I am struggling on how tension is created in chapter 8 and also in the whole novel because I can’t find the right quotes and explain them well! Please help?!
Dr Jekyll and Hyde How is tension created? Watch
- Thread Starter
It is probably a good idea to avoid suggesting that J&H is made up from chapters. It definitely is not and to suggest may make it clear to anyone examining your work that you really do not know the novella. The clue is in the novella’s title: “Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The critical word being the noun “Case.” The novella is an investigation - and a documented one at that. It is made up out of a series of documents; conversations, reports, and letters. I usually refer to what you call chapters as sections - usually naming them. One thing these sections are not is chapters. If RLS had wanted to name these sections as chapters - he was more than able to do that.
So you may be asking “why not chapters?” Chapters create a sequential narrative. First, if you have studied the novella you will be perfectly aware that the narrative is not sequential. Second, since RLS considered this - effectively - a detective story where Utterson and the reader are attempting to understand what has been happening - RLS needs confusion and events not placed in s sequence.
So now to section eight: The Last Night. I will list a series of ideas for you to work on.
A) The section is entitled “The Last Night.” It is not day, it is not afternoon, it is not morning - it is night with all that term implies.
B) Section seven is “Incident at the Window.” It is the last time we see Jekyll and that section ends with enfield and Utterson being very concerned about the state of Jekyll.Indeed so shocked is Utterson that he says “God forgive us.” So as we begin section 8 the reader is really concerned as to what is going on.
C) Line 7 of the section begins with Poole - first making a surprise visit and one at night - informing Utterson “there is something wrong.” Poole is a servant and he has left his owners house to report his concerns to a third party. To do that underlines whatever has concerned him is very serious.
D) To further alarm Utterson Poole says that he suspects “foul play.” Not Utterson’s reply. It ends in an exclamation mark.
E) That night is a stormy night.The elements themselves are contributing to the unsettled situation.
And so this section begins with Utterson sitting quietly by his fire at peace when suddenly Poole bursts into his house suggesting there has been a murder.
F) When Poole gets to Jekyll’s house and knocks on the door a voice asks “Is that you Pool?” So it is clear others in the house are also concerned.
G) When Utterson sees all the servants waiting downstairs he reprimands them. However the servants are downstairs because they are frightened.
H) When they know on the cabinet door “A voice answered.” The expression “a voice” makes clear that neither Poole or Utterson are clear who is speaking. It is Jekyll but he has changed since Utterson saw him that Sunday. Utterson even. Asks whether the voice they heard was Jakyll.
I) The consequence of the potion is having such. An effect on Jekyll that when Poole sees him one day he does not recognise him. He says he has a mask in his face.
J) Utterson is determined to force entry but not knowing what is there and certainly not wanting to let it escape he sends Bradshaw to the side entrance to stop any attempt of escape.
K) Just before Utterson forces entry he hears a voice cry out “Utterson for God’s sake have mercy!” It has to be Jekyll because these are not the words that Hyde would use. Also note the exclamation mark.
L) When they do force entry it is accompanied by a “dismal screech, as of mere animal terror.” It is not clear who makes this sound. It is likely that it was Jekyll who took the poison and it may be Hyde who makes the noise knowing that Jekyll has not only killed himself but also has killed Hyde.
M) When they break in Jekyll is not there, yet both Poole and Utterson know he was there before they broke in.
N) The section ends with Utterson wondering whether Jekyll escaped.
O) Jekyll’s letters to Utterson does not confirm he is dead but that he has “disappeared.”
RLS was determined that not only are his characters confused as to what is going on - RLS also wants his readers to be confused. It is the confusion and contradictions within this section that creates the tension.