and the
corruption of the human body and mind. Of the Detective genre, it
contains a search for truth and evidence with hidden clues. In this
story Hyde would be described as the monster and Utterson as the
detective working out those clues.

Most of the Victorian society would not have been to the poorer areas
of London. Stevenson describes such places with phrases such as:
'chocolate-coloured pall', 'hues of twilight' and 'swirling wreaths'.
This creates a feeling of darkness associated with crime.

Most gothic horror stories have mad scientists and monsters, and no
detective story would be the same without a detective. The mad
scientist being Dr Henry Jekyll, monster being Mr Edward Hyde and the
detective being Mr Utterson. This story describes Jekyll as having a
'sincere and warm affection', and as a 'smooth-faced man of fifty'.
Whereas Hyde was described as having a 'black sneering coolness' ,or
hard, and being 'not easy to describe'. Utterson the 'lawyer' was
described as 'austere', and as 'the last influence to down going men'.
This gives the feeling of him being a highly respected friend.

The settings and characteristics would appeal to the Victorian
society, and the themes could still hold meaning today. The settings
and most of the characteristics were common to most Victorians.
Settings, such as Dr Jekyll's surroundings and Mr Hyde's place of
origin. The characteristics of Jekyll and Hyde could be associated
with the different classes of the Victorian age, Jekyll with the upper
class and Hyde with the lower class. Themes such as splitting the
human mind into two distinct halves can be used as influence to
scientists today, whether with in the field of surgery or chemistry.
Return to 123HelpMe.com