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In the book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the two main characters are complete opposites. Dr Jekyll is a kind individual however when he becomes Mr Hyde his attitude changes into a nasty, evil individual. R.L Stevenson brings on the ‘opposites’ through the book keeping the readers thinking.
The 2 doors to Jekyll’s house appear to be complete opposites. One is shoddy and in a dark corner of a building which is referred to as a ‘ominous block’. By saying ‘it showed no window’ recommends that its dark and secrecy; possibly they have something to hide.
The wall is explained as discoloured and suffering carelessness – lack of care and upkeep making it sound unattractive.
On the door, the fact that there is no knocker or bell provides an unwelcoming feel and being explained as blistered and distained would likewise make it appear uninviting.
However the street, which the door pushes, is a contrast to what has simply been explained. The structures in the street are explained as ‘freshly painted shutters and well polished brasses’ making the whole street noise like it has an air of general tidiness.
In the First chapter, also ‘The Story of the door’ there is another opposite. This is between Mr Hyde and the young lady. It states ‘one little male. stumping along at a good walk’ and ‘a lady of maybe eight or ten. running as difficult as she was able’ this is opposing due to the fact that there are two different genders, ages and rates.
In the chapter ‘Dr. Jekyll was quite at ease’ R.L Stevenson explains another opposite with Mr Utterson and the other individuals that had actually been to Dr Jekyll’s dinner. ‘In the man’s abundant silence, after the expense and the pressure of merriment.’ This tells us that Mr Utterson mores than happy to be quiet, as the other visitors that have left were rather loud and talked with him a lot.
Also in this chapter and the following chapter, another reverse is the reaction and personality of Dr Jekyll. Consulting with Utterson, Dr Jekyll is put across as ‘every mark of capacity and generosity’, that makes him warm and loving, then in the occurrence of the letter he is rather shifty and responds differently to Utterson that he did in the past.
In the ‘Search for Mr Hyde’ there are two different characters in contrast, Dr Lanyon and Mr Utterson. For example it says ‘received his crowding patients’ referring to Dr Lanyon. This puts across to the reader that Dr Lanyon is a very open, friendly person, where as, as we can tell from the ‘Dr Jekyll was quite at ease’ chapter Mr Utterson is different, he is much quieter and would prefer to be on his own.
Another opposite that R.L Stevenson puts in the book is in the chapter ‘The Carew murder case’. At the beginning of the chapter the setting is peaceful. ‘The details were few and startling’ this portrays that it was a very still, open night with only beautiful features. It describes a maid looking out of her window into the pretty night. Her views on the night we’re very optimistic and loving. ‘ She was romantically given’ by saying this it puts across to the reader that the night is quiet which would make it easy to think and by saying ‘romantically given’ puts across that she has romantic view on life.
The scene then changes drastically. Before the night was calm but all of a sudden it transforms, much like the transformation of Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde.
The night turns dark when Mr Hyde enters the scene. It was like a presence of evil had come into the lane. ‘The horror of these sights and sounds’ this describes what the maid saw Mr Hyde doing to the old man.
R.L Stevenson shows many opposites in the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. These help to keep the reader thinking and to surprise the reader.
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