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‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has appealed to a wide audience from the first time it was published in 1886 to the present day. What do you think are the reasons for this?’
The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was first published in a time when classes separated the rich and the poor. These classes never mixed and never talked. The poor classes lived on one side of London and the rich classes lived on the other. The rich would of never had been thought about the poor because there was very few means of learning.
Before the story of Dr Jekell and Mr Hyde the two classes would have read different books but when the book was published it had elements that appealed to both classes.
The genre of the book is ‘gothic horror and fiction’. The elements of gothic in it are the horror, super natural and the mystery. It also has a dark and very gloomy setting and it talks about the smog lying very low on the floor.
“For a moment, the fog would be quite broken up,
and a haggered shaft of daylight would
glance in between the swirling wreaths.”
This is gothic because it is quite mysterious and spooky. This could appeal to many people because this is like real life with the smog coming under the door. People could relate to this.
It always has a dark and gloomy character in it to. In this case it’s Mr Hyde. This dark and gloomy character first appears in the beginning of the novel were he tramples the little girl.
“and then the horrible part of the thing;
for the man trampled calmly over the chills body and left her screaming on the ground”
This would have shocked many people at the thought of this tragedy.
I think this is such a popular genre because it gives people the fear without actually getting hurt. This would have been the only type of scary entertainment that they had. Readers would have loved the thrill that it gave them.
Mr Enfield witnessed the attack and was horrified when discussing it with a friend as they walked through the park.
” It sound nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see”
I think that this is a really important part to the story. There were many stories with death and murder in them but this book was particularly unusual.
The castle of otranto was the first gothic novel and laid the foundations for future novels such as Frankenstein and Jekell and Hyde.
During the 1800s people technology was not as well advanced as it is today so Dr Jekell would not of understood the changes completely. When Mr Jekell takes the potion and begins to transform but he doesn’t know that this could change his life forever and eventually led him to death.
Hyde’s house is in the Soho area, which in the 1800s would have been the poorest area in London. The description of the house sound very dark, gloomy, and depressing. This is the kind of area and house that you would expect a murder to come from. On the other hand the other side of London would have been the area were the richest people would have lived. These were well-respected people and these were the people everyone wanted to be.
During this time there was a serial killer on the lose Jack the ripper. His first Victims started with prostitutes and eventually moved on the people with little money and no family. He was never caught although there was p pattern to every murder he committed. To many people Jack the ripper was ‘life imitating fiction’ because the things that he did and the circumstances that he did them in sounded just like a story or a novel. People also thought that that Jack would of got his ideas from the story Jekell and Hyde. This Novel uses suspension and tension all the way through the book. We often have to play a detective in this story and all the way through we are given pieces to fit together. At the end all revels itself and the mystery is solved.
In my conclusion Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was a very enjoyable read. It was also very interesting because it gave an image of what the life was like in the 1800s. I never realised that Victorian life was so hard. Still today I think that many people enjoy the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I think this is because it is a very unusual book and appeals to a wide audience rather than just one type of person. This could be one of the reasons why it is so popular. This book has been around for almost a 100 years and I think that it has got many more enjoyable years to go.