Realism In Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: More Than A 19th Century Novel In Kellen Williams’s “"Down With The Door, Poole": Designating Deviance In Stevenson 's Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde”, Williams suggests that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde employs realism, as do many 19th century novels. In Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it is evident that he weaves in a significant portion of Science and scientific language to propel the narrative and highlight the failings of the Victorian society. In addition, Stevenson’s perspective on the social anxieties of the time, namely “fears about degeneration” (Davis 208), the irrevocably dual nature of man, and the questionable morality of Victorian bourgeois values. However, the depiction of class and moral anxieties …show more content…

Williams depicts the “realist compulsion” as the need to “make everything “all charactered and notable, seizing the eye”” (Williams 414). This is especially true in Stevenson’s use of visual imagery that “[seize] the eye”. Such is evident in the depiction of the characters Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, and their environments. Dr. Jekyll is depicted as a man of “tall, fine build” (Stevenson 1699) while Hyde is constantly illustrated as a “pale and dwarfish” being (Stevenson 1684) and has strength that is visually compared to that of a “Juggernaut” (1683). This distinct use of visual imagery creates a stark contrast between two seemingly different personas who will later be revealed to be different sides of Dr. Jekyll himself. The use of environment and setting also aids in distinguishing the two characters. When Mr. Utterson visits Hyde in his home, the surrounding environment is portrayed as a “dingy street” and “a gin palace” with “many ragged children huddled in the doorways” (Stevenson 1689). These images are symbolic of vice and poverty, all of which emphasise the perverse and deviant nature of Hyde as he commits several sins in the novel and is lacking in morals. On the other hand, Dr. Jekyll’s home is often depicted as “warmed by a bright, open fire”, “large”, and “comfortable” (Stevenson 1685), an embodiment of the Victorian outward respectability and “moral” …show more content…

Following the theme of duality, Mr. Utterson shares many similarities with Dr. Jekyll. Both characters have been tempted by their passions and desires. For instance, Mr. Utterson would “[drink] gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages” and avoid the theatre “though he enjoyed [it]”
(Stevenson 1677). However, unlike Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Utterson manages be “austere with himself” and not succumb to these temptations (Stevenson 1677). Through this, it is evident that corruptive influences and desires exist in every individual. Stevenson also warns readers of the all-consuming nature of evil. This is indisputably epitomised in the character os Dr. Jekyll as he succumbs to his “other self”, Hyde, and is unable to escape from the insidious nature of Hyde. Only death was able to relieve Dr. Jekyll of his immoral and “wicked” side (Stevenson 1689). Therefore, the text could be viewed as a 19th century social novel that allegorises the evils and immoral vices of

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