Jekyll And Mr. Stevenson's Writing Style Analysis

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A Tale of Two Jekyll’s and the Elements of Style Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde over one hundred years before, Valerie Martin penned her novel, Mary Reilly, which is a variation of Stevenson’s short story. The writer’s style, exposition, and tone differ in their tale of nineteenth century England, where virtue whether factual or feigned was a prized commodity. Jonathan Swift once wrote “For Virtue in her daily Race, /Like Janus bears a double Face;” this quote illustrates the dual sides of human nature depicted in the novelists work, as well as, the dual perspective of the author’s style since Janus, a Roman God is depicted with two faces shown in opposite directions. By comparing the writing styles …show more content…
While both literary works are set in Victorian England, the narratives are expressed in different modes using a variety of literary devices. This is mostly done through mood, connotative language, and character development. However, it is style that set the two works of literature apart and often reflects the personality and purpose of the writer. The authors use words, like people wear garments; for example when Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish; he gave an impression of deformity without any namable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a husky whispering and somewhat broken voice, - all these were points against him; but not all of these together could explain the hitherto unknown disgust, loathing and fear with which Mr. Utterson regarded him” (Stevenson 18) meant to highlight a message of pure evil and is the essence of the writer’s …show more content…
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Mary Reilly is the setting of Victorian England; the authors’ use of imagery is to such great effect that the city becomes a character. London is described as eerie, foggy, cold, mysterious and sometimes sinister. The city is bursting with noise from a growing populace; awash with soot after the daily use of coal, foul odors seeping out of raw sewage and unwashed bodies, also pervasive crime both petty and violent. Juxtaposing this image was upper class Victorian society and the fervent adherence to reputation. Rules were everything to these people, to be on the wrong side meant certain social ostracism. This was Stevenson’s world, one he disdained and focused on; by contrast Valerie Martin chose to focus on the poor underclass that was invisible to those of the upper class. Mary Reilly deftly interweaves with Stevenson’s story almost seamlessly to give the reader a glimpse of the world of the underprivileged class through the eyes of a poor young servant girl. “While he was looking at my poor hands I took the chance to look at his, and a more refined, gentlemanly hand I think I’ve never seen. His fingers were long and delicate, almost like a lady’s…and “…here are hands such as should never know work, and I wanted to hide my own rough red hands away” (Martin

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