SparkNotes: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essay
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Moreover, both works illustrate the dark properties of the nocturnal cities in which they are narrated using extremely grotesque settings, which reflect the dark corners of each characters’ psyche. Main events in both works occur at night, when the alters take over. Therefore, sleep is a crucial element in both works, since it is the portrayed as the channel for transformation at night. The murder scene in Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde occurs in a narrow street lit by the light of the full moon with no citizens to witness the event.
Similarly, the key events of Fight Club all occur at night in car parks, basements or other deserted locations. The use of these grotesque settings is extended throughout both novels, as the house of Jekyll and the Narrator are described as old and dark. Both houses symbolize the characters’ true personalities. Jekyll’s house is divided into two parts, symbolizing his duality. The dissecting room is used by Hyde, and the rest of the house is used by Jekyll. The Narrator’s house, with its torn apart walls, is a symbol of his own chaotic self. Despite similarities, two novels exhibit a plethora of differences in the two portrayals of duality.
Careful analysis reveals that the two works diverge their paths when it comes to use of narrative perspective. In both novels, the narrator plays an undeniably critical role, since he acts as an intermediary between the author and the reader. The point of view of the narrator determines how the dual personalities are depicted and when they are revealed to the readers. Narration in Stevenson’s novel, usually read as a mystery story, is of crucial significance in revealing the truth to the readers. The shift in narration from one person to another generates a sense of mystery which reinforces the reader’s feeling of suspense. The novella commences with a third person limited point of view that follows Mr. Utterson on his journey to discover the truth about Jekyll’s shadowy friend, Hyde. This choice of narration keeps us in the dark along with Mr. Utterson himself. However, this narrative is augmented with four other narrations: Dr. Jekyll’s confession, Dr. Lanyon’s story, Mr. Enfield’s story of the trampled child, and the maid’s account of the Carew murder. Dr. Jekyll’s confession takes the form of a confessional narrative and is the most convincing. Furthermore, Stevenson employs a delaying tactic, which triggers suspense, to the beginning of the story as we are not introduced to the main character, Dr. Jekyll, right away.
In contrast, Fight club is told from the first-person point of view. This appears to be the only suitable choice, as The Narrator is the only person who is not aware of his own duality, unlike Jekyll, who is the only one aware of his duality. This usage of an unreliable narrator, who is as in the dark about what is really going on as the audience, sets the reader in the center of excitement. At some instances, The Narrator speaks directly to the reader, “You wake up at O\’Hare. You wake up at LaGuardia.”, this pulls the reader right into the story, and displays the narrator’s detachment from reality, as he is the one waking up in the afore mentioned locations. Palahniuk’s work has a certain, poetic stream of consciousness flow, since it is entirely from The Narrator’s point of view as we follow his thoughts throughout the story. This prompts the reader to observe The Narrator’s confusion, and helps evoke feelings of aggravation and restlessness. The narration is also replete with juxtapositions, that create suspense, and paradoxes. The most eye-catching example of a paradox, is the fact that although the aim of fight club is to break social order, it has its own set of rules. However, the focus of the narrations in both works is also a critical difference.