The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
'The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde' is written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, in 1850 and died in 1894. He grew up in a wealthy, middle-class Scottish family. His father and uncles were designers and builders of lighthouses and the Stevensons were well-known figures in the fashionable bourgeois circles of the time. Although as a young man he rebelled against his strict father as well as against the hypocrisy of the Edinburgh bourgeois mentality, the Calvinist sense of sin and the stern belief that evil lurks everywhere and cannot be conquered, influenced Stevenson's life.
As a child Stevenson suffered from tuberculosis. In order to relieve Stevenson's sickbed his father often told him exiting stories about long journeys and dangerous adventures. After a good deal of unnoticed short stories, 'Treasure island' was published in 1883. This classic adventure story brought Stevenson fame. 'Kidnapped' confirmed his reputation as a writer of unputdownable adventure stories. By now a critically and commercially writer, Stevenson and his wife sailed from San Francisco to the Islands Of The South Pacific in 1888. He overcame his illness while in the tropics and delighted in the Marquesas Islands, Honolulu and Samoa, which he described in 'A Footnote To History' and 'In The South Seas'. Samoa became his permanent home in 1890 and he died there, before completing what many critics have called his finest work 'Weir Of Hermiston'.
'The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde was first published in 1886. It contains 75 pages. The story takes place in London.
The story is told chronologically and sometimes there are flash-backs. The story of 'Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde' came to Stevenson in a dream. One night, when his wife Fanny had to wake him from a terrible nightmare, he reacted with irritation. He had been in the middle of 'a fine bogy tale'. He wrote it down on the spot, with all the gory details, because he thought it would please his audience. In the second version the accent of the tale was more on the human element of its characters. Evil was given a personification: it was no longer a tendency to sin which only very rarely, at the cost of great effort and agony, may be suppressed, but a human being of flesh and blood. Jekyll is the Good Guy. Hyde is the Bad One. The simple act of taking a drug changes one character into the other at their own discretion.
There are three main characters in 'The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde'.
#Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde: When Jekyll takes some drug he changes in Mr Hyde. As Mr Hyde he can murder, steal and generally misbehave to his heart's content and still keep his good reputation as Dr Jekyll. But gradually the Mr Hyde personality begins to take over, he needs more and stronger drugs to change back into Jekyll and from a certain point onwards the Hyde character presents himself without taking the drug. When Jekyll realises that the evil was not to be stop, he decides to kill Mr Hyde and in doing so himself, good Dr Jekyll
#Mr Utterson: He is a lawyer and a close friend of Dr Jekyll. He takes care of Dr Jekyll's testament and wants to know a lot about Mr Hyde.
#Dr Lanyon: He is Dr Jekyll's oldest friend and also a friend of Mr Utterson. Jekyll shows him the secret of Hyde. Lanyon is so shocked that the incident causes his death.
One Sunday Mr Utterson and his cousin Mr Enfield are taking their afternoon walk. They enter a dark, narrow street and come upon a gloomy house with only a door in it and no windows. The sight of the house reminds Enfield a terrible scene he witnessed not long before. Later at night he had seen a horrible little man walk all over a poor little girl. Enfield then followed the man, whose name was Hyde, to this house, where he seemed to live.
Utterson knows that there is some connection between this Hyde and Dr Jekyll. Back home he rereads Jekyll's testament and discovers that Hyde is his only heir, also in case of Jekyll's 'disappearance or unexplained absence'. Utterson decides to investigate, but Dr Lanyon is reluctant to give information and seems disillusioned about Jekyll. A year late old Sir Danvers Crew is found battered to death in an alley near the river. There are indications that Hyde is the killer. Dr Lanyon dies, leaving Utterson an envelope with the heading 'not to be opened till death or disappearance of Henry Jekyll'.
During another walk Utterson and Enfield again pass the gloomy house. This time they discover that it is in fact a wing of Jekyll's house, serving as laboratory.
One night some time later Jekyll's butler knocks on Utterson's door in despair. His master locked himself in his laboratory a week ago and kept ordering certain chemicals. Panic has broken out in household. They decide to take action. After breaking into Jekyll's lab they find Hyde dead on the floor with a bottle of poison beside him. There is not a trace of Jekyll, but there is a will, a letter addressed to Utterson and the instruction to open Dr Lanyon's letter.
At home Utterson reads all the documents and discovers the secret of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
I found the book on my bookshelf. I decided to read it because it was a horror story. I expected a cool book because it was a horror story. My expectation didn't came true, because this is not the horror I like. I didn't fell anything while reading and finishing it.
The book can't be realistic, because you can't chemically transform into a lascivious, unscrupulous alter ego. You can't compare it with other books. It is unique because it has the worst horror ever. The only part in the book that impressed me was the transformation from Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde. The most aspects in the book are unsuccessful.
I wouldn't advise others to read the book, because it is a disappointment.
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