The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

1496 words - 6 pages

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Author Biography: Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was born on November 13th, 1850 to (father) Thomas Stevenson and (mother) Margaret Isabella Balfour. Stevenson grew up in Edinburgh. At the age of 17, he enrolled at Edinburgh University where he planned on studying engineering. He instead took courses to study law, and passed all of them in 1875, but he later abandoned this because he wanted to be a writer. His first published work was an essay entitled “Roads.”
Stevenson met his wife, Fanny, in 1876 after traveling out to America. He was twenty-five and she was thirty-six, separated from her husband, and had two children. They married in 1880, which brought a conclusion to his first time writing of his own experiences.
His first published work was An Inland Voyage, which was the story of him traveling by canoe from Antwerp to northern France. The following year, in 1879, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes was published. This work shared his opinions on society and life. Stevenson also touched on writing short stories and children's literature.
Robert Louis Stevenson passed away in December 1894. A part of his poem, “Requiem” was written on his tomb: “Under the wide and starry sky, / Dig the grave and let me lie.” Stevenson was granted his wish of being buried at the top of Mount Vaea in Samoa.

Character List

Gabriel Utterson:

Mr. Utterson is the narrator of the novel. He is introduced as Dr. Jekyll's lawyer, and he is also known as Jekyll's friend as well as Lanyon. Utterson spends much of the novel concerned for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's well beings. Throughout the novel he is described as “cold,” “lean,” and “dreary,” yet he is still a loveable character.

Richard Enfield:

We do not learn or know much about Enfield. We know that he is a lawyer and friends with Gabriel Utterson. The novel begins with the two of them going for a walk together whilst discussing a mysterious house they pass.

Edward Hyde:

Edward Hyde is an alternate ego of Henry Jekyll. In the beginning of the novel, he calmly tramples over a little girl. At first, Hyde doesn't really show his face. He's smaller than Jekyll is in size and he's symbolic of the inner evil in Dr. Jekyll.

Dr. Lanyon:

Hastie Lanyon is an old friend of Henry Jekyll's and Gabriel Utterson's. He is also a doctor, but just a medical doctor rather than a scientist. He was the one to break off with Jekyll's friendship. Eventually he becomes ill and dies in less than a single fortnight.

Social Context

Back in Victorian England, it was popular to send letters to one another like Jekyll sent to Utterson in the novel. Also, by 1800, England was known as the “center of European suicide” because of the amount of suicides occurring at that time, and this seemed to some what influence the suicide of Henry Jekyll. This novel was also written during the industrial revolution, so the science and...

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