Boekverslag: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
First published in 1886.
The story is situated in London in the 19th century. The place and time aren't very important for the story. The story could take place in any other country, at any other time.
The time covered by the story is a couple of years.
The story has a chronological structure, with a few flashbacks.
One of the flashbacks can be found on page 9, where Mr Enfield tells Mr Utterson a story, about a man, who'd collided with a girl and deliberately trampled over her body. Mr Enfield remembers this man very good, but he is not able to describe how he looks. The man gave Mr Enfield one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on Mr Enfield like running. Mr Enfield and some bystanders had forced the man, who gave his name as Hyde, to pay damages to the child's family. The man goes into some kind of house and returns with 10 pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance, signed with a name, at least very well-known and often printed.
When you're reading the story, you're looking through the eyes of the author. You are an outsider.
Dr Henry Jekyll: Dr Henry Jekyll is a well-known person in London. He has a good personality and needs
to keep up his good reputation. He's a round character. You get to know him very well and you find
out what is going on in his mind. In the beginning, he comes up with a drug which makes him
capable of transforming into another person. With this new body, in the appearance of Mr Hyde,
he's able to be bad, but also able to keep up his good reputation as Dr Jekyll. In his statement of the
case, Dr Jekyll gives us his life story. He explains his feelings and explains why he killed Mr Hyde,
and doing so himself.
Mr Edward Hyde: Mr Edward Hyde is the opposite of Dr Henry Jekyll. He is a feared and very evil man. He
appears after Dr Henry Jekyll has taken his self-made drug. From a certain point onwards
Mr Hyde presents himself even without taking the drug. You don't get to know Mr Hyde
as well as Dr Jekyll. You don't see Mr Hyde talking to people very much. He lives by his
own and doesn't want to get to know anyone any better. He's a flat character. Other people
tell you how he's like.
Mr Utterson: Mr Utterson is Dr Jekyll's close friend and lawyer. He is a very tolerant man. This appears from
what he's used to say: 'I let my brother go to the devil in his own way.' He's a very friendly man and
he enjoys his Sunday walks with his cousin Richard Enfield very much. He is a man of rugged
countenance, who doesn't smile much. He's a round character. In the beginning you get to know him
very well. His character is described very extensive. For example, he's lean, long, dusty, dreary, etc.
The title, 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', gives the expectation of a story about two persons. While reading the story you begin to understand the title. First you see Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as to different persons, but they aren't. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are one and the same person. So the title gives the wrong expectation. You think there are two persons, but there is only one.
VII Personal appreciation
According to my opinion, this is a very good and exciting book. It absorbs you into the story. In the beginning the don't quite understand what is going on. You think Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are two persons, but they are one, in fact. You expect one thing, but you get to read the other.
The lines on the back of the book gave a very mysterious expectation. It gave the impression that the book was full of action and mystery; and that?s what I like.
Some of the events that occurred in the story could not happen in real life, but that?s just why the story is interesting. Even though some was fake, the author has written it in a very convincing way. You really believe what is going on.
When an author is able to convince you of a story, that?s not real, I think it?s very good.
The main characters are like real people. I can imagine there are people like them. For example, I can imagine Dr Jekyll wants to be able to do bad things for one time. I think many people have such thoughts once in a while. So I can understand his behaviour and I also understand why he had to kill himself in the end. This man didn?t want to hurt people all the time, but after some months, that was the only thing he could do. So I think killing himself was the best thing to do.
The story wasn?t hard to read and you began to understand everything better, when you were further in the story.
At some moments, I even found the story exciting. For example, when Mr Utterson and Poole, Dr Jekyll?s servant, break the door of Dr Jekyll?s cabinet open with an axe and find Mr Hyde.
The only thing I would change in this book is the perspective. I rather would have seen the story told from the
I-perspective. In that way, you can enter into a part much more easy and it gets more real, because you feel you are taking part in the story.
The kind of language used in the story wasn?t very hard to understand. And what I really like, is the sometimes used imagery. For example on page 47, ?A dismal screech, as of mere animal terror, rang from the cabinet.?
Putting this all together I can say I have enjoyed reading this book and I can recommend it to everybody.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Edinburgh, 13 november 1850 - Vailima (Samoa), 3 december 1894) was een Schots schrijver van romans, gedichten, toneelstukken en reisverhalen.Stevenson werd geboren in het Schotse Edinburgh als zoon van de ingenieur Thomas Stevenson en Margaret Balfour. Zijn ouders waren zeer religieus, maar tijdens zijn jaren op de universiteit liet hij het geloof los, hoewel het wel invloed op hem zou houden. Zijn relatief korte leven was echter vol van ondernemingen en avontuur. Hij begon als ingenieur, evenals zijn vader (deze moderniseerde het ontwerp van de vuurtoren). Vanwege zijn zwakke gezondheid stapte hij over naar een rechtenstudie, maar werd geen praktiserend jurist. Aan het eind van zijn leven was hij plantagehouder en stamleider in Samoa.
- Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
- Robert Louis Stevenson
- Meer boeken van:Robert Louis Stevenson