Compare the techniques Stevenson uses to make the stories, “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, and “The body snatcher”, horrific. You may wish to consider his presentation of character, themes and setting and the way he structures both stories.
“The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “The Body Snatcher” are both short stories written by Robert Louis Stevenson. “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” was set in London and published in 1886. Base on a true story “The body snatcher” was set in Edinburgh and published two years pervious in 1884. In this essay, I am going to discuss and compare the techniques Stevenson uses to create fear and horror. I will focus on analyzing his presentation of characters, themes, settings and the way he structures both stories.
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Both stories were written in the Victorian period, when lots of people moved from villages to cities. Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850, he suffered from chronic health problems that confined him to bed. He went to Edinburgh University to study as a science student to become a civil engineer like his father. He had a very strict upbringing and told to lead a good or bad life, and that he would burn in hell if he behaved in an unrespectable manner. This upbringing influenced Stevenson in his writing. “Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is a horror story which draws on conventions of the gothic novel. “The Body Snatcher incorporates the supernatural element. The gothic novel was a very big influence on Stevenson’s writing. This is how he developed the theme of the nature of evil in the two stories I will examine. Stevenson’s writing is horror fiction; he uses things such as evil in people. People instead of machines or made up characters, familiar settings so the readers can relate to were it is set, and explores our fears, using things that frighten us most.
One of the main ways Stevenson creates horror in his two stories is through his vivid description of characters.