Stevenson’s father was an engineer, so he was led to study engineering and law, but then he decided to become a professional writer and he opposed to Calvinistic religion of his father. He was ill of tuberculosis. He married Frances Osbourne, an American divorcee. He wrote:
• Treasure novel, a pirate story.
• The strange case of Doctor Jeckyll and Mr Hyde, which talks about ethical problems raised by the progress in the Victorian age.
• Kidnapped, The Master of Ballantrae, and Catriona, three Scottish stories who makes him Scott’s heir.
He spent last years of his life in the South Pacific with a yacht, for reasons of health, so he visited many places, and was called by their populations “Tusitala” (story-teller). He left a collection of travel sketches, In the South Seas.
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE
It’s a long short story, about Dr Jekyll and his bad side, Mr Hyde, so it is about double personality , so it had success because is about the false respectability of the Victorian age, every men, like Dr Jekyll is both virtues and evil. Good side and bad side have to live together because if it tries to repress negative impulses, it can led to death. In Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde there’s a new awareness of the human mind that is multiple, heralds the oncoming age of psychoanalysis. Its’ like Frankenstein, because Dr Jekyll wants to surpass human limits. It is a detective story because there are elements like:
• The setting, a foggy London, where most scenes takes place at night.
• The scattered clues that may lead to the solution of the story.
Stevenson is an able craftsman, he concerns for language, plot and psychological realism
JEKYLL TURNS INTO HYDE
It’s an extract of the final part of “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” written by Robert Stevenson in 1886. It is about Dr Jekyll’s letter in which he talks about his transformation into Mr. Hyde. It can be divided in four paragraph:
• In the first, Jekyll hesitated to put his experiment in practice because he is aware the experiment can lead him to death, but he decides to take potion, so his desire to overcome science’s limits pushes him to risk his life.
• In the second paragraph there are described pains, pangs, agonies, during his transformation. He compares his suffering to the moment of Mr. Hyde’s birth and Dr Jekyll’s death (Symbolical element). When these agonies calm down, he feels happy, light, without control. So we can see how his sensations are terrible and sweet in the same time. Here is described Mr. Hyde’ physical aspect, who is smaller than Dr Jekyll, he is pure evil, deformed, slimmer and younger than him.
• In the last paragraph Hyde takes a potion to return into Jekyll, so he suffering another time agonies of transformation.
There are elements of Gothic tradition, that create suspense, mystery
• In the first part of the letter, when Jekyll is alone in his office to create his potion.
• There are words like Horror of the spirit, agonies, pains of dissolution, the comparison between the transformation to birth and death.