Major themes of Jekyll and Hyde

English Literature



7m 39s
This tutorial looks at how Stevenson presents the differences between Jekyll and Hyde, including animal motifs and bestial descriptions, continued attention to ideas of primitivism and violence. Counteracting images of rationality and science, respectability. Creation of the ‘other’ through language and physical descriptions. It looks at how the narrative structure creates uncertainty and relates back to questions of reliability in narration and the role of letters/rationality/knowledge. Highlight this in relation to the Gothic genre. Further to this it looks at how the structure explores the difference between public and private selves, not only the duality of persons but also spaces – the city, private rooms, public streets, laboratory. Finally it looks at critical responses to the novella, including a few key quotes regarding ‘Monster theory’, Gothic fiction and detective fiction.


Alex Blott

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