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In Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, find three locations which depict London streets as sombre...

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gill7438 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:36 AM via web

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In Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, find three locations which depict London streets as sombre and threatening.

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asorrell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted March 3, 2012 at 12:01 PM (Answer #1)

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Setting is so important to the development of mood in this book. When you look at the passages pay attention to his word choice and use of detail.

One of the most obvious passages is in the first chapter The Story of the Door when Mr. Utterson first hears of Hyde.  He and Mr. Enfield are on a walk.  They first walk through a neighborhood that has a very positive description and then they come to the mysterious door. The building is described as having "marks of prolonged and sordid negligence" and the door itself "was blistered and distained" and "tramps slouched into the recess."

In the fourth chapter The Carew Murder Case, when Utterson is leading the police to Hyde's home, the fog and dark contribute greatly to the mood.  He describes "a chocolate-colored pall." Because the wind is blowing the fog around, there's a mix of light and dark throughout this passage. He writes about a "mournful reinvasion of darkness" and describes the street's inhabitants as "slatternly passengers."

In Chapter 8 The Last Night, Utterson and Poole are going back to Jekyll's home.   It is "wild and cold" and the moon seems to be "lying on her back, as though the wind had tilted her." The wind and cold kept the street "unusually bare of passengers."  He goes on to saythat "Mr. Utterson thought he had never seen that part of London so deserted" and Utterson longs "see and touch his fellow- creatures." He goes on to describe windblown square with the thin trees whipping in the wind.

Another example (although it isn't exactly a street) describes Jekyll's home and labortary, which was located in what was once a swanky part of London, but is now in decline.  When Utterson goes to see Jekyll in the fifth chapter, The Incident of the Letter, Stevenson describes the building as a "dingy windowless structure" and although it once had "eager students" it was now "lying gaunt and silent."  He also mentioned in this passage that the fog even comes into the houses.

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