Extract from chapter 10 “Let me but escape into my laboratory…..But this danger was easily eliminated from the future.”
1a) Explore how Stevenson presents the relationship between Jekyll and Hyde in this extract. Give examples from the extract to support your ideas (20 marks)
Stevenson presents Jekyll and Hyde’s relationship as volatile and terrifying. In the exposition of the extract the lexis ‘disguise’ is used which elucidates the idea that one of the men are criminal and therefore have to disguise themselves in order not to get caught. Furthermore this could imply that one of the men is in danger as the other may harm them which portrays their relationship as vicious.
Further on in the extract Jekyll reveals that the two men might just be one. The phrase ‘this familiar that I called out of my own soul and sent forth alone to do his pleasure, was a being inherently malign and villainous,’ manifests the idea that Edwards Hyde comes from within Henry Jekyll which signifies that the relationship between Jekyll and Hyde is closer than the reader initially thought. The lexis ‘familiar’ connotes the supernatural and spirits which alludes to the idea that Hyde is a spirit of Jekyll’s soul which causes Victorian readers pure astonishment as Jekyll is a well-respected Doctor.
Stevenson symbolises the relationship as dangerous when Jekyll describes Hyde’s violent, ‘an act of cruelty to a child’ reflects how malicious Edward Hyde is causing the reader to have sympathy towards Jekyll. Moreover, it exemplifies that their relationship is brutal and could be lethal for Jekyll. This is further expressed through the line ‘there were moments when I feared for my life,’ which demonstrates how frightening the relationship was.
In the denouement of the extract, Stevenson reveals all the suspicions the reader may have had through the phrase ‘I have supplied my double with a signature’ which depicts that although Jekyll appeared to dislike Hyde’s behaviour the men were still close. The lexis ‘double’ ratifies that Hyde is Jekyll’s alter-ego which causes shock for the reader as Jekyll is a highly reputable man but is has been him carrying out the violent acts just as much as Hyde. This represents their relationship skilfully as throughout the novel their relationship seemed somewhat unlikely and discordant but all along they were actually the same person.
The multi-clausal sentences signify that Jekyll is overwhelmed and is frantically trying to get across his thoughts and side of the story. These long sentences demonstrate Jekyll’s desperation and frustration at what he has brought on himself and others. In addition it signifies that their relationship, although they’re the same person, is toxic.