Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

How Is the Extract of Jekyll and Hyde Dramatic

Category Jekyll and Hyde
Essay type Research
Words 896 (3 pages)
Views 448

The realisation of the reader from this extract, that Jekyll has only been experimenting with science produces dramatic tension. Throughout the extract, Jekyll confesses that he can only speak 'by theory alone' regarding his attempts to create the potions to transform himself into Hyde. This represents his constant uncertainty about the results of his experiments. Therefore if even Jekyll, the man performing the experiments, is uncertain of the results, dramatic tension is caused for the reader to discover the results of the experiment.

Jekyll also confirms that he doesn’t know anything for certain, as he only speaks what appears 'to be most probable'. Since the results are uncertain, the reader doesn't know the effect the experiment would have on Jekyll. The reader also discovers that no-one has attempted the experiment before, which builds up tension and suspense about the end result and makes the reader intrigued to continue reading in order to discover it. The unknown of the experiments Jekyll performs builds drama and is dramatic since the unexpected may happen.

Stevenson’s imagery of imprisonment in this extract makes it more dramatic since it portrays the idea of Jekyll being trapped. Jekyll presents being Hyde as a disguise ‘like a thick cloak’ in order to abandon his life as Jekyll, which is boring and tiresome, as if he is escaping from prison in order to live a new and free life. The ‘thick cloak’ could represent protection and by suggesting it is like a piece of clothing, this shows that transforming into Hyde is effortless and comforting to do but the constant interchanging between the views of Jekyll, when he is himself, and Hyde is dramatic.

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Jekyll likens the potion to a drug by saying that it had ‘no discriminating action’, explaining that it is addicting once he has tried it. However it then became impossible to prevent the change describing it as falling into ‘slavery’ and by being trapped this leads to the extract becoming tense and exciting. Metaphors are used through the extract to provide imagery for the reader. Jekyll explains that Hyde was pure evil and that it was ‘written broadly and plainly on his face’ suggesting that when people saw Hyde, it was immediately clear that he was a cruel person.

By using this metaphor, Stevenson is attempting to show the personality of Hyde through his face and that his characteristics were clear from his physical appearance. After drinking the potion, Jekyll ‘had come to the fatal cross-roads’ which is a crucial moment in the novel for him, as he can choose only choose option suggested by the ‘cross roads’. This is dramatic because as there is a decision to be made which is extremely important, this builds suspense, especially as the decision carried the possibility of death which requires Jekyll to ponder his options carefully.

Since the cross roads are ‘fatal’ this may imply that the cross roads will lead to disaster or death. It could also indicate that the cross roads were unavoidable as it was fate that determined Jekyll would have to make this decision. The dangerous decision that has been forced upon Jekyll makes the extract dramatic, since his decision may lead to his death. The use of violent and dramatic language by Stevenson in the extract increases the pace of the novel and makes it more engaging and exciting.

Jekyll is uncertain about the result of him drinking his potion which creates tension and by ‘hurrying back to my cabinet’ this shows that there is urgency from Jekyll to discover the effects of the potion which leads to the extract being exciting and dramatic and it is building up tension. When Jekyll had transformed into Hyde he was aware that people were frightened of him and took an instant dislike. He said that people couldn’t approach him without ‘a visible misgiving of the flesh’ and by using violent language to describe their reaction, it demonstrates the severity of the cruelty that Hyde possessed.

By saying ‘the flesh’ instead of skin, this shows that people were unable to hide beneath their skin, the reactions they felt regarding Hyde. This language engages the reader with the emotions felt by the characters towards Hyde, producing anxiety among the reader resulting in a dramatic confrontation that is described. The exposure of many mysteries is revealed all at once which creates a dramatic atmosphere.

In the extract we learn that Edward Hyde ‘was pure evil’ which is the reason behind people such as Utterson and Enfield ‘taking an instant dislike to him’ as we learn previously. We also discover the motive for Jekyll to transform into Hyde which is because he ‘began to profit by the strange immunities’ of his position, as he is taking advantage of the freedom he has when Jekyll is Hyde. The answers to the questions which were formed by the reader earlier in the novel were slowly being revealed throughout it.

However in this short extract, lots of answers are provided to the reader from Jekyll, because he is explaining the actions of both himself and Mr Hyde. Also since the novel is told in third but in this extract it is in the first person perspective, it leaves few questions remaining, allowing the reader to piece together Utterson’s perception. This therefore results in dramatic tension as the reader now understands the actions Jekyll has taken and is intrigued to discover the fate of Jekyll and Hyde.

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How Is the Extract of Jekyll and Hyde Dramatic. (2017, Dec 11). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/how-is-the-extract-of-jekyll-and-hyde-dramatic/

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