Exploring Gothic Tropes: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’s Typical Setting


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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic Gothic novel that has captured the imagination of readers since its publication in 1886. The novel’s exploration of duality, morality, and the darker aspects of human nature have made it a timeless masterpiece. One of the key elements of Gothic literature is the setting, which is often dark, ominous, and foreboding. In the case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the setting plays a significant role in creating a sense of unease and suspense that permeates the entire novel. The typical setting of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the streets of Victorian London, a city known for its poverty, crime, and pollution. Stevenson’s vivid descriptions of the dilapidated buildings, narrow alleyways, and foggy streets paint a picture of a city that is both eerie and dangerous. The setting is particularly significant because it reflects the duality of the novel’s protagonist, Dr Jekyll. On the surface, he is an upstanding member of society, but beneath the facade, he is a man struggling with his darker impulses. The setting of Victorian London mirrors this duality, with its stark contrast between the opulence of the upper class and the squalor of the lower class.
The Gothic genre originated in the late 18th century and is characterized by elements of horror, the supernatural, and dark romanticism. Its tropes typically include mysterious and atmospheric settings such as haunted castles, graveyards, and dark forests. Gothic literature often features supernatural beings such as ghosts, vampires, and werewolves, as well as psychological terrors such as madness and obsession. The genre also explores themes of death, decay, and the unknown, and often includes elements of romance and melodrama. Overall, the Gothic genre uses eerie and unsettling imagery to create a sense of unease and suspense in its readers. In The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, many of these Gothic tropes are utilized to create a haunting and mysterious atmosphere in the story’s setting.
The setting is a crucial element in the Gothic genre, and it often serves as a vehicle for creating a sense of foreboding and unease. The typical setting of Gothic literature is often a dark, gloomy, and eerie environment, usually a castle, a mansion, or a haunted house, where supernatural events occur. The use of such settings is intended to create a mood of isolation, paranoia, and fear in the readers. In Robert Louis Stevenson’s \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,\ the setting is a foggy, murky, and mysterious Victorian London, which sets the tone of the story and enhances the sense of ambiguity and duality that the narrative explores. The setting of the story is not just a backdrop; it is an essential element that contributes to the overall Gothic atmosphere and adds depth and complexity to the narrative.

The Dark and Decadent City


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The dark and decadent city is a common trope in gothic literature, and it serves as a perfect setting for exploring the themes of sin, corruption, and decay. In Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the city of London is portrayed as a place of moral ambiguity and moral decay. The streets are dark and foggy, the buildings are old and decaying, and the people are jaded and cynical. This setting not only sets the tone for the story but also serves as a reflection of the characters’ inner turmoil. The city serves as a symbol of the characters’ moral decay. The streets are filled with prostitutes, opium dens, and other vices, and even the most respectable citizens are not immune to temptation. The dark and decadent city is a place where people can indulge in their darkest desires without fear of judgment or consequences. It is a place where the line between good and evil is blurred, and the characters are forced to confront their own inner demons. The city represents the characters’ struggle to reconcile their public persona with their private desires, and it is a constant reminder of the consequences of their actions.
The setting of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, is a typical Gothic trope, with dark and eerie elements. The story takes place in London during the late 19th century, a time of great social and cultural change. The streets are described as dimly lit and foggy, creating an atmosphere of mystery and unease. The buildings are old and decaying, with narrow alleyways and winding staircases, adding to the sense of claustrophobia. The wealthy and respectable part of the city is juxtaposed with the seedy and dangerous areas, where crime and poverty are rampant. This stark contrast highlights the duality of human nature, which is a central theme of the novel. Overall, the setting of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a vital component of the Gothic genre and helps to create a chilling and unsettling atmosphere that draws the reader into the story.
In \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,\ the city is portrayed as dark, eerie, and dangerous. The author, Robert Louis Stevenson, uses Gothic tropes to create a sense of foreboding and unease in the reader. The streets are described as arrow and busy,\ with \dingy shops\ and \sinister alleys.\ The buildings are \dark and gloomy,\ and the fog hangs thick in the air, obscuring the view. The city is a place of shadows and secrets, where danger lurks around every corner. This setting serves as a metaphor for the darkness that lies within the human soul, and the potential for evil that exists in all of us.
The setting of gothic fiction has been used in various literary works. Bram Stoker’s \Dracula\ is set in a gothic castle in Transylvania, while Mary Shelley’s \Frankenstein\ takes place in a gloomy laboratory. \The Picture of Dorian Gray\ by Oscar Wilde is situated in a decaying mansion in London, and \Rebecca\ by Daphne du Maurier is set in a grand estate in Cornwall. These works, like \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,\ employ the gothic setting to create a sense of foreboding and unease in the reader. The dark and mysterious atmosphere of these settings adds to the overall feeling of horror and suspense in these gothic works.

The Isolated and Haunted House


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The isolated and haunted house is a quintessential setting in Gothic literature, and it serves as a crucial component in creating an eerie atmosphere that leaves the reader feeling unsettled. The house represents a place of isolation, where the protagonist is cut off from civilization and left to face their fears alone. The house is often abandoned, dilapidated, and situated in a remote location, making it all the more unsettling. The protagonist is usually unaware of the dangers that await them in the house, and they must navigate their way through the dark and foreboding corridors, unsure of what they might find. The haunted house trope is also used to explore the themes of madness, death, and decay, which are central to the Gothic genre. The house is often haunted by ghosts or other supernatural beings, which symbolize the protagonist’s inner demons. The house’s decay mirrors the decay of the protagonist’s mind and soul, and the protagonist must confront their own mortality and the inevitability of death. The isolated and haunted house is a powerful trope that continues to capture the imagination of readers, and it remains a potent symbol of Gothic literature’s enduring legacy.
The house in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a perfect embodiment of gothic tropes. The imposing structure is described as having a \sinister\ appearance with \gaunt windows\ and a \heavily-frowned brow.\ The house is situated in a dark, quiet street, which only adds to its eerie ambiance. Inside, the house is labyrinthine, with multiple rooms and corridors that seem to lead nowhere. The atmosphere is oppressive, with a sense of foreboding that permeates every corner of the building, making it seem as if something terrible is always lurking just beyond the next door. Overall, the house serves as a physical representation of the psychological struggle between good and evil that lies at the heart of the novel.
The house in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is portrayed as an isolated, haunted, and mysterious place that adds to the overall gothic atmosphere of the novel. The description of the house is eerie and unsettling, with its dark and dingy appearance, its overgrown garden, and its decrepit architecture. The house is located on a quiet street, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, which adds to its sense of isolation. The house is also rumored to be haunted, and many of the characters in the novel are afraid to enter it. The mysterious nature of the house is further emphasized by the fact that it is the site of the bizarre and terrifying experiments of Dr Jekyll, which only serve to increase its aura of dread and foreboding.
The setting of a dark and eerie city is a common trope in Gothic literature, and there are many other works that use a similar setting to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. One such example is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which takes place in the foggy streets of London and the mysterious and foreboding Carpathian Mountains. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is also set in a Gothic city, with much of the action taking place in the dark and shadowy streets of Geneva. Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, such as \The Fall of the House of Usher\ and \The Raven,\ also make use of Gothic settings, often featuring crumbling mansions and haunted landscapes. These works all use similar settings to create an atmosphere of dread and unease, and to suggest that the characters are in a world that is both familiar and yet also somehow corrupted and dangerous.

The Sinister Laboratory


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When exploring the gothic tropes present in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the Sinister Laboratory stands out as a typical setting. This trope is often used to create an eerie atmosphere and evoke feelings of anxiety in the reader. The laboratory is usually portrayed as a place of experimentation and discovery, where the boundaries of science and morality are pushed to their limits. In The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the laboratory is where Dr Jekyll conducts his experiments to separate his good and evil personas, ultimately leading to his downfall. The Sinister Laboratory setting in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is also a reflection of the anxieties of the time. The Industrial Revolution and the advancement of science created a sense of unease among many people. The laboratory became a symbol of the potential dangers of science and technology, with the fear that scientists could play God and create monsters. This fear is reflected in the character of Dr Jekyll, who becomes obsessed with the idea of separating his good and evil selves, ultimately leading to his own destruction. Thus, the Sinister Laboratory setting serves as a warning against the dangers of unbridled scientific pursuit and the importance of maintaining moral boundaries.
The laboratory in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, is a quintessential example of a Gothic setting. It is a dark and foreboding space, filled with dusty shelves and jars of mysterious substances. The air is thick with the smell of chemicals and the constant hum of machinery. The walls are lined with shelves and cabinets, each containing strange instruments and tools. In the center of the room stands a large table, covered in books, papers, and various instruments, all used in the pursuit of science. The room is dimly lit by flickering candles, casting long shadows across the room. The laboratory serves as a physical manifestation of Jekyll’s obsession with science and his desire to unlock the secrets of the human psyche.
The laboratory in \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde\ is portrayed as sinister, experimental, and dangerous. The Gothic trope of the mad scientist is evident throughout the novel, as Dr Jekyll’s experiments become increasingly dangerous. The laboratory itself is described as a place of \dissecting tables and shelves, sinks and jars, instruments of surgery, and the anatomical charts\ which adds to the eerie atmosphere. Moreover, the laboratory is also the setting for the transformation of Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde, which highlights its dangerous nature. The laboratory also reflects the experimental nature of science, which is often associated with the unknown and the uncontrollable. Overall, the laboratory in \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde\ is a typical Gothic setting that adds to the eerie atmosphere of the novel.
The setting of a dark, mysterious city or town is a common trope in Gothic literature, and \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde\ is no exception. Other Gothic works that feature a similar setting include \Frankenstein\ by Mary Shelley, which takes place in the gloomy and eerie town of Ingolstadt, and \Wuthering Heights\ by Emily Bronte, which is set in the bleak and desolate moors of Yorkshire. Additionally, \Dracula\ by Bram Stoker is set in the eerie and foreboding city of Transylvania, while \The Picture of Dorian Gray\ by Oscar Wilde takes place in the shadowy and decadent streets of Victorian-era London. All of these works use their settings to create an atmosphere of suspense, mystery, and danger, which are all hallmarks of the Gothic genre.

The Supernatural Landscape


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The supernatural landscape is a staple of gothic literature, and it is no exception in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The novel is set in the dark and foggy streets of Victorian London, where the supernatural and the rational coexist. The streets are described as \dingy,\ arrow,\ and \crooked,\ creating a sense of claustrophobia and unease. The supernatural landscape is further enhanced by the use of pathetic fallacy, where the weather reflects the mood and emotions of the characters. The fog and darkness that envelop the streets of London create a feeling of foreboding and danger, adding to the suspense and mystery of the story. The supernatural landscape is not only present in the physical setting but also in the characters themselves. Dr Jekyll’s transformation into Mr Hyde is a supernatural occurrence that defies rational explanation, adding to the eerie and gothic atmosphere of the novel. The supernatural landscape also serves to highlight the duality of human nature, a prevalent theme in gothic literature. The contrast between the rational and the irrational, the good and the evil, is reflected in the physical setting of the novel. The dark and dingy streets of London represent the irrational and evil side of human nature, while the rational and good side is embodied by the respectable and well-lit houses of the upper class. This contrast is further emphasized by the character of Dr Jekyll, who represents the duality of human nature. His respectable and rational persona is in contrast to his dark and dangerous alter ego, Mr Hyde. The supernatural landscape serves to create a world where the rational and the irrational coexist, highlighting the complexity of human nature and the struggle between good and evil.
The landscape in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is an integral element of the Gothic atmosphere that dominates the novel. Robert Louis Stevenson’s descriptions are vivid and varied, from the bustling streets of Victorian London to the dimly lit alleys that hide the seedier parts of the city. The novel’s setting is both claustrophobic and ominous, with its frequent references to fog and darkness, which create an air of foreboding. The buildings are often described as decrepit and neglected, with crooked chimneys and broken windows, adding to the sense of decay. The setting is also used to highlight the contrast between the respectable, upper-class society and the underworld of crime and debauchery that lies just beneath the surface. Overall, the landscape in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a key component in creating the eerie, unsettling atmosphere that characterizes the Gothic genre.
In The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the landscape is portrayed as supernatural, eerie, and mysterious, creating an ominous and unsettling atmosphere. The streets of London are described as \dingy and unwholesome,\ with \fog rolling over the city\ and \sombre houses\ looming in the background. The contrast between the dark, gloomy streets and the bright, bustling city further emphasizes the sense of foreboding. Additionally, the setting of the story, a laboratory hidden away in the depths of Jekyll’s house, adds to the eeriness and otherworldly quality of the landscape. Overall, the portrayal of the landscape in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde serves to create a sense of unease and mystery, contributing to the gothic atmosphere of the novel.
There are a plethora of other Gothic works that utilize a similar setting to that of \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.\ For instance, Mary Shelley’s \Frankenstein\ also features a dark and eerie setting, with much of the action taking place in the gloomy laboratory of Victor Frankenstein. Bram Stoker’s \Dracula\ is another example, set in the foreboding and isolated castle of the titular character. Additionally, Edgar Allan Poe’s \The Fall of the House of Usher\ takes place in a decaying mansion that is plagued by supernatural occurrences. These works all share a common thread of utilizing a setting that is both atmospheric and foreboding, adding to the overall sense of dread that permeates throughout the narrative.

The Corrupt Society


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The corrupt society is a common theme in Gothic literature and is especially prominent in Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The novel takes place in a Victorian-era London that is rife with corruption and decadence. The characters that inhabit this world are often morally bankrupt and engage in illicit activities. This setting serves as a backdrop for the story’s exploration of the duality of human nature and the consequences of indulging in one’s darker impulses. Stevenson uses the corrupt society as a way to highlight the hypocrisy and moral decay of Victorian society. The characters in the novel, particularly Dr Jekyll, are forced to navigate a world that values appearances over substance. Jekyll, who is respected in his community, is hiding a dark secret that threatens to unravel his carefully constructed facade. The corruption that permeates the society in which he lives mirrors the corruption within himself. The novel ultimately suggests that no one is immune to the vices of their society, and that the only way to overcome these vices is to confront them head-on.
The society depicted in Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one of strict Victorian morality and decorum, where the facade of respectability is paramount. However, underneath the surface, there is a dark underbelly of repressed desires and vices. The streets are dimly lit, and fog shrouds everything, creating an atmosphere of mystery and foreboding. The upper class is obsessed with maintaining their social status, while the lower class struggles to survive in the harsh realities of poverty and crime. The setting is rich with gothic tropes such as dark alleys, creaky doors, and eerie silence that add to the suspense and tension of the story. Overall, the society in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one that is both alluring and dangerous, drawing the reader into its complex web of secrets and intrigue.
In \The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,\ the society is portrayed as corrupt, hypocritical, and oppressive through its characters and their actions. The novel’s setting in Victorian England emphasizes the societal norms and expectations that are placed on individuals. The upper class, represented by Dr. Jekyll, is shown as hypocritical in their actions as they strive to maintain their reputation while also engaging in immoral behaviors. The lower class, represented by Mr. Hyde, is oppressed and marginalized by the upper class, leading to their desperate and violent actions. The novel highlights the corrupt nature of society and how it can lead to the creation of monsters like Mr. Hyde.
The Gothic genre is known for its dark and eerie settings, and \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde\ is no exception. This classic novella is set in the grimy streets of Victorian London, a city that has been used as a backdrop for many other Gothic works. For example, Mary Shelley’s \Frankenstein\ takes place in the desolate landscape of the Swiss Alps, while Bram Stoker’s \Dracula\ is set in the foreboding castle of Transylvania. Edgar Allan Poe’s \The Fall of the House of Usher\ is located in a decaying mansion, and Charlotte Bronte’s \Jane Eyre\ takes place in the hauntingly beautiful Thornfield Hall. These works all share a similar sense of foreboding and unease, using their settings to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.

The Dualities and Dichotomies


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The Dualities and Dichotomies are a fundamental aspect of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The novella explores the idea of good versus evil, and how these two opposing forces can exist within a single individual. Dr Jekyll, a respected doctor and member of high society, is plagued by a dark side that he cannot control. This dual nature is represented by the two titular characters, who are essentially two sides of the same person. Jekyll represents the good, while Hyde embodies the evil that exists within him. The duality between the two is such that they are almost inseparable. Their existence is dependent on one another, and the actions of one have a direct impact on the other. This creates a sense of tension and unease throughout the novella, as the reader is unsure which side will ultimately prevail. The dualities and dichotomies in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde go beyond just good versus evil. There are also themes of light versus dark, and order versus chaos. Jekyll’s respectable exterior is a facade that hides the darkness within him, which is represented by Hyde. This contrast between light and dark is further emphasized by the setting of the novella. The streets of London, with their murky alleys and dimly lit corners, represent the darkness that exists within Jekyll. Conversely, the respectable homes and well-lit streets of the upper class represent the light and order that Jekyll strives to maintain. The tension between these opposing forces creates a sense of unease and uncertainty throughout the novella, as the reader is never quite sure which side will ultimately prevail.
The setting of the novel \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde\ plays a crucial role in reflecting the dualities and dichotomies present in the story. The novel’s typical gothic setting, with its dark and gloomy streets, foggy atmosphere, and eerie buildings, sets the tone for the story’s themes of duality and the conflict between good and evil. The contrasting settings of the respectable and affluent Jekyll’s home and the seedy and downtrodden Soho district, where Hyde’s lair is located, further emphasize the dichotomy between the two characters. The setting’s bleak and oppressive nature reflects the characters’ inner turmoil, adding to the tension and suspense of the narrative. Overall, the setting acts as a mirror to the characters’ dualistic nature, highlighting the themes of the novel and enriching the reading experience.
Other examples of gothic works that use a similar technique can be found in literature, film, and television. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are all classic examples of gothic literature that use eerie settings and supernatural elements to create a sense of dread and unease. In film, Tim Burton’s gothic style is evident in movies such as Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow, while TV shows like American Horror Story and Penny Dreadful also use gothic tropes to great effect. The use of gothic elements has proven to be timeless and continues to captivate audiences across different mediums.
The article delves into the exploration of gothic tropes in Robert Louis Stevenson’s \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.\ The author analyzes the typical setting of the story, which is the dark and foggy streets of London, and how it contributes to the eerie atmosphere of the tale. The article also discusses the duality of human nature and the theme of repression that is prevalent in the story. Furthermore, the author examines the use of symbolism in the novel, particularly the significance of the door that separates Jekyll’s laboratory and Hyde’s dwelling. Overall, the article offers insightful analysis and interpretation of the gothic elements present in Stevenson’s timeless classic.
The setting of a Gothic story is crucial in establishing the atmosphere and conveying the themes of the narrative. In The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the dark and eerie streets of Victorian London serve as the perfect backdrop to the haunting tale of duality and transformation. The city’s maze-like alleys and foggy avenues create a sense of claustrophobia and mystery, while its dilapidated buildings and ominous shadows evoke a feeling of unease and foreboding. The contrast between the respectable facade of Jekyll’s townhouse and the sinister, rundown laboratory where he conducts his experiments adds to the sense of duality and secrecy that permeates the story. Overall, the setting plays a crucial role in enhancing the Gothic themes of secrecy, transformation, and the dark side of human nature.
In conclusion, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a significant contribution to the Gothic genre. The novella’s exploration of the duality of human nature and the concept of the \other\ is a common Gothic trope that has been used in many works of literature. Stevenson’s use of the typical setting of foggy, dark London streets and the eerie atmosphere adds to the story’s overall ominous tone. The characters of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde embody the Gothic fascination with the supernatural and the unknown, creating a sense of horror and tension throughout the narrative. All in all, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a must-read for any fans of Gothic literature, and its influence can still be seen in contemporary works today.

Conclusion


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In conclusion, the typical setting in \The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde\ serves as a powerful Gothic trope that enhances the eerie and mysterious atmosphere of the novel. The dark and foggy streets of Victorian London, where the story is set, create a sense of claustrophobia and uncertainty, as if danger is lurking around every corner. The contrast between the respectable upper-class society and the seedy underworld of crime and debauchery adds to the sense of unease, as the characters struggle to maintain their identities and reputations in a world that is increasingly becoming corrupt and unpredictable. Overall, the setting of the novel plays a crucial role in highlighting the Gothic themes of duality, transformation, and the fear of the unknown, making it a timeless classic of horror and suspense.