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Victoria London as an Essential Element of Doctor Jekyll and Mr HydeRobert Louis Stevenson in ‘Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ makes London inthe Victorian era an essential element of the story, Text Box: Text Box: becauseLondon at the end of the 19th century was the centre of a massiveempire. It was the epitome of what other towns and cities should belike. The gentlemen of London were the ‘perfect’ example of howeveryone should behave. A respectable gentleman was thought to be arational man, a good Christian, a responsible person. This was thevital concept to the leaders of Victoria’s Empire. This, however, putextreme pressure on the gentlemen of London to be absolutely perfect;they were unable to commit even the slightest sin. They were theexample to the entire British Empire; they were the role models ofgentlemen all around the world. One such gentleman in ‘Doctor Jekylland Mr Hyde’ is Mr Utterson: “[His face] was never lighted by a smile;cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse.” He seems to have noemotions; he seems to be “backward in sentiment” and “lean, lost,hungry, dreary”. He didn’t allow himself pleasures; “he drank ginaˆ¦tomortify a taste for vintages” and “he enjoyed the theatre, [but] hadnot crossed the doors of one for twenty years”. This repression anddenial of pleasures causes dire consequences for Doctor Jekyll. He wasborn into a rich family, had a liking for the respect of others(particularly the respected and the wise), and became a respectablegentleman like Utterson. However, he felt the stress of the pressureon the gentlemen of Victorian London; and we learn that as a young manhe indulged in…

…nerous, kind, andrespectable, and the other may be wild, but they are both the sameperson; and it is this that Stevenson believes the Victorians need toface.

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London is vaguely like a character too, one like Doctor Jekyll. Acharacter which has a lesson to learn: to avoid the animal or darkside of your character is wrong. The darker side will break loose, andwreak havoc, like Mr Hyde murdering Sir Davers Carew after being’cooped up’ for so long, having been “long caged”. With “a morefurious propensity to illaˆ¦the spirit of hell awoke in [Jekyll], andraged”. The result was murder, just as it was in Whitechapel in 1888when the Victorians were finally forced to face up to the violencehidden in their society and, through Jack the Ripper’s killings, theghastly conditions that many of their citizens endured.

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