Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Genre: Science Fiction/Gothic Mystery
Published: 1886 during the Victorian time period
Protagonist: Henry Jekyll
Antagonist: Edward Hyde
Summary: Henry "Harry" Jekyll is a well respected member of London society. In his personal life, he is pre-engaged to Muriel Carew, the daughter of a brigadier general. In his professional life, he is a medical doctor, scientist and academician. He theorizes that in each man is a good side and an evil side which can be separated into two. In doing so, the evil side can be controlled and the good side can live without worry, in combination leading to the betterment of society. In his experiments, he uses himself as the subject to test his hypothesis. His evil side, who he coins Mr. Hyde, escapes into London, and terrorizes party-girl Ivy Pierson. Jekyll, aware of Hyde's goings-on, decides to stop his experiments because of the suffering he has caused Ivy. What Jekyll is unaware of is how ingrained Hyde is in Jekyll's life. Key Themes: The duality of human nature, the importance of reputation Literary Elements: Symbols-Jekyll’s house and laboratory, Hyde’s appearance
Motifs-Violence against innocents, silence, urban terror
Point of View-For most of the novel, the narrative follows Utterson’s point of view; in the last two chapters, Lanyon and Jekyll report their experiences from their own perspectives
Foreshadowing: While a general mood of impending disaster pervades the novel, there are a few instances of explicit foreshadowing
“He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn’t specify the point. He’s an extraordinary-looking man, and yet I really can name nothing out of the way. No, sir; I can make no hand of it; I can’t describe him. And it’s not want of memory; for I declare I can see him this moment.” This quotation appears in Chapter 1, “Story of the Door,” when Enfield is telling Utterson about how he saw Hyde mercilessly trample a little girl. Utterson asks Enfield to describe the way Hyde looks, but Enfield, as the quote shows, is not able to clearly describe him. However, he is able to say that Hyde is deformed, ugly, and makes you feel disgusted, yet he cannot clearly say why Hyde makes him feel this way. Enfield’s inability to describe Mr. Hyde is not the only time that characters have trouble describing the man. Utterson, as well as witnesses describing Hyde to the police, cannot come up with a detailed description of the man. Most people determine that he appears ugly and deformed in an indescribable way. The incapability to illustrate Hyde’s appearance creates an impression of Hyde as a mysterious figure, someone whose deformity is truly elusive, enigmatic, and perceptible only with some sort of sixth sense for which no vocabulary exists. It is almost as if words themselves fail when they try to come to grips with Hyde, he is beyond words, just as he is beyond morality and conscience. As a supernatural creation, he does not quite belong in the world; therefore, he escapes the conceptual faculties of normal human beings. Journal 2
The book and the movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde weren’t too different. The 1920 silent film, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” wasn’t too different from the book. Even though this film version of the book was silent, I could still tell what was happening in the movie because I compared what was going on in the film to the book as I watched it. The film and the book were actually very similar. I believed the reason for this was because the movie was silent and the director had to portray it more accurately to the book.
Much like other movie remakes of books,...