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Starting with This Extract, Explore the Extent to Which You Think Stevenson Suggests That Hyde Is More like an Animal Than Human?

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Essay Preview: Starting with This Extract, Explore the Extent to Which You Think Stevenson Suggests That Hyde Is More like an Animal Than Human?

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Generally throughout the extract, Hyde is presented as a particularly unlikeable character who fails to conform to the conventions of Victorian society. In the extract, Hyde is described to have brutally murdered a respectable old man. Where Hyde is constructed and described as a particularly unpleasant character, Carew (the old man) is contrastingly described as ‘an aged and beautiful gentleman with white hair’. Not only does this portray him as being an innocent and particularly likeable character but it perhaps also works to suggest that he was in fact victimised which arguably accentuates the cruel nature of Hyde’s actions as well as the ruthless nature of his personality. When the maid tells of how ‘It did not seem as if the subject of his address were of great importance’ it continues to highlight the motiveless nature of the act making Hyde appear like a butcher as well as displaying his unpredictable nature. Furthermore, not only is the brutal murder morally wrong, evidencing Hyde’s atavistic essence, but contextually in killing Carew his actions would have caused controversy amongst a Victorian audience because it would mean going against the Ten commandments, which in a religious time would have been incredibly serious and would have meant he would be thought to be truly evil.

Throughout the whole novel, but specifically within this extract, Hyde’s increasing level of severity is brought to light. The fact that Hyde, ‘all of a sudden broke out in a great flame of anger’ not only metaphorically conveys how Hyde acts on impulse and in turn refuses to suppress his natural destructive nature but also conveys his genuine inability to control his actions. The use of the present continuous when describing how Hyde was seen ‘stamping his foot, brandishing his cane and carrying on like a mad man’ could be said to be reminiscent of the ‘trampling’ in Chapter one. Evidencing the point made earlier, where in the beginning Hyde merely trampled over a child, the severity of the verbs points to the idea that there is a clear progression of Hyde’s violence. In addition to this, in saying that Hyde ‘clubbed him to the earth’ there are clear connotations of a particularly prehistoric like, frenzied attack, arguably animal like. Within the extract, Hyde’s actions are described as that of an animal, specifically an ape, contextually this is significant. Not long before Dr Jekyll and Hyde was published, Darwin released his



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