How Does Stevenson Represent Victorian Society in His Novella 'Jekyll and Hyde'?

Topics: Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Victorian era Pages: 4 (1266 words) Published: January 8, 2007
How Does Stevenson Represent Victorian Society In His Novella 'Jekyll And Hyde'?

Throughout the novella 'Jekyll and Hyde', Robert Louis Stevenson represents Victorian society in various ways. The characters used in the novella are an example of what Stevenson thought of London in Victorian times. Moral views of people living around this time have changed imensely to the present. The Victorian era seems to be a time of many contradictions and secrets from the rest of society. Any thoughts or feelings of emotion or sexual feelings were thought to be wrong and should not be shown in any way so people's thoughts and feelings were restricted. New or radical ideas were also unaccepted as Victorians feared the unknown. Mr Utterson, a respectable man, is described to be 'backward in sentiment' meaning he finds it hard to show emotion. However, he is most probably hiding his emotions to do what is right within society. Mr Enfield, a close friend of Mr Utterson, made sure 'they resisted the calls of business'. This implies they made sure their walks were priority. This seems strange as 'it was a nut to crack for many to see what they could see in eachother'. This implies that their relationship is uncertain and they have nothing in common; nevertheless they still took their walks that 'they may enjoy uninterrupted'. This is an implication made by Stevenson that it is a possibility that a homosexual relationship may be occurring

which would be frowned on by Victorian society. Someone of Mr Utterson's class would not be expected to be involved in this type of relationship; it is therfore a contradiction of what is expected of the class system. In chapter two, Utterson believes that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll. Therefore, he considers blackmailing Hyde to leave Utterson alone. Stevenson is implying here also that the Victorians contradict themselves. 'Utterson began to haunt the door in the bystreet of shops' This is also a contradiction of Victorian society as...
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