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Question: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde essays
Question: Read the following extract from Chapter 7 and then answer the question that follows. In this extract Mr Utterson and Mr Enfield catch sight of Dr Jekyll at his window.

Starting with this extract, how does Stevenson present Jekyll’s unusual behaviour?
• how Stevenson presents Jekyll’s unusual behaviour in this extract
• how Stevenson presents Jekyll’s unusual behaviour in the novella as a whole.


Extract: The court was very cool and a little damp, and full of premature twilight, although the sky, high up overhead, was still bright with sunset. The middle one of the three windows were half-way open; and sitting close beside it, taking the air with an infinite sadness of mien, like some disconsolate prisoner, Utterson saw Dr Jekyll.
"What! Jekyll!" he cried. "I trust you are better."
"I am very low, Utterson," replied the doctor drearily, "very low. It will not last long, thank God."
"You stay too much indoors," said the lawyer. "You should be out, whipping up the circulation like Mr. Enfield and me. (This is my cousin--Mr. Enfield--Dr Jekyll.) Come now; get your hat and take a quick turn with us."
"You are very good," sighed the other. "I should like to very much; but no, no, no, it is quite impossible; I dare not. But indeed, Utterson, I am very glad to see you; this is really a great pleasure; I would ask you and Mr. Enfield up, but the place is really not fit."
"Why, then," said the lawyer, good-naturedly, "the best thing we can do is to stay down here and speak with you from where we are."
"That is just what I was about to venture to propose," returned the doctor with a smile. But the words were hardly uttered, before the smile was struck out of his face and succeeded by an expression of such abject terror and despair, as froze the very blood of the two gentlemen below. They saw it but for a glimpse for the window was instantly thrust down; but that glimpse had been sufficient, and they turned and left the court without a word. In silence, too, they traversed the by-street; and it was not until they had come into a neighbouring thoroughfare, where even upon a Sunday there were still some stirrings of life, that Mr. Utterson at last turned and looked at his companion. They were both pale; and there was an answering horror in their eyes.
"God forgive us, God forgive us," said Mr. Utterson.
But Mr. Enfield only nodded his head very seriously, and walked on once more in silence.

Answer: Stevenson portrays unusual behaviour throughout the novella by infiltrating motifs of concealment in his presentation of man and his society. In fact, Stevenson focusses on the unusual behaviour of all of his characters to highlight the dreadful effects of the repressive Victorian values, exposing, mainly through Jekyll, how man is “not truly one, but truly two”.
In this extract, Stevenson concentrates on man’s dual nature by enhancing the entrapment felt by Jekyll inside not only his own house, but his own body. Stevenson presents Jekyll as being as “disconsolate prisoner” which, partnered with the prevailing sadness and discomforted tone, one may deem Jekyll to be in a very claustrophobic and melancholic state. The metaphor “disconsolate prisoner” evidently displays this, as “prisoner” denotes to a sense of entrapment and disorientation, as he is forced to remain und...(short extract)

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  • Subject: English Literature
  • Course: English Literature
  • Level: A-Level
  • Year: Not applicable
  • Mark: Not available
  • Words: 1012
  • Date submitted: October 25, 2019
  • Date written: Not available
  • References: No
  • Document type: Essay*
  • Essay ID: 8748

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