Literary Analysis Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde 202005 Cabrel Everwo
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Literary Analysis: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson that explores the duality of human nature and the conflict between good and evil. The story follows the mysterious relationship between Dr Henry Jekyll, a respectable and benevolent scientist, and Mr Edward Hyde, a violent and depraved criminal who seems to have a hold over Jekyll. As the plot unfolds, the reader discovers that Jekyll and Hyde are in fact the same person, and that Jekyll has been experimenting with a chemical that allows him to transform into his alter ego at will.
The novella can be interpreted in various ways, such as a psychological thriller, a moral allegory, a social commentary, or a Gothic horror. In this article, we will focus on some of the main themes and symbols that Stevenson uses to convey his message and create suspense.
The Theme of Duality
One of the most prominent themes in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the duality of human nature. Stevenson suggests that every person has a dual nature, consisting of both good and evil aspects, and that these aspects are often in conflict with each other. He also implies that society forces people to suppress their darker impulses and conform to certain standards of respectability and morality, which can lead to repression and frustration.
Jekyll represents the rational, civilized, and moral side of human nature, while Hyde represents the irrational, savage, and immoral side. Jekyll is described as \"a large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty\", while Hyde is \"pale and dwarfish\", \"deformed\", and \"hardly human\". Jekyll enjoys a high social status and reputation as a doctor and philanthropist, while Hyde lives in a shabby apartment in a poor neighborhood and commits crimes such as murder and blackmail. Jekyll has friends and colleagues who respect him, while Hyde is hated and feared by everyone who meets him.
Jekyll's experiment with the chemical is an attempt to separate his two natures and indulge his darker side without compromising his respectable identity. However, he soon realizes that he cannot control his transformations or his actions as Hyde. He also discovers that Hyde is growing stronger and more dominant over him, while he himself is becoming weaker and more dependent on the chemical. He realizes that he has unleashed a monster that threatens to destroy him and everything he cares about.
The Symbolism of the Setting
Another important element in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the symbolism of the setting. Stevenson uses the contrast between different locations in London to reflect the contrast between Jekyll and Hyde's personalities. He also uses imagery of light and darkness to create a sense of mystery and danger.
The novella begins in a well-lit street where two gentlemen, Mr Utterson and Mr Enfield, are taking a walk. They pass by a door that leads to Hyde's apartment, which Enfield describes as \"a certain sinister block of building ... which bore in every feature the marks of profound and sordid negligence\". The door is associated with Hyde's evil deeds, such as trampling over a young girl and killing Sir Danvers Carew. The door also symbolizes the hidden connection between Jekyll and Hyde, as it is later revealed that it is part of Jekyll's laboratory.
Jekyll's house is located in a respectable neighborhood with \"a great air of wealth and comfort\". It has two entrances: one facing the street, which is used by Jekyll's guests and servants; and one facing the back yard, which is used by Jekyll himself when he transforms into Hyde. The back entrance leads to Jekyll's laboratory, where he keeps his chemical supplies and conducts his experiments. The laboratory is described as \"a large room fitted with fire\", \"furnished with scientific instruments\", and \"littered with chemical apparatus\". The laboratory represents Jekyll's scientific curiosity and ambition, but also his dangerous secrets.
The novella ends in a dark night when Utterson and Poole break into Jekyll's laboratory to find out what has happened to him. They find Hyde's dead body lying on the floor, wearing Jekyll's clothes. They also find Jekyll's confession letter explaining his story. The night symbolizes the final triumph of evil over good, as Hyde has killed Jekyll and taken over his body.
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