What literary devices, with examples, are in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Asked on by kiegillette

1 Answer | Add Yours

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Literary devices are of two categories: literary elements and literary techniques. Literary elements are common to all fiction in one form or another. Literary techniques are options each individual author can choose from and therefore vary between literary works.

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one example of a literary element is the narrator, or narratorial voice. The story starts with a third person limited narrator who tells the story through Mr. Utterson's experience, thoughts, motives, and feelings. Other literary elements to consider are conflict; rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, all part of plot structure; character development (direct or indirect); foreshadowing; setting; point of view; mood; tone; and theme.

One literary technique (optional choice of author) in the story is Stevenson's use of epistolary sections. In Chapter 9, Dr. Lanyon takes over as the narratorial voice by means of his letter to Mr. Utterson. Further, in the beginning of Lanyon's epistle (letter) is an embedded letter to Lanyon from Jekyll. So Lanyon's letter to Utterson consists in part of a letter quoted inside a letter. Chapter 10 is given over to Jekyll's narratorial voice again through the literary device of an epistolary (literary) technique as Utterson reads Jekyll's letter, his confession, addressed to himself, Mr. Utterson.

Some other literary techniques to look for are allusion, symbolism, metaphor and simile, metonymy, puns, personification, irony (verbal, situational, dramatic), idiom, flashback, and cliche.

We’ve answered 319,852 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question