Gothic Literature and Jekyll and Hyde

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My Super-sweet Evil Twin
Gothic literature explores the mind, supernatural, and more. The term ‘gothic' came to be applied to this genre of literature due to the fierce emotional ties and vastly dark themes. The settings of the novels and novellas add to the mysteriousness typical of a gothic story. Typical characteristics include: ghosts, terror, castles, darkness, death, doppelgangers or doubles, madness, and/or secrets. Horace Walpole, author of The Castle of Otranto, created Gothic literature in 1764. Gothic literature, as we know it today, has been shaped by many authors, from E. A. Poe, to Emily Brontë to Daphne DuMaurier's well-known Rebecca.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, speaks of a well-respected man, Dr. Jekyll, who creates an alter-ego, Mr. Hyde, which brings out the darker side of the man. A typical attribute and character in most gothic literature pieces, the doppelganger, or evil twin, describes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in one word. Mr. Hyde commits murder, scares a girl in the street, and comes to hate Jekyll, an excellent doctor in good standing. Where Dr. Jekyll represents inherent ‘goodness', Mr. Hyde embodies ‘evil'. There are no castles or haunted houses in this novella, but there are deaths and secrets abound. From Dr. Jekyll's secret transformations to Mr. Hyde, to Mr. Hyde's nightly romps and murders. The novella ends in suicide, another classic gothic element.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde represents the gothic literature genre. From the evil twin, Mr. Hyde, to the many deaths and suicide, to the inherent good vs. evil in the novella, everything is typical of the gothic novel. This novella exemplifies the gothic genre and gives each reader a special thrill, with the suspense and horror.
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