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In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, compare and contrast the description of...

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ayleah43 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:41 AM via web

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In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, compare and contrast the description of the building and door used by Mr. Hyde and Enfield's description of him.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:12 PM (Answer #1)

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It is clear from the description given of Mr. Hyde's abode and Mr. Hyde himself, according to Enfield's description, that the author is suggesting that there is some form of relationship between the character and the setting, and that the setting is symbolic of the character. Note the following description of the building and the door and the way that it is presented to make us think of evil and darkness:

It was two storeys high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower storey and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on the upper; and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence. The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained.

The clearly sinister description of this door and building is paralleled by the evil nature of Mr. Hyde himself, who, "like some damned Juggernaut" trampled over the body of the girl on the ground. The "ugly" look that he gives Enfield makes him sweat profusely and his chilling indifference to his crime makes him an apt person to dwell in such a neglected house. Just as the house is a victim of "sordid negligence," so Mr. Hyde himself is a character who is sordid in his approach to morals and values.

 

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