Dr jekyll and mr hyde

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  • Publié le : 22 novembre 2010
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The text under scrutiny is an excerpt of the world-widely known work by RL Stevenson (1850-1894), The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which was published in 1886. As every informed readershould know, Jekyll and Hyde are the same person, Hyde being the evil side of Jekyll. Hyde committed a series of crimes among which murders. A lawyer, Mr Utterson decided to lead an investigation in orderto find Hyde and sue him. He is the narrator of the novel: he partly witnesses the events and has recourse to letters to unwind his investigation about the mysterious connection between his friendand client, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In this extract, Utterson is paying a visit to Dr Jekyll. He suspects him of having helped and conceiled / hidden the suspect (l.7).
Jekyll doesn’t feel at ease withthis unexpected visit, both physically and psychologically, still he tries to convince Utterson that he is innocent. He pretends that he was sent a letter written by Hyde, written with an odd andupright handwriting, which we could imagine as totally different from his own. Besides, he states that he would stay totally indifferent to what may happen to Hyde if he were found. He wished his nameweren’t mentioned as he has already been quite exposed so far.
Throughout the dialogue, he keeps using words and expressions belonging / refering to the lexical field of justice. Jekyll also swears toGod and on his honor. This device is used so as to have Utterson believe that he wants justice to be done. Though, the reader shares Jekyll’s secret, so all his attempts to disculp himself are actuallyonly dramatic irony. He goes as far as fainting hesitation to share a piece of information with the solicitor (l.20). Indeed, to a totally innocent reader, Jekyll’s words and his will to helpUtterson may sound reassuring. Still, to a Victorian contemporary reader, Jekyll’s duality (expressed by the over-use of the 3rd person pronouns he/him) is obvious and in a shattered period, he knows that...
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