Explore How Stevenson Creates a Sense of Intrigue and Engages the Reader’s Interest in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Topics: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh Pages: 5 (1839 words) Published: February 1, 2013
‘Explore how Stevenson creates a sense of intrigue and engages the reader’s interest in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.’ The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. This book is a classic and has been very successful; therefore it has been turned into several films and theatre productions. The book seizes the reader’s attention and gets straight into drama and action, making it hard to put down. This well thought out and complicated book touches on many topics and themes. There are many reasons why Stevenson has done such a good job of making it very hard to put down this novel, for example, Stevenson’s strong characters, the setting, the plot, how the book is written and the several themes. There are countless themes in the book, one being good verses evil. There are two foremost characters clearly identified in the book from the very beginning, Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll. These characters are unquestionably the opposite of each other. Mr Hyde is ‘something displeasing, something downright detestable.’ Mr Utterson, a main character and a lawyer solving the mysterious crimes in the book has many strong views of Mr Hyde. He says ‘I never saw a man so disliked and yet I scarce know why.’ This is a very strong view of someone, consequently Stevenson has clearly made Mr Hyde the depraved and evil character in the book; Mr Hyde’s character reflects many characters of those in Victorian times, for example the well known Jack the Ripper or many other villains who committed crime. Having such a strong and ruthless character immediately urges the reader to find out what the character will do next, what crime he will commit, or who he will upset. Hence this suggests that Stevenson created such an extreme character like Mr Hyde to draw the reader intensely into the book and to make the story grabbing and scary. There are also many descriptions of Hyde’s appearance in the novel. Mr Utterson describes Hyde’s appearance as having ‘ something wrong with his appearance.’ Already just from reading this , even though there is no description of Hyde’s physical features, we can picture Hyde as being a strange, mysterious, odd and evil man. This may encourage people to read on, because they will want to know what Mr Hyde actually looks like and the description of his physical features. Later the reader finds out that Mr Hyde is described as ‘ pale and dwarfish; he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken voice’. From these negative descriptions of Hyde the reader can have a disturbing image of what Mr Hyde looks like. As the reader knows Hyde is an evil, uncontrollable and ‘murderous’ person this persuades people to read, because they are drawn to horror and are eager to see what Hyde’s next move will be. Whereas the good character in Stevenson’s novel, who is also a main character, is Dr. Jekyll, who is the complete opposite of Mr. Hyde. ‘He is a large, well made, smooth faced man of fifty, with something of a stylish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity and kindness’. From this quote alone, it is clear that Stevenson has made Jekyll the complete opposite of Hyde, which relates to the theme good verses evil. Dr Jekyll is definitely seen as innocent, as Mr Utterson makes wrong assumptions towards Mr Hyde. Mr Utterson thinks Jekyll is being blackmailed by Hyde to give him everything in his will, which is also evidence that Jekyll is a vulnerable, nice, innocent character. The theme good versus evil, might encourage people to keeping reading because, the reader might want to know what will happen to Dr Jekyll and if he will stay good forever, which we soon find out. Another theme in the book is loneliness and isolation. Chapter one leads straight into this theme, and from describing a house, the reader immediately...
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