In Chapter 1 of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where is the tension created, and how does this intrigue modern readers?Thanks

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This novel begins with a character describing an almost supernatural experience of terror and dread, followed by the description of random act of violence by a man who shows no remorse.  The tension results from a lack of understanding.  Why is this door so sinister?  How could a man just trample a child and not care?  Readers are left feeling uneasy because of this image unexplaniable human psychosis.  Here is a quote from the teller of the story:

Well, sir, the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on the ground. It sounds nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see. It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned Juggernaut.

As for how this would intrigue modern readers, the answer lies in the secrecy.  Curiosity is sparked by the description of the scene, which is echoed today in the opening scenes of most detective shows.  The fact that the mystery is not resolved until much later in the novel reinforces the connection to modern detective stories, where the audience is on level with the characters, trying to tie together the clues and find the answer.

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