Corruption In Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde

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“The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” is a Victorian Gothic novel that was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in the late 19th century. The contrast between the mild-mannered Jekyll and the barbaric Hyde allows Stevenson to portray Hyde as a frightening outsider whilst establishing the recurring themes of corruption and horror which are explored through the ideas of vulnerability and blackmail. Throughout the novel Hyde is predominantly presented as animalistic. Highly descriptive vocabulary such as ‘snarled’, ‘hissing’ and ‘troglodytic’ establishes a predatorial tone due to its connotations of danger and fright, suggesting serpent like behaviour. It is possible that the snake-like characteristics of Mr Hyde refer to biblical ideas, in…show more content…
When threatened with blackmail, he willingly pays the sum he is asked for indicating that he places a lot of value in his reputation, indicating the importance of reputability during the Victorian era. Despite appearing as an outsider in many ways, his conforming to the norms in society at the time by trying to protect his reputation shows that mentally he is much the same as anyone else. A secondary thought provoking part of this occurrence is that the blackmailing of Hyde unearths the concept of corruption, which Stevenson explores not only in this chapter but throughout the entirety of the book. Rank and class in Victorian society were incredibly important, however, many gentlemen were like ‘animals’ at night, delving into a forbidden world of pleasures that they couldn’t admit to being involved in, often leading to instances of blackmail, consequently drawing our attention to the corrupt and dark instincts of human nature. Overall, Hyde is portrayed as a terrifying outsider within the text. The parallels drawn between the character of Hyde and Satan are present throughout the novel, immediately establishing him as a dangerous, untrustworthy character. However, in some ways, Hyde is less of an outsider than he initially appears. Mentally, he still conformed to many of the norms in Victorian society, placing particular importance on his reputation, allowing Stevenson to show that despite Jekyll’s attempts to separate himself from evil, human nature still had an impact on

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