Robert Stevenson and his book 'Jekyll and Hyde'

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Robert Stevenson and his book 'Jekyll and Hyde' by Mind Map: Robert Stevenson and his book 'Jekyll and Hyde'

1. Stevenson's life and background

1.1. Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, was a Scottish essayist, poet, and author of fiction and travel books, best known for his novels Treasure Island (1881), Kidnapped (1886), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1889).

1.1.1. 'Jekyll and Hyde'

1.2. Born November 13, 1850, Edinburgh, Scotland—died December 3, 1894, Vailima, Samoa.

1.2.1. During the Victorian era, which is when 'Jekyll and Hyde is set'

1.3. His father, Thomas, belonged to a family of engineers who had built many of the deep-sea lighthouses around the rocky coast of Scotland. His mother, Margaret Isabella Balfour, came from a family of lawyers and church ministers.

1.3.1. A respectable, 'upper-class' background just like Jekyll, Utterson and many of the men in the book. We can see the scientific and religious sides of Stevenson's family reflected in both his life and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

1.4. In 1857 the family moved to 17 Heriot Row, a solid, respectable house in Edinburgh’s New Town.

1.4.1. Where Jekyll's house is based off.

1.5. At 17, he enrolled at Edinburgh University as his father wanted him to study engineering so he could join the family firm. However he this and decided to study law. He finished in 1975 and knew he wanted to be a writer. During summer vacation, he went to France where he published his first work.

1.5.1. Utterson was a laywer.

1.6. Stevenson was a sickly child (he had serious lung problems).

1.6.1. 'sickly' also refers to Hyde. Often in the book Hyde is described as pale.

1.7. A combination of his love of adventure and ill health led him to spend many years as a writer travelling the world in search of a climate that was healthier than Britain's.

1.8. In 1890, he went to live in the remote Samoan Islands in the South Pacific. He died there in 1894 at the age of 44.

1.8.1. Isolated himself as did Jekyll when he could not control turning into Hyde.

2. Influences and connections.

2.1. The inspiration for this great work came from a fever dream Stevenson had during a particularly bad bout of consumption (tuberculosis). He was so enraptured with the dream, he was furious with his wife, Fanny, for waking him. When he was awoken, he could still remember the first few scenes, including the first transformation scene. Building on these sketches, he turned to the accounts of famous and historical people to flesh out what would become a masterpiece novel.

2.2. Mr. Hyde, the Hidden Monster Stevenson relied on accounts from Louis Vivet for inspiration in creating the monster alter ego of Mr. Hyde. Vivet was one of the first people to be diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (known today as dissociative identity disorder). He seemed to live with two very distinct personalities: a meek, intelligent and mild-mannered paraplegic; and a confrontational, arrogant, mean-spirited man who for some inexplicable reason could walk perfectly. Neither personality was aware of the other and Vivet had no recollection of one when he was personifying the other.

2.3. Dr. Jekyll, in the Flesh For the proper and professional character of Dr. Jekyll, Stevenson turned to William Brodie, an infamous city councilor turned burglar from his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland. Brodie was a well-respected cabinet maker in the town, and as such, had copies of keys for all of the richest homes in town. He quickly gave in to temptation and began to rob the homes in order to fund his secret second life, which included two mistresses (neither of whom knew each other), five children and a gambling addiction.

2.4. The idea of a scientist playing God and suffering the consequences suggest influence from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

2.5. Traditionally, gothic novels were set in faraway places, such as abandoned castles in foreign countries. Stevenson chose to set his story in a place very familiar to his readers, which might make the novel more frightening

2.5.1. Jekyll also sets up a house for Hyde in Soho, and furnishes it in “luxury and good taste”. This ties him, a respectable gentleman, to a disreputable part of the city.

3. Religion, Science and Charles Darwin's ' Origin of Species’

3.1. In 1859, when Stevenson was nine years old, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species. This book became famous for introducing the Theory of Evolution to the public.

3.1.1. He used this as a key theme in 'Jekyll and Hyde'. Stevenson’s erudite, gentlemanly and rather dull Jekyll turns into the beastly Hyde, who is cruel, lustful and murderous. Hyde’s squat, ape-like body, his dark, hairy hands, and his energy and appetite all signal his ‘primitive’ state.

3.2. Darwin put forward the theory that all life, including humans, has evolved from more primitive forms.

3.2.1. The transformation of Jekyll to the ape-like Hyde links to this idea of a primitive nature inside us.

3.3. Many people saw it as an attack on religion, because the book made it impossible to believe that God created the world in seven days.

3.4. The theory of evolution states that evolution happens by natural selection. The main points are that:

3.5. Individuals in a species show a wide range of variation.

3.6. The variation is because each individual has different genes.

3.7. Individuals with the best adapted genes are more likely to survive the environment and reproduce.

3.8. These successful genes are passed down to their offspring.

3.9. The book's release came at a time when many people saw science and a belief in religion and the supernatural as being at odds with each other. Many felt they had to choose between the two. And many believed that science had become dangerous and was meddling in matters which only God had control over.

3.9.1. This is what Jekyll does in the novel. He creates this solution which helps him change physical and mental state however, it becomes too powerful and can not control when he changes.

3.10. Darwin's idea has changed the ideas of Victorian of a dynamic world of progress. It seemed to fit perfectly, an image of Britain at the forefront of an industrialized and wealthy modern world in which man had definitely tamed nature for his own ends. Towards the end of the 19th century however, theories of evolution were the basis of fears of social, racial and cultural degeneration and decline.

3.10.1. Evolution was countered by frightening examples of ‘devolution’. Some of the most popular fiction of his period - including ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ - explored scenarios of frightening devolution.

4. Supernatural

4.1. The spiritualist movement originated in the US in the mid 1800’s then made its way across the Atlantic.

4.2. The victorians were fascinated by spiritualism. There were many charlatans who jumped on the bandwagon made a lot of money by conning people into thinking that they could contact their dearly departed. Many of these so called mediums had ‘spirit guides’ many of whom were supposed to be red indians. They were fascinated by it and actually, a whole movement stemmed from this. They were religious, superstitious and fascinated by gothic culture and stories.

4.3. Ghosts haunted the early 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, in medieval Britain it was possible that the dead might sometimes return to haunt them. Given that the blessed were already in heaven, and the damned in hell, the Catholic Church then had to provide a space within which ghosts could operate. It was then taught that such apparitions were the souls of those trapped in purgatory (a place where you get punished for your sins, that is not as permanent as hell. The rise of Protestantism brought with it beliefs that ghosts were the product of deception and people were taught not to take them at face value. By the end of the 227th Century many educated people were sceptical of the existence of ghosts and haunted houses.

4.4. Witches in the middle ages were: traditionally female, practiced harmful magic, flew by night and obtained her powers from dark forces. Witches were persecuted during the middle ages, largely due to the Christian ideas about the misfortune of witches. The worst of the witch persecutions had finished by the beginning of the 18th Century, the heretical and demonic witch was replaced by something more prosaic, akin to a wise woman or herbalist.

4.5. Spiritualism seemed to fit the technological worldview in the 1890’s Edison tried to create a phonograph-like device to speak to the dead. Spiritualism enabled direct experience of the spiritual world to those who were often excluded by traditional religions, such as women or those who lacked education. The appeal of spiritualism was that it was simke in that almost anyone could attempt direct communication with the dead. Many members of the working classes turned to spiritualism after 1850. However it was middle class housewives in particular who discovered powers of trance communication, clairvoyance, and furniture relocation during the 50’s, 6’s and 70’s. The 20th Century decline in belief in the supernatural powers of fairies and witches can be seen as a victory for education, literacy and enlightenment.

4.5.1. In 'Jekyll and Hyde', Stevenson refers to the supernatural. Quote"injected eyes" suggests demonic possession. Quote: " Crystals melted" infers potions which suggests witchcraft. Quote: "unreal", Dr. J existing between different states

5. The Victorian Era - society, expectations and reputations

5.1. The ‘gentleman’ was an important figure in Victorian society

5.1.1. Jekyll and Hyde is about a group of gentleman

5.2. A man’s social class was one part of being a gentleman - gentlemen were from the upper-classes of victorian society

5.2.1. Utterson, a successful lawyer ----- victorian gentleman

5.3. His profession was also important - army officers, church ministers, lawyers, doctors might all be counted as gentleman. Some middle class men (such as bankers and successful merchants) also aspired to be gentlemen.

5.4. Gentleman were expected to have strong morals and be kind, particularly towards poorer people. But plenty of people saw this as a less important part of being a gentleman.

5.5. Being a gentleman brought many benefits. It gave you a chance to enter well-paid professions like medicine and la, and gain the respect of rich clients.

5.6. It was also important for your children. A gentleman could use his contacts to arrange good marriages for his daughters and well- paid jobs for his sons.

5.7. Gentlemen were obsessed with their reputations. Gentleman were determined to maintain their reputations - without a good reputation, a man couldn't be considered a gentleman at all.

5.7.1. Utterson wants to discover the truth about Hyde, but he is worried that it might damage Jekyll’s reputation. This slows him down when he is trying to solve the mystery.

5.8. Gentleman would often walk through public places, such as hyde park in london. This helped them to keep up their appearance as gentleman.

5.8.1. Utterson and Mr Enfield go on these walks regularly

5.9. Gentleman were expected to keep their emotions under strict control. This forced them to hide their desires for things like sex and alcohol.

5.10. Many gentlemen were publicly snobbish about disreputable places, like public houses and brothels, whilst visiting them secretly at night.

5.10.1. Stevenson hints at this hypocrisy in the novel. Jekyll struggles with the social pressure to be respectable .he ‘concealed’ his ‘pleasures’, but this made him feel like a ‘double dealer’, even before he created Hyde.

5.11. They were prepared to pay large sums of money to keep activities like these private, which made them vulnerable to blackmail.

5.11.1. Utterson assumes that Jekyll is being blackmailed about something in his past. Even Hyde, who doesn't need to protect his reputation, is prepared to pay money, partly to avoid a public scandal. Victorian gentleman tried to hide their darker side.

5.12. In Victorian middle and upper-class society, it was important to look respectable. As a result, people hid their true feelings, especially if these were immoral or improper.

5.13. Reputation was very important to Victorian gentleman. If they were seen doing anything which wasn’t respectable, their good name would be ruined.

5.14. To protect their reputation, people often kept their sinful behaviour and less respectable desires secret.

5.15. They didn't like to talk about anything that might damage their reputation or upset their apparently civilised society.

6. The Victorian Era - law, crime and punishment

6.1. The Victorians were very worried about crime. Levels rose sharply towards the end of the 18th century and continued to rise through much of the 19th century. Offences went up from about 5,000 per year in 1800 to about 20,000 per year in 1840.

6.2. By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, fewer crimes carried a mandatory death sentence. There were fewer hangings, and sentences for petty crime were getting lighter. In their place, other ideas were being tried out. These included building new goals and looking at how these could be used to stop criminals from reoffending in the future. transportation was often used instead of hanging for more serious crimes.

6.3. The most common crimes in Victoria times were theft, drunkenness, violence, an garotting. The media would over-emphasize murders, sometimes to the point where all relevant information was lost amidst falsified claims.

6.3.1. If you committed a crime due to the media everyone would find out. Due to this, your reputation - if you had one - would be ruined. So Jekyll, had to disguise himself.

6.4. Theft Children would pick pockets and steal from street markets and women would engage in shoplifting. The lower Victorian classes (thieving was often linked to poverty) would also often operate in teams or bands, thieving from anywhere ranging from shops, to homes, to warehouses. Theft was the most common problem in cities. Some victims would be put out with chloroform to facilitate the attack; others would have clothing pulled over their faces.

6.5. Drunkenness Life was very hard in Victorian Britain, and many people took comfort from alcohol, which caused high levels of disorder, as well as accidents. There was also a gin craze in the first half of the 18th century in which Britain's gin consumption increased rapidly which added to the overall drunkenness of Britain.

6.6. Violence Whilst there were violent periods of Victorian history, it did tend to be over-emphasized by newspapers at the time. The murderers by Jack the Ripper were a terrifying example of violent crime of this time, but much evidence from the crimes remained inconclusive, and he was never caught.

6.6.1. Dr.Jekyll and Mr Hyde contains powerfully violent scenes. In each instance, the culprit is Mr Hyde, and the victim is an innocent. For example, in the first chapter we learn how Mr Hyde literally trampled a young girl in the street at three in the morning , and later on we learn that Mr Hyde, for whatever reason, mercilessly beat Sir Danvers Carew to death. Even worse, we find at the conclusion of the novel that Hyde thoroughly enjoyed committing this violence, and afterwards felt a rush of excitement and satisfaction. Through this imagery of senseless violence against innocent victims, Stevenson expresses the true depravity and pure evil of Hyde.

6.7. Wife beatings During the 1800's wife beating was extremely common and only caused outrage if it was exceptionally brutal or endangered life. There was a widespread belief among ordinary people, male and female, that it was every man’s ‘right’ to beat his wife so long as it was to ‘correct her’ if she did anything to annoy or upset him or refused to obey his orders.

6.8. Garotting A wave of this crime passed in 1862, and caused giant levels of public fear. Pedestrians would be half strangled by one person whilst having their possessions stolen by another from behind.

6.9. The Victorian period saw great changes in how people were caught, arrested and charged to appear in court. The police force, as we know it today, did not exist until 1856. Before then, most places had only an unpaid parish constable to keep order.

6.10. Punishments There were five main punishments used to both contain and deter criminals. Enforced isolation, reformation schools, imprisonment, capital punishment and transportation.

6.11. Enforced isolation During the 1830's and 184'0s, prisoners were isolated with nothing but their thoughts and a Bible. They may occasionally have received visits from a chalain - because crimes were thought to be a moral problem, such reflection was seen as a way to correct the way people thought.

6.12. Imprisonment It was believed by the Victorians that prisons could be used to reform people, so that they served their term, they would leave as better citizens. Authorities wanted to use sentences in order to reduce the number of smaller and more minor crimes. Nethertheless, no distinctions were made between the ages and as such, young children could be sent to an adult prison.

6.13. Capital punishment This remained only for murderers and traitors under Queen Victoria's ruler, and there was a great shift towards imprisonment and lunatic asylums. However, there are records of children as young as 12 being hanged.

6.13.1. Interestingly, Hyde’s final victims, when he commits suicide just before Utterson and Poole break into his cabinet, are both himself and Jekyll. In this final act, neither victim is innocent. Clearly, Hyde is guilty of many crimes, and Jekyll is guilty by proxy as he created Hyde, let him run free, and inhabits the same body as the man. Perhaps in this conclusion. Stevenson is suggesting that those who promote and commit senseless violence, punishment will come. For killing a man, he could be killed himself anyway.

6.14. Transportation Offenders would often be sent to work in British colonies, such as Australia. This was stopped by the 1850’s because the Australians were becoming hostile to such a growth of the British population.

6.15. Catching the criminal Most prosecutions were not carried out by the police, but by private individuals, normally the victims of the crime. Anyone who was thought to have committed a crime, was taken to the parish constable or magistrate by the person who caught them. Even in places where there was a proper police force, most prosecutions were still started by private citizens.

6.16. Making an arrest in the 19th century The local Parish Constable acted as a custodian until the accused could be brought before a magistrate. By the Victorian period the local or parish ‘Constables’ were providing ineffective in many areas. As crime rates rose, the Office of Constable had deteriorated to such an extent that they were often depicted as figures irresponsible drunkards, hardly better than though they were arresting. Even when they took their responsibilities seriously, their powers were strictly limited by their immediate superiors (the magistrates). In most cases it was up to the private individual to pursue any prosecution.

6.16.1. After the murder of Sir Danvers Carew, Utterson is called to the scene due to the findings of a letter on Danvers person. Utterson then decides to make it his business to capture Hyde and bring him to justice along with the constable. Nowadays this would not be allowed and Utterson would have been told to go home, but due to most prosecutions being carried out by private individuals this was considered normal. Another case of the punishment being given by private individuals is at the beginning of the novel where the innocent girl was trampled. Enfield, the girls family and a doctor took it upon themselves to punish Hyde with a fine of 100 pounds. Without even consulting an officer.

6.17. The accused would be held in the local ‘lock-up’ until they could be examined by a magistrate. At this time, statements would be made and signed. It was up to the magistrate to decide what to do with the accused. He had three options:

6.18. If he felt there was no case to answer, he could discharge the suspect.

6.19. If the case was a minor one, he could have the offences ‘summarily’ tried before two magistrates at Petty Sessions.

6.20. If he felt it was a serious offence, he would commit them to be tried before a judge at the Assizes or a bench of magistrates at Quarter Sessions.

7. Victorian London and underworld

7.1. In Victorian London the population surged from 1 million to 6 million from 1800 to 1900. There was a lot of new developments in construction of new affluent neighbourhoods and at the same time horribly overcrowded slums. It was at this time that London got their underground sewage system, and the Metropolitan police force. Families were large because birth control and contraception were not big at the time, and health improved so children lived past youth. Morals in this era involved secual restraint before marriage, low tolerance of crime and a strict social code of conduct, mostly for the wealthy.

7.2. Upper class The Victorian upper class consisted of the king and the queen, aristocrats, nobles, dukes, viscounts, and other wealthy families working in the Victorian courts.

7.3. Many times, members of the upper class did not work to make a living because for centuries their families had been gathering enough money for future generations to live a luxurious life.

7.4. However, there were a number of aristocrats who managed huge industries like shipping. With education, the wealthy families had the best tutors. The upper class represented the royal class. Therefore, they could buy expensive, imported clothes an dafford other luxuries unavailable to other classes.

7.5. Middle class The middle class was the next in social ranking. The Victorian Era was very prosperous for the middle class. Middle-class people owned and managed vast business empires. The middle-class population, at the very start of the Victorian Era, was limited to a few.

7.5.1. The men in 'Jekyll and Hyde' all represent the middle class.

7.6. The Industrial Revolution in the mid-century of the era brought about drastic changes in the standard of living for the Victorian middle-class people. The revolution allowed for more job opportunities and for people to earn a decent living. This, in turn, had a positive impact on the education of children.

7.7. Working class The lowest among the social hierarchy were the working class. This class remained aloof to the political progress of the country and was hostile to the other two classes. The working class was further categorized as the skilled workers and unskilled workers.

7.8. Due to the Industrial Revolution, the skilled industrial workers ecured jobs, thus improving their living conditions. However, unskilled workers, who were placed below the skilled ones, remained unemployed and were vulnerable to exploitation.

7.9. The working class was the worst affected class in the Victorian times. Lack of money resulted in a negligible food supply. For some working families, the living conditions were so pathetic that they would require their children to work in order to bring home some extra income to survive.

7.9.1. In the beginning of chapter 1, Stevenson contrasts the working and middle/upper class. He describes a street which represents the middle/upper-class and a building which represents the working-class.

7.10. Working-class London was overcrowded

7.11. Whilst the middle and upper-classes lived in richly-furnished houses, this wasn’t true of everyone.

7.11.1. Like Jekyll’s house which was “a great air of wealth and comfort”

7.12. The industrial revolution meant that many working-class people migrated to large towns and cities to live and work.

7.13. Housing had to be built rapidly to accommodate workers and their families. Large areas of slums sprang up in London’s East End.

7.14. Slum housing generally of a poor quality because it was built so quickly. Whole families could live in one or two rooms. house s were often damp, with no running water or proper sanitation. This led to widespread outbreaks of fatal diseases, like cholera.

7.15. The streets in the slums were narrow and poorly lit. Victorian London was known for its smoke, caused by burning coal on a large scale. The East End slums were built close to factories so that people could easily work long hours. This meant that the slums suffered particularly from pollution.

7.15.1. In parts of the novel, London could seem nightmarish - the fog and gloom are thick and powerful.

7.16. Working-class London was not respectable

7.17. There were some parts of London were most respectable men wouldn't want to be seen, such as the working-class- slums. They also wouldn't want to be seen visiting brothels or public houses.

7.17.1. Hyde is associated with these less respectable parts of the city. His house is in a “dismal quarter or Soho”, where “ragged children” huddle in doorways.

7.18. But the two sides of the city did overlap. Some gentlemen would deliberately travel to the “dismal” areas of London (where there was less chance of being recognised) to satisfy the desires they hid in public.

7.18.1. Jekyll takes this one step further by changing who he is entirely before going to these areas. In order to maintain his status, he changed himself into Hyde whenever he had the desire to commit a crime.

8. Duality

8.1. Duality - the quality all humans have that makes them good and evil.

8.2. Double lives Closely linked to the Victorians' increasing sense of the conflict between science and religion was the idea that humans have a dual nature. On the one hand, they saw the calm, rational, everyday normality of family life and employment; on the other, fantasies, nightmares, anger and violence. It was the explainable versus the inexplicable; the natural versus the supernatural; good versus evil. This is the duality the novel explores. Stevenson had previously written on the theme of double lives in a number of works

8.2.1. Duality is the main theme in 'Jekyll and Hyde'. Jekyll and Hyde are supposedly close friends however have extremely different personalities and looks. Many people like Jekyll, he is a doctor and very respectable. He appears pleasant and kind. However, Hyde is a criminal. He has murdered innocent people and has not been caught for it. He is extremely unpleasant looking. Just from looking at him people become scared and dislike him. Despite them being so different it turns out they are the same person. The theme of duality is represented throughout with things so small as objects being compared.

9. Deacon Brodie

9.1. Stevenson's play 'Deacon Brodie' dealt with the theme of duality in the real life figure of William Brodie

9.2. The play Deacon Brodie (1880) was based on the real life character William Brodie (1741 - 1788).

9.3. Brodie came from a privileged background and was a craftsman and member of Edinburgh’s council.

9.3.1. Jekyll also had a privileged life and respectable job.

9.4. Although he was wealthy and seemed respectable, he drank and gambled, and had two mistresses and five children. He used his skills as a locksmith to rob houses and businesses and to attempt to steal tax collected from across Scotland.

9.4.1. Jekyll also wants to do whats considered 'wrong, however fearful he gets found out has to hide himself completely by turning into Hyde.

9.5. He was finally found out, captured and hanged in Edinburgh in 1787.

10. The Body Snatcher

10.1. In his short story The Body Snatcher (1884), Stevenson tells the story of medical students who take delivery of bodies to be used for anatomy lessons. It becomes apparent that some of the bodies are of people murdered to supply this trade.

10.2. This is based on the case of Burke and Hare, two criminals who, in 1827 and 1828, robbed graves and then murdered ten people to provide bodies for medical studies at Edinburgh University.

10.2.1. Like Jekyll and Hyde there is a theme of respectable science hiding criminal behaviour.

11. Markheim

11.1. In Stevenson’s short story Markheim (1885), the title character murders an antique dealer and attempts to steal from him. A supernatural stranger appears and the two discuss the nature of good and evil.

11.1.1. Hyde kills a man and steals from him also.

11.2. Markheim admits he has lived an evil life, but when a servant returns home, he refuses to kill her and instead embraces his good side by telling her to call the police.

11.2.1. Jekyll knows he has done wrong so kills himself and he cannot live with the hate.