Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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He put the glass to his lips, and drank at one gulp. A cry followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I looked there came, I thought, a change—he seemed to swell—his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and alter—and at the next moment, I had sprung to my feet and leaped back against the wall, my arm raised to shield me from that prodigy, my mind submerged in terror. “O God!” I screamed, and “O God!” again and again; for there before my eyes—pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death—there stood Henry Jekyll! This passage appears in chapter 9 as Lanyon describes the moment when Hyde transforms back into Jekyll. This passage is full of Gothic conventions, features and structures that combined create a suspenseful plot with a nail bitting twist. Some techniques Stevenson uses in this passage are also present throughout the whole novel. -The only dialogue used in this passage is “O God” which together with the ‘I screamed’ and the exclamation marks helps emphasise Lanyon’s horror and fear of Mr Hyde. This grasps the reader’s attention and enhances the supernatural effect of the transformation. -Visual imagery plays a very large and significant role in this passage as it heightens the effect of the scene. When Stevenson describes Hyde as ‘starring with injected eyes’ and suggests the horrific appearance of his features as they ‘melt and altar’, he successfully evokes the terror and dreadfulness of the moment of transformation. -The use of descriptive language such as ‘stagger’ and ‘gasp’ depicts the violent transformation process. The effect of descriptive language in this passage creates a close relationship between the character and the audience as it positions the reader ‘in’ the story and makes them feel involved. The adjectives also enhance the suspense involved in finding the true horror of...
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