foreverrocking
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Stevenson uses animalistic features to suggest his belief in the idea of Darwinism. This idea was disregarded by most people in society.
This is the first meeting of Hyde. Hyde is described through Utterson who a well-respected and trusted character in the story. Hyde is described as “savage”. Savage has connotations of evil and wild. Stevenson could imply that Hyde is degenerate without morals, and acts as an animal would. This unusual and discomforting behavior contrasts with what a normal person would do, which is to warmly welcome a guest into their home. Stevenson may be trying to show the idea of how anything out of the norm is feared and detested in Victorian society. We already know that the characters fear Hyde due to his looks. Yet there is a non-specific reason for this. This almost creates fear in the reader’s mind and tension. This leaves the reader to paint a picture that matches to reader’s fears and sins. Hyde could pose as a mechanism to evoke the inner terrors and sins that are concealed in man.
Hyde is also described as” snarled”. The verb “snarled” has a sinister undertone. This could imply he behaves as an animal would. The verb “snarled” could also suggest the context of Darwinism. Suggesting, the idea that society has this primitive and unevolved side to human nature. On contrary, Victorian society, at the time, was religious and too traditional to hear Darwin’s radical theory. That is why Mr. Hyde’s appearance is so shocking and frightening because he embodies primitivism. Stevenson could also suggest that we could degenerate into this inner savageness if the veneers of society did not constrict Victorian people. The sibilance of “snarled and savage” could suggest the evil and sinister side to Hyde’s character.
Hyde has no sympathy nor remorse for anything. These characteristics are of an animal. This is suggested by the quotation “Trampled calmly” (Trampling the girl). Therefore, the oxymoron could suggest that Hyde had evil intentions and viewed the girl almost like prey. Hyde tramples violently, but calmly to perhaps signify that he feels no empathy for anything. In society, this would have been considered an abnormal act and peculiar. As this goes against the morality of Victorian men. Stevenson may use “Trampled “to convey his anger, that men are hypocritical and to point out that he does not believe in this false dichotomy. That there is no evil and good, but we are like Jekyll.
The uncivilized and primitive side to Hyde. This is supported by the quotation “Something troglodytic”. This suggests his primitive side and “troglodytic” has connotations of cavemen and ape-like. . This creates fear as such an evil animal could conceal himself in this facade of a well-represented Victorian gentleman. This would have feared the Victorian reader as they would have been shocked to see a gentleman who was supposed to be kind and caring to have concealed such hellish evil within himself. Stevenson could also suggest of how evil is present throughout everyone, but people suppressed it. Stevenson could be making fun of the hypocrisy of men of how on the outside they are presented as good, but inside they hide so much evil.
Hyde is represented as “hissing”. Hissing, comparable to a snake which is considered to be symbolic of evil because it tempted Eve, in the biblical story of ‘Adam and Eve’(The original sin). Stevenson could suggest that evil is embodied within us and it is hard to suppress evil. This would have shocked the Victorian reader because most of Stevenson’s readers were Christian.
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