The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Novel Analysis: Narrative Structure and Themes Used in the Novel

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

The narrative structure of The Mystery of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

There were two narratives in this novel, the main narrative was a third person played by Mr. Utterson, and the second narrative which is at the end of the novel was a first person where it was explored by Dr. Jekyll as the conclusion in chapter 10. However, there were other narratives played by Mr. Enfield, the maid, and Dr. Lanyon; but the important ones are the two narratives Mr. Utterson and Dr. Jekyll, and here I will only explore these two narratives.
Mr. Utterson: (Third Person)

The story followed Mr. Utterson though out the novel as he unravels the mystery the relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Even though, the reader could have seen the ending sooner than expected, Mr. Utterson was not curious (nosy) enough to find the truth earlier, and this was because at that time, the curiosity of Mr. Utterson was considered to be an invasion of privacy. The reason that Mr. Utterson was chosen to be the third person in this novel is because his life was a bit boring, and he represented the life of most people (readers) at that time. So those readers will be hooked and trying to solve the mystery that Mr. Utterson was trying to solve. However, if the story was only from Dr. Jekyll’s perception, then there would not be any mystery nor there would have been a dramatic ending when reading the letters. Dr. Jekyll’s point of view unraveled all the mysteries that Mr. Utterson did solve, where Dr. Jekyll was the narrator in chapter ten as he wrote the letters explaining that Dr. Jekyll is in fact Mr. Hyde.

The plot and themes in the text

Plot

It all started when Mr. Utterson heard about how evil Mr. Hyde is from a friend, and knowing that Dr. Jekyll is leaving his entire fortune to this Mr. Hide. This triggers Mr. Utterson to investigate the relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so Mr. Utterson hunts Mr. Hyde and discovers that he had murdered someone important in the community. After that Mr. Hyde becomes a wanted man, which makes Mr. Utterson’s job a bit difficult to solve this mystery, but then, out of nowhere, the servant asks Mr. Utterson for help. Mr. Utterson then breaks into Dr, Jekyll’s lab and sees Mr. Hyde dead and Dr. Jekyll has disappeared, and that raises another mystery for Mr. Utterson. The suspense in all of those mysteries keeps the reader hooked, where Mr, Utterson started with a question to himself about Mr. Hyde, then the mystery of the relationship between Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll, and finally the mystery of how is Mr. Hyde dead and Dr. Jekyll is nowhere to be found. All those mysteries came to life when reading the letters and the documents, and the writer ended the novel because by knowing the reader will stop reading the novel as soon as Mr. Utterson returned to be boring and has no other mysteries to solve.

Themes

There are many themes in this novel, however, I will only mention the one major theme of them, and there are may such as “Good and Evil”, “Friendship”, and “Curiosity”. The major theme in the novel which was the “Good and Evil” battle and how it relates to Mr. Utterson. As it is clear to everyone, the “Good” is represented by Dr. Jekyll, and “Evil” is represented by Mr. Hyde, where Mr. Utterson is trying figure the relationship between Good and Evil, and he concludes that “Good” and “Evil” are two sides of the same coin, but which side we decide to use more, will determine how “Good” and “Evil” we are. The representation of “Good” is shown as Dr. Jekyll as he is a doctor, polite, somewhat handsome, kind and many other representations of good. However, Mr. Hyde represents “Evil” where he is viewed as a thug, lowlife person, who is rude, commits crimes, kills, and hide from the police. The writer is exploring the “Good and Evil” that exist in all men, and whether “Good” will overcome “Evil” or vice versa.

However, the writer shows that “Evil” was defeated when Mr. Utterson found Mr. Hyde lying dead as if he was defeated by Dr. Jekyll who is nowhere to be found.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, as Dr. Jekyll was struggling with Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll knew that he could not defeat Mr. Hyde, so he killed himself as he was transforming to Mr. Hyde; which means that in this case “Good” was defeated, but then “Evil” was killed.

The socio-cultural and historical context and perspective of the time at which the text was written in terms of its effect on the reader

In that time being involved a friends’ life does not give you the right to question their judgments, be nosy, and try to solve mysteries that don’t really concern you. In that time, good people are rich, educated, certain appearance, live in a certain area or neighborhood, and staying away from poor people, where those things represent Dr. Jekyll. However, evil people are poor, live in poor places, not known in the community, dirty, not polite, etc. and those characteristics are represented in Mr. Hyde.

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