Analysis of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Character-narrators - description and function spaces - dialogues - structure between the enigma and suspense - cards - great - items - items policiales. Psychoanalytic explanations.
l narrator of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde relates the facts in the third person , from the point of view of one character , the lawyer Utterson . This is a testament to his friend that benefits Jekyll Hyde ( an unknown subject by attorney ) has played a bloody history has told Hyde that Enfield and meet other critical friend Dr. Lanyon , on medical practices Jekyll.
Concerns , fantasies , feelings , thoughts , conjectures attorney parade before the reader's eyes , which follows the events through the point of view of the character.
Utterson known only some aspects of the history of Jekyll and Hyde and , therefore , the reader receives the information in part. Many questions the lawyer is also formulated and start the reader : Who is Hyde ? Why your doctor wants to leave his fortune ? Why talk in the will of disappearance ? What happens in the house of Dr. Jekyll , behind closed doors ? The enigmas multiply as the story progresses : the presence Utterson events or see what we fail to answer the questions . The mystery coat, then, the facts and attitudes.
The puzzle pieces
The novel gradually reveals a secret history that attempts to reconstruct Utterson and which knows only some scraps . Other eyes will weave with the attorney to recover all the necessary details .
The story concerns some brief assessments that do not correspond to Utterson , but allow submit . It has , for example, what people said about him and Richard Enfield , who went for a walk . -
Those who had crossed the walks in their Sunday said they did not speak , which saw notoriously boring and showed obvious relief at the appearance of a friend. Despite the two which gave the greatest importance to these excursions, considered the main event of their week ...
The novel also features the narration of facts that has not witnessed Utterson , and known through references by other characters. The story of the murder of Carew reaches the attorney for the testimony of a maid. In this case, the third-person narrator explains that the above about the event corresponds to the version of women:
A maid who lived alone in a house not far from the river had risen to his bedroom to sleep around eleven . ( ... ) Sat on his chest , which was next to the window and stood there lost in a reverie. Never ( said through tears when recounting the experience ) , he had never felt more at peace with mankind ( ... ) And when I was sitting there said ...
In most cases, the narrator prefers reproduce verbatim what other characters say and then appear :
The scenes containing dialogue . In them, Utterson becomes aware of facts that have not participated , from what they tell their partners and comment :
Enfield and the lawyer were on the opposite side , but when they arrived at the door , the first raised his staff and said :
- Have you ever paid attention to that door? he asked, and when his companion had answered yes , he continued : - The association with a curious history. - Yes? said Utterson , with a slight change of voice - What story ? - Well, it was so ...
Dialogues reset information known lawyer and are filling the gaps in the story of Jekyll.
Letters . In them, the participants of the mysterious facts tell what happened, reveal the questions or generate new expectations :
My dear Utterson : When this falls into their hands, I shall have gone, I fail to predict in what circumstances, but my instinct and all that surrounds my unusual situation tells me that the order is safe and will not tarry. First read the story Lanyon warned me he had put into his hands , and if you want to know more, read the confession of his unworthy and unhappy friend
When LJtterson read this letter , Jekyll has disappeared and everything suggests that something terrible has happened . Far from the mystery , the note raises more questions : how did Jekyll was going to disappear? Why did it disappear? Does the demise means death? Why is branded as unworthy friend? Only when you have read the other two cards announced , will answer all questions .
The structure between the enigma and suspense
From a series of elements that arouse the suspicion of Utterson , in relation to the life of his friend Jekyll , the lawyer undertakes an investigation in order to explain the enigmas. The reader is curiously data search and try , meanwhile , to reconstruct the secret history . The research is effective and researcher, a good observer , recognizes signs whose meanings hidden eliminate doubts , but the interpretation is incorrect.
The story shows here and there , interspersed in the aforementioned research, events, situations and attitudes that advertise undesirable effects for the characters. For example , the vision of the face of Hyde produces an inexplicable feeling of disgust , horror and fear that predicts unhappy consequences for Jekyll.
The reader's interest is , in this case dominated by what will happen in the future of the story: know that something will happen , but can not figure out exactly what it is . The text produces some tension in the reader that is supported by the suspense , waiting for the inevitable.
The spaces play an important role in the story. Note the description of a London street :
... in a very populated district of London. The street was narrow , and the quiet calls, although weekdays buzzing with activity. Its inhabitants seemed to be all in good standing, and all trusted improve over time, and used in beautifying their excess profits , so that the windows were lined with an inviting air, like rows of smiling saleswomen . Even on Sunday, when watched its more florid charms and remained relatively empty of pedestrians, the street shone in contrast to its dingy neighborhood , like a fire in a forest , and with well- painted shutters , polished bronzes , cleanliness and note cheerful, instantly attracted the delighted gaze of a passerby .
In the world constructed by the novel, where appearances are of great value , the (interior and exterior ) spaces are characterized by what they show and what they hide . Spaces talk about the characters , their actions , their values. The street shows economic status of its inhabitants and reveals his conception of beauty, based on cleanliness, order , neatness .
The space described in the previous fragment contrasts with the building of the side street ;
... building air sinister cast its canopy over the street. House was a tall, windowless , and nothing but a door on a blind wall in front of you faded rose , in all his features showed signs of prolonged neglect. The door, which had neither bell nor knocker , was blistered and discolored. The threshold served as a refuge for vagrants , who lit their matches on the wooden door ...
The doors and windows are mentioned repeatedly in the text, because they discover or cover the inside with communicating . Inward houses protect the privacy of its inhabitants. In them, some places correspond to the shared social life and are frequented by friends , others belong exclusively to the privacy of its occupant , as the office of Dr. Jekyll , on top of the lab. In each other may be objects that describe the social mores of the character or habits and personal tastes unconfessed . The rooms facing the front of the house of Jekyll are the public face space doctor . By contrast, the back rooms , separate housing and communication to a side street , are the field of life hidden by Henry Jekyll.
The events take place in public spaces , where characters flaunt their prestige and reputation , and private , where privacy is protected. On the streets and in the light of day or in a diaphanous evening, gentlemen care standards of conduct and courtesy. Inside the home , especially in personal rooms , keep the secrets . Investigate what were the features of the English Victorian society and relate the information they find with the universe painting the novel.
The spaces are also described from particular states, temperatures and degrees of visibility , creating atmospheres and climates. The brilliant London street can become a menacing space under the effect of fog or darkness of the night . The laboratory of Dr. Jekyll cold acquires an atmosphere of warmth , thanks to the fire burning and steaming kettle , ready to serve tea. Climates or atmospheres assist the construction of mystery and suspense , as shown in the snippet below:
It was a cold and unwelcoming , own night of March , with a pale moon lying on her back as though the wind had turned , and mobile celajes of the clearest texture. The wind made it difficult conversation, and made the blood flow to the face . There seemed to sweep pedestrians to leave the unusually empty streets ; Utterson thought he had never seen so deserted that part of London . I could have wished it to be different , never in his life had he felt so strong to see and touch your neighbor craving , for , though the combated , had awakened in his mind an overwhelming premonition of calamity.
In some cases, the elements of an atmosphere invest their meaning from the character of the state is immersed in it. In a room on fire the flames can stop representing the warmth of the protected space and become threatening under the gaze of a disturbed character .
The novel takes place in the city of London, but is confined to a smaller area in which all the characters are known: the circle of friends Utterson , " those of his blood, or acquaintances of his youth ," those affections , " like ivy , were the result of time." The characters in this field construct a fictional universe inhabited by men. The only women mentioned are bred to have minimal involvement in the story.
The character is presented several times from the point of view of different characters. In all cases it characterized from the sensations , feelings and impressions that occurs in those who observe it . Moreover, everyone agrees that there are no words that can describe the strange appearance and sinister Hyde. Is he discovers evidence or areas that are usually not available to view if disclosure worries that perceive .
The fantastic elements . The story also takes part in the fantastic. In a believable world , similar to that inhabits the reader happens a fact that can not be explained , in what men consider as natural.
The police elements . As we begin the story , the lawyer Utterson suspects has been a crime ( extortion ), the culprit is Hyde, and a victim , which is Jekyll. However , you can not say for certain . So begins an investigation to gather evidence to enable it to answer your questions. This type of text is about arming the police novels , although the researcher fails to clear the questions. The reconstruction of events is performed by other characters, Lanyon and Jekyll , in unexpected terms Utterson : the alleged offender , but has committed other crimes which has only one in the novel, has not committed an offense in terms that create counsel , and is the product of Jekyll 's experiments , which is only a victim of their shameful desires .
Scientific explanations . No logic or supernatural interpretation fully explains the extraordinary events . Uncertainty about the origin of these events is maintained, despite the unknowns unveil . The final explanation that reconstructs the full story attributes the transformation of Jekyll into a scientific experiment and gives the story some nuances of science fiction novels .
The chemical preparation gives scientific support to what happened : but the text does not center justification of events in the experiment. The potion releases a facet of the personality of Jekyll , who struggled to demonstrate before I took the drink and that , over time , begins to rebel and act without the brew collaborate . Moreover, the doctor has achieved its goal thanks to a unique mistake. The impurity of the first sales may not be reproduced and used what appeared to be the scientific discovery of a systematic study is merely a product of chance.
Psychoanalytic explanations. Psychoanalytic Review interprets duplication of Jekyll 's personality and their cleavage as a fictionalization of concepts that subsequently appear in the theoretical development of Sigmund Freud. Note the following quote from The unconscious, Freud :
In both the healthy and the sick arise frequently psychic acts whose explanation presupposes others that consciousness does not offer any testimony. Acts of this kind are not only acts and failed dreams of healthy individuals , but also all those who qualify for a psychic symptom or a sick obsession . Our personal experience shows us everyday occurrences whose origin is unknown and whose preparation ignore intellectual conclusions . All these conscious acts ( ... ) will be sorted in a coherent and intelligible if we interpolate between them unconscious acts that have inferred set .
In Collected Works . Madrid , New Library, 1972.
According to Freud's theory , are on the subject , conscious actions and unconscious acts . Many acts that are inexplicable to the subject acquired a new significance in the light of the unconscious. These concepts justify the contradictory impulses struggling inside Jekyll and he can not explain.
The Argentine psychoanalyst David Krapf says in his article " The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, not so strange for psychoanalysis "
While psychoanalytic terminology has changed the word " double" by " neurosis" and in this specific case, for " obsessional neurosis " , no one can deny the incredible closeness of theoretical Stevenson with Freud, when he defines "the man actually not one but two ( ... ) I would venture to guess that one day man will be known as a multitude of strangers , independent , inconsistent and multifaceted . "
In this line , Jekyll 's confession can be read as the story of a patient who, at first , is that since the "I" can master what causes pain and disgust but , as it progresses the story begins you suspect a power that belongs but does not recognize as his own "I" is , he hates and loves at the same time , contradicting the rules of classical logic .
The story, however, exceeds all construction and psychological interpretations of the character is only one of the possible aspects of the analysis . Mr. Hyde, with his repulsive and different aspect of Jekyll , with its uncontrolled reactions and branded Satan in his face, escapes all definitions and maintains latent possibility that the events narrated not satisfying explanation.