Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
full title · The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
author · Robert Louis Stevenson
type of work · Novel
genre · Gothic mystery story
language · English
time and place written · 1885, Bournemouth, England
date of first publication · January 1886
publisher · Longmans, Green and Co.
narrator · The narrator is anonymous and speaks in the third person. Dr. Lanyon and Dr. Jekyll each narrate one chapter of the novel via a confessional letter.
point of view · For most of the novel, the narrative follows Utterson’s point of view; in the last two chapters, Lanyon and Jekyll report their experiences from their own perspectives.
tone · Mysterious; serious
tense · Past
setting (time) · The late nineteenth century
setting (place) · London
protagonist · Henry Jekyll
major conflict · Jekyll attempts to keep his dark half, Edward Hyde, under control and then to prevent himself from becoming Hyde permanently.
rising action · Utterson attempts to discover the truth about the Jekyll-Hyde relationship.
climax · One could argue for two different climaxes. The moment when Utterson breaks down the door to Jekyll’s laboratory and finds Hyde’s corpse constitutes a climax in that Utterson finally admits and accepts that something terribly wrong has taken place. But one might also see the novel’s climax as arising within Lanyon’s letter, at the moment that he witnesses Hyde’s transformation into Jekyll and the mysterious connection between the personas is finally explained.
falling action · Utterson leaves Jekyll’s laboratory, goes home, and reads the letters from Lanyon and Jekyll, which explain all.
themes · The duality of human nature; the importance of reputation
motifs · Violence against innocents; silence; urban terror
symbols · Jekyll’s house and laboratory; Hyde’s physical appearance
foreshadowing · While a general mood of impending disaster pervades the novel, there are few instances of explicit foreshadowing.
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