Robert Lewis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - How does Stevenson establish intrigue in his novella? -
Intrigue: to interest someone a lot, especially by being strange, unusual or mysterious (Cambridge Dictionaries Online). The novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Lewis Stevenson manages to catch the reader’s interest and attention throughout the story by using diverse methods, mediums and literally devises which cause the reader much intrigue and make him want to reading on.
The most prominent literally devise used by Stevenson to create curiosity is the many narratives in the novella by different characters. Although most of the story is told from Mr. Utterson’s point of view (a lawyer and main figure), key parts of the story are told from Dr. Lanyon (friend of Mr. Utterson and Dr. Jekyll) and the ending by Dr. Jekyll (creator of the “personality-switch” potion and consequently Mr. Hyde). Furthermore, each narrative is transmitted to the reader by different media, such as story-telling, speech and letters. This means that the reader doesn’t just get one point of view of the events, but rather three, each of a different one. This makes the reader curious as to what each narrator will reveal about the happenings in the story and creates much intrigue.
A second major devise used in the novella is character. The figure of Mr. Hyde and his secret identity is constantly chased by the main character (Mr. Utterson) and is related to all important events in the story (from Dr. Jekyll’s will to Sir Danver’s murder). The reader is never properly described the outer appearance of Hyde since all the information resealed about him comes from second hands, “he is an extraordinary looking man… I can’t describe him” (page 15). Furthermore the strange connection between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (the protégé of Dr. Jekyll) intrigues the reader even further, since Jekyll is regarded as a respectable man and Hyde a...
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