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

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How does Stevenson use London to explore his theme of duality in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

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London—and even the modern city in general—is the key to fully exploring Stevenson's theme of duality. The London street on which the novel begins is an important setting throughout the story. Victorian London was new and exciting, and Stevenson portrays it as both beautifully majestic and mysteriously dark.

The duality of the story would have a very hard time existing without London. Bustling crowds provide anonymity, dim gaslit streets provide the cover of night, and the urban underworld provides the perfect location for Hyde. Within this side of London, Hyde enjoys a certain form of freedom, and one could argue that Jekyll would not be able to pursue this duality without London being idyllic on one side and dark on the other.

London can also be seen as a direct representation of Jekyll and Hyde themselves. Jekyll contributes to London society and is also well-liked and highly-respected. He is the personification of idyllic London: intelligent, respectable, and generous. Hyde, on the...

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