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Thread: dr jekyll and mr hyde

  1. #1
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    Jan 2009

    dr jekyll and mr hyde

    im in secondary school and need to do an essay on dr jekyll and mr hyde.i need to know why is violence used by the author to hieghten hydes evil snobby comments please.this is my essay so far how can i improve it:

    The strange case of Dr Hyde is a short novel set in Victorian times of London where wealth and appearance are everything. Richer wealthier people had high social status and the poor where nobody’s. The poor people lived in frowned upon places such as Soho. In this essay I’m going to examine the presentation of evil in this novel. Although evil is most obviously presented in the character of Doctor Jekyll’s other identity Mr. Hyde, evil is reinforced through description of weather different locations in London and symbolic objects such as doors and houses.

    Mr Hyde is a doctor Jekyll creation made when doctor Jekyll drunk a potion and turned into Hyde. they switch forms frequently. Mr Hyde is short and young. People react with horror and fear when they see him. But there is no single thing about him that is especially unpleasant; it is as if his spirit affects people. He has an appearance that as soon as people look at her they have an instant loathing for him which seems to be unexplainable:’’ I had taken a loathing to my gentlemen at first sight’’. This shows that as well as being evil. His appearances in the novel are always brief. People only catch impressions of him, before he vanishes into the dark or behind a door. Beating sir Danvers Carew, he shows evilness on the outside as well as trampling on a small girl without a motive. The reason that Louis Stevenson portrays Mr Hyde as short because being evil is only a very small part of Dr Jekyll. At first in the novel Dr Jekyll has a big amount of control over Mr Hyde. Then later in the novel Mr Hyde grows in confidence and becomes dominant over Dr Jekyll and becomes more evil and drives Dr Jekyll to desperate measures that kills himself to kill Mr Hyde. Hyde is compared to Satan because of his devilish looks and also the way he tramples on a young girl with no remorse. He is also described as small and grotesque in chapter 9.

    Hyde commits three acts of violence. The acts of violence are: Trampling on a little girl then compensating with Jekyll’s money, murdering john Danvers Carew. Hyde is not provoked in any of these acts of violence and does these because of his pure evil nature and because he is only the evil side of Jekyll which is a small amount .he has no needs to reason and does the acts on his own accord. When Hyde is violent he is compared to Satan. ’’There was the man in the middle with a kind of black sneering coolness but carrying it off really like Satan. This heightens Hyde’s evil nature because it shows his ruthlessness. So as well as giving readers an excuse for hating him because of his looks he reinforces it because of his actions.

  2. #2
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    grad school in upstate NY
    Hi there,

    I think your essay is heading in the right direction, but it perhaps needs a more focused thesis statement. I think the reason Hyde's violence heightens his "evil nature" is basically because he enjoys hurting others. I know that sounds simple, but you can eke a lot out of it when you compare Hyde's sadistic nature to Jekyll's rather harmless one.

    You could also talk about the metaphorical violence associated with literally splitting one's identity into two pieces - one wholly good, one wholly evil.

    To make it even more interesting, you could look at the ending of the book through the lens of violence. Who was it that committed suicide? Jekyll or Hyde? If it was Jekyll, then you can discuss how evil his alter ego had to be to force the benevolent Jekyll into an act of violence against himself.

    Finally, I think you might find this website helpful for your paper: it has a whole section on the theme of violence in the Jekyll and Hyde, as well as quotations to back it up.

    Check it out here:

    If you go to the tab labelled "themes", you'll see violence listed as one. And if you go to the "quotes" tab, you'll find some quotes and thoughts on violence. Hope that's helpful.

    Good luck!

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