Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Gothic fiction

Stevenson's story invokes the Gothic tradition:  The use of supernatural incidents; elements of the story are revealed in a more or less linear narrative through a source, such as a manuscript, letters, diary, and legend; events are set in gloomy, secluded ancient castles and monastaries in distant countries; danger and horror rely on past transgressions or family curses.  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde nods to the Gothic tradition while adapting it: It is set in present-day London; horror occurs within a single, respectable individual (duality of self); the "supernatural" events are given (some) plausibility (role of science); it relies on collected testimony (narrative structure).

More than just horror stories, Gothic fiction, beneath its sensationalism and entertainment purpose, reveals anxieties that underlie issues such as subjectivity, gender, sexuality, capitalism, class, and literacy.

Know the characters in the novella: Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde, Dr Lanyon, Mr Utterson, Mr Enfield, Inspector Newcomen, Mr Guest, Poole, Bradshaw.  Old woman at Mr Hyde's Soho house, housemaid, maid who witnesses Carew's murder, woman Mr Hyde hits in the face.

Themes of the novella to explore