The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Can someone give me an explanation of what the following quote from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde means? "The fog still slept on the wing above the drowned city, where the lamps glimmered like carbuncles and through the muffle and smother of these fallen clouds the procession of the towns life was still rolling on through the great arteries with a sound as of a mighty wind."

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Literally, the quote is describing what London looks like outside the window of Mr. Utterson's home, where he sits by the hearth with his friend Mr. Guest. The passage is saying that the city is covered ("drowned") in fog, which would not be uncommon for London. All that can be seen is the glow of the many (at this time) gas lamps around London that look to Utterson like pustules or pus-filled boils under human skin. Beneath the fog, though he can't see anything, he can hear the sounds of London, which reassure him the life of the great city is going on. Traffic through the arteries (main...

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taygreenleaf | Student

This sentence is a description of the setting. Set in Victorian era London, the author is using both gothic and romantic elements to elaborately describe the fog and pollution that was very typical in this time period. Stevenson, a gothic novelist, employs the use of the natural world, in this case the heavy industrial fog and clouds, to portray to the reader that our setting is not a welcoming one. Stevenson uses phrases like "drowned" and "smothered" to give the reader a sense of unease. The London portrayed here is cramped, gloomy, and mysterious. Stevenson also adds the metaphor of human arteries to conjure the sense of the undercurrent of life webbing its way under the fog in the city. The use of bodily imagery like arteries is also a typical convention of both the romantic and gothic literary movements.

mkcapen1 | Student

The townspeople are not noticing the fog.  The fog is lingering and the lamps put light on the people's clothing.    The writer has used this term to show that the light has attached itself over the passing people as they walk under them. Fog does not muffle sound but rather creates a calming appearance that gives the appearance of a muffled sound.  As the fog descends over the crowd nothing has changed.  The people walk through the streets and continue to perform their as they tasks as their foot steps and communication is like a dull roar through the fog.

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