Jekyll and Hyde - Suspense and Tension Essay

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TSR George
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#1
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#1
I have wrote an essay on the following question. The extract is taken from the chapter "Search for Mr. Hyde" (page 12). Could anyone mark it out of 30 (AQA) and please give it a mark?

How does Stevenson present suspense and tension (mystery and fear) in this extract and throughout the novel. (30 marks)

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a late-Victorian 19th century gothic novel, partly written using an epistolary format, using first-hand letters to make the unbelievable events of the novel believable. Suspense and tension is something that is presented throughout the novel through the use of a third-person omniscient narration, which is a reflection of the time period, when people were worried about Queen Victoria dying and the changes that would occur as a result of this, so it can also be seen as a fin de siècle novella. Suspense and tension relates the events of the novel and the mystery of Hyde, “that man is not truly one but truly two”.

Stevenson creates suspense and tension in the novel by employing pathetic fallacy in this extract. Mr Utterson is out “at night” walking under the “fogged city moon”. This reflects the dark nature of Hyde, who Utterson is pursuing, and that the fog is obscuring everything on the “street”. However, an alternative interpretation could be that the darkness could portray and foreshadow the dark events that will occur later on in the novel. This is reflected in the whole novel because Hyde commits dark and dangerous acts throughout the novel in darkness, another example of pathetic fallacy, such as when he “trampled” over a “girl” of the age of “maybe eight or ten”. This adds to the suspense and tension because of the “hellish” acts Hyde commits, because the reader doesn’t know what the “juggernaut” and “man” will do next. This is because this is a fear of science novel when Victorians were afraid of the power of science and the idea that it can change a cultured man of “genial respectability” like Jekyll into a “troglodyte” like Hyde. Therefore, the duality of man and hidden nature of Hyde creates suspense and mystery which is demonstrated both in the extract and throughout this novel.

Suspense and tension is created through Stevenson’s use of Mr Utterson as a third-person omniscient narrator. The reader identifies with Utterson and learns things about the mystery as Utterson does, which creates suspense through the use of letters and the epistolary format, as everything sounds like a confession. In the extract, it is clear that Utterson is pursing Hyde and attempting to solve the mystery. The fact that Utterson is pursuing Hyde “at all hours of solitude” demonstrates Utterson’s persistent nature in attempting to uncover the truth of the mystery and reality of Hyde. Utterson’s persistent nature is demonstrated by Stevenson’s use of the pun “if he be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek”. This suggests that Utterson and Hyde are presented as opposites in this extract – his nemesis, which is why Utterson is “digging at the problem” and his attention “sharply and decisively arrested”, and this creates suspense and tension as Utterson is an unreliable narrator and always reaches the wrong conclusions. This notion is reinforced in various parts of the novel, such as when Utterson reaches the wrong conclusion about Hyde, under the impression that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll over something that occurred “years after memory”. This creates suspense and tension because it’s a gothic convention – the past resurfacing in the future, which Utterson believes. However, an alternative interpretation could be that lots of tension builds up throughout the novel, the reader finds out the truth at the end of the novel. Therefore, Utterson pursing Hyde in this extract and throughout the novel consolidates this mystery as the reader and Utterson attempt to uncover the truth behind Hyde.

The atmosphere Stevenson forms whilst Utterson is trying to solve this mystery creates suspense and tension in this extract. There is “frost in the air” during a “fine dry night”. It is very still as nothing is happening and the reader is waiting for something to happen. This builds up suspense, which is increased by the fact Jekyll is waiting. It also takes a long time for the “odd, light footstep” to reach Utterson. The reader can infer from this that Utterson does this deliberately to build up tension whilst he is waiting for this “footstep” to arrive. The term “light” conveys how Hyde is underdeveloped, which could be because “mythical science” doesn’t have the power to create a fully developed human like God can, and “odd” portrays how Hyde is different, reflecting that he is an outsider. However, it could be interpreted to conclude that Utterson can also be classed as an outsider because he doesn’t know when he will find Hyde. Similarly, in the rest of the novel, tension is created through when Utterson is “digging at the problem” and attempting to solve the mystery of Jekyll in other parts of the novel, like when Utterson invites Mr Guest to inspect the “odd, upright hand”. This creates suspense and tension as Utterson is getting closer to solving the mystery through the resemblance of and similarities between both Jekyll’s and Hyde’s handwriting. However, an alternative interpretation could be that the actual suspense and tension is created because of the fact that Utterson is disrupting his regular, “austere” routine through pursuing Hyde. Therefore, not only the duality of Jekyll with his “genial respectability” and “secret pleasures” creates suspense and fear, but also through the duality of this “lawyer”. Utterson chooses to gallivant in the “fine dry night” after Hyde despite his “austere” nature, and therefore, he is allured by the beauty of darkness, and hence his own duality. The further Utterson progresses, the greater the amount of suspense created, which can be compared to Victorian society when many Victorians had a hidden nature. This is also reflected in the novella through the two sides of Jekyll’s house, one of which belonged to a once “celebrated surgeon”, enabling Stevenson to explore and reveal the concept of man’s duality and the hypocritical attitudes that surrounded it in the 19th century.

Stevenson finally creates suspense and tension through the mystery surrounding what Jekyll has done. In this extract, Stevenson’s use of long sentences demonstrates how long Utterson is waiting and that he is always there until he solves the mystery. This is portrayed by “at last”, which portrays how long Utterson has been waiting, increasing the suspense that builds up throughout this extract. He is relentless in his everlasting routine and will doggedly pursue Hyde, even if it disrupts him. However, the reader knows that this will not be the last time Utterson encounters Hyde. The mystery of Hyde doesn’t only create suspense and tension, but this is also what is driving Utterson, and without this drive, he wouldn’t be there to “haunt the door” and at all times, because he will never give up until he knows the true identity of the “small” man. Again, this consolidates the suspense that has built up in the novella until this point. What Utterson doesn’t recognise, however, is that he also doesn’t know the true identity of his “old” and “inseparable” friend Jekyll, who is searching for his true “identity”. Also, throughout the novel, this tension is evident because Stevenson deliberately keeps the reader waiting until the end of the novel. He also keeps Utterson waiting through the “crushing anticipation of calamity” as Utterson is waiting for something bad to happen. Arguably suspense and tension is at its highest surrounding this mystery when the “hearty, healthy, dapper, red-faced” Lanyon sees the “hardly human” Hyde transform into his once “old” mate Jekyll. This transformation creates suspense and tension because Lanyon transforms from “hearty, healthy, dapper, red-faced” to someone who is in “deep-seated terror of mind”, which embodies how shocking this is, not only as this “unscientific balderdash” is such a shock at the time due to the fear of science and that it can create an “animal” like Hyde, but also because Hyde’s true existence is revealed. Lanyon seeing this transformation changes his perception of God, religion and science, resulting in “death”, and thus, this shock is at the height of the tension in the novel.

In conclusion, Stevenson builds up suspense and tension because of the outcomes of the novella’s central theme of “duplicity”. He uses the mystery and fear he manifests in the setting, transforming London into a “nocturnal city”, a dreaded place where Stevenson’s prefiguration of Jack the Ripper is free to “glide more stealthily through sleeping houses”.
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username5116054
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#2
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#2
i would personally give it a B-
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DarkShadow101
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#3
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How do you revise for english lit? Do you have any useful websites?
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DarkShadow101
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#4
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How come you know so much content and good words then? Yh it was acc really good, probs give it 29/30
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jamesg2
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#5
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#5
I tend to agree with Forgotten000. I certainly would not award any grade higher than B-. I can envisage a marker going below that grade.

It does not bode well that in the first sentence you have not used the correct title; "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

True you refer to the essential elements of the question set throughout your essay, however what you have to say is essentially assertion and story. There is very little analysis. You suggest the form of the narration is related the the nation's concern that Queen Victoria might die. I have no idea what you mean by that.

I'm sorry I could not see sufficient evidence in your writing to award a higher mark. Indeed I can see reasons to further lower your grade.
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BigSacks101
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#6
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#6
I do past papers and learn quotes from the book.
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dafhbhifb
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#7
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#7
19/30 because all I see is you repeating the extract and not explaining what it suggests but that is not for all of them, therefore I have awarded you marks for your explanation and analysis but 19/30 is not what you want that is a grade 6, and as I have concluded form your answer to the question you have vast knowledge but how you apply that knowledge is the problem I suggest you use the answer structure, PEARLPointEvidenceAnalysisReaders reactionLink to the context is suggested you do 3-4 paragraphs for a secured grade 7-9 for the question but it all depends on how you aplly your knowledge b and how you use this structure to answer the question.Sorry for any grammatical errors it was rushed.
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