How does this soundWatch
Q. How does Stevenson use language to describe the true horror of the character of Mr Hyde?
The writer uses the oxymoron ‘trampled calmly’ as these two words effectively convey the character of Mr Hyde; he is a character of two entirely opposite sides just like these words are of two opposite meanings; he is both a Victorian gentleman and a monster.The word ‘trampled’ is animalistic and brutal and shows the action as completely merciless as Mr Hyde in an instinctively animalistic way barges into the young girl thinking nothing nor caring about her pain.This could also link to the theme of evolution throughout the book as it shows that Mr Hyde is further down the road to homo sapiens this is also implied in the quote ‘With ape-like fury’ which suggests Mr Hyde is severely unevolved and in the primate stages of development.’The word ’trampled’ also implies a complete destruction physically as if the girl is being completely crushed.This further demonstrates Mr Hyde’s apparent lack of civilisation.
The word ‘calmly’ however seems to convey the gentlemanly side of Mr Hyde- the exterior that people see which is deemed respectful and polite however paired up with the word ‘trampled’ it takes on a more villainous connotation as it implies a complete nonchalant attitude towards this act of ruthlessness.
The word ‘screaming’ further heightens the sense of drama in this moment and the pain he has caused the young girl; as a reader we can imagine the young girl’s terror at this particular moment and the horror of what had just taken place. Stevenson deliberately describes the girl as a ‘young child’ which further emphasises on the sympathy we should feel for the young child and her plight. It also forces us to think about the brutality of Mr Hyde and the horror of his actions towards an innocent little girl. The fact that Stevenson uses a ‘girl’ as the victim could arouse the theme of sexism as in Victorian times men treated women atrociously and got away with it therefore this could suggest that Mr Hyde believed he may get away with his horrible actions as his victim was that of a poor, young girl and the witnesses of the terrible deed were of male dominance.
The word ‘naturally’ is an interesting choice to add into this description, the writer says they ‘‘ran into one another naturally enough,’’ as if their meeting was one of pure coincidence and one that could happen to anyone. However, the word ‘naturally’ has a higher significance; what Mr Hyde does here would be seen as an unnatural way of behaving for a human being towards another and especially a Victorian gentleman. He would be expected to behave respectfully and kindly yet instead his reaction would be seen only natural for that of an animal; a brutal and primitive response. His behaviour is immoral and certainly ungodly and therefore would be looked down on by all members of society. Stevenson makes Mr Hyde appear more devilish and darker by only hinting at parts of Mr Hyde's appearance creating an intrigue throughout the reader’s.
The name Mr Hyde itself is an interesting choice as the word ‘hide’ means to conceal so this may suggest that Dr Jekyll’s evil side is hidden in Mr Hyde, this is a key point as it links to themes of repression and duality. Repression is shown in the quote ‘I was punished,my devil had long been caged’ this quote is from Dr Jekyll when he is confessing the true nature of his experiments and who Mr Hyde really is; this shows the theme of repression as Dr Jekyll refers to Mr Hyde as his devil, not a devil.Therefore this shows that Dr Jekyll knows he has an evil side and consequently wanted to allow his evil side roam free in society as only then would he be able to profess his ungodly pleasures and yearning.
The theme of duality is represented in the quote ‘"All human beings, as we meet them are commingled out of good and evil." This represents duality as the word ‘commingled’ refers to a thin line therefore this further implies that Dr Jekyll believed that there was a very thin line between good and evil and that it was a particularly easy line to stumble over.