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

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In "The Carew Murder," chapter 4 of Dr. Jekyll  and Mr. Hyde, how is tension sustained for the modern reader?

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the beginning of chapter 4, there is a tension between the tranquil setting on the one hand, and the conflict between Mr. Hyde and Sir Danvers Carew on the other. The tranquil setting is established with the character of the maid, who takes to her window box on a clear, moonlit evening, feels "at peace with all men," and thinks "kindly of the world." This tranquillity and peacefulness is then compounded by the descriptions of Sir Danvers Carew, whose face seems "to breathe such an old-world kindness of disposition." The subsequent conflict between Mr. Hyde and Sir Danvers Carew, which is described as a "great flame of anger," and a brutal "storm of blows," is emphasized in contrast to the tranquil setting. Thus, at the beginning of chapter 4, there is a tension established between Mr. Hyde on the one hand and, seemingly, the rest of the world on the other.

The second main source of tension in chapter 4 is that which concerns the relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When Mr....

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