In the book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the two main characters are complete opposites. Dr Jekyll is a kind person however when he changes into Mr Hyde his attitude changes into a nasty, evil person. R.L Stevenson carries on the ‘opposites’ through the book keeping the readers guessing.
The two doors to Jekyll’s house seem to be complete opposites. One is shabby and in a dark corner of a building which is described as a ‘sinister block’. By saying ‘it showed no window’ suggests that its dark and secrecy; maybe they have something to hide.
The wall is described as discoloured and suffering negligence – lack of care and maintenance making it sound unattractive.
On the door, the fact that there is no knocker or bell gives an unwelcoming feel and being described as blistered and distained would also make it appear uninviting.
However the street, which the door lies on, is a contrast to what has just been described. The buildings in the street are described as ‘freshly painted shutters and well polished brasses’ making the whole street sound like it has an air of general cleanliness.
In the First chapter, also ‘The Story of the door’ there is another opposite. This is between Mr Hyde and the young girl. It says ‘one little man .. stumping along at a good walk’ and ‘a girl of maybe eight or ten .. running as hard as she was able’ this is opposing because there are two different genders, ages and paces.
In the chapter ‘Dr. Jekyll was quite at ease’ R.L Stevenson describes another opposite with Mr Utterson and the other people that had been to Dr Jekyll’s dinner. ‘In the man’s rich silence, after the expense and the strain of gaiety.’ This tells us that Mr Utterson is happy to be quiet, as the other guests that have left were quite loud and talked to him a lot.
Also in this chapter and the following chapter, another opposite is the reaction and personality of Dr Jekyll. Speaking with Utterson, Dr Jekyll is put across as ‘every mark of capacity and kindness’, which makes him warm and loving, then in the incident of the letter he is rather shifty and reacts differently to Utterson that he did before.
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.