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Présentation du personnage Dr Jekyll et Mr Hyde dans le roman l'étrange cas du Dr Jekyll et Mr Hyde de Robert Louis Stevenson (document en anglais)

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Presentation Dr Jekyll and Mr hyde


Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in eighteen fifty, and died at 44 years old in Samoa. As a novelist he is often noted for the powers of invention and depth of psychological insight found in his work ; a skill admired by many writers including Jorge Luis borges, ernest hemingway and G.K Chesterton, who said of him that he « seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen”

His father, who was a prosperous civil engineer, had plans for stevensson to follow his profession, but his son’s ill-health and weak disposition meant that an alternative career had to be decided upon. He chose law as a compromise, but his growing disillusion with the high class led him to be more fascinated for city’s low life and the bizarre characters he came across proved rich material for his later stories. Because of his health problems he spent much of his time in warmer countries such the south of France, where he met his future wife, mrs fanny Osbourne. He followed her to California by emigrant ship in 1879, he published works as An Island voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey in the Cervennes (1879), based on his own adventures.

However, in 1883 his first full length work of fiction, Treasure island , appeared. The recognition Stevensson had received from treasure Island grew with the publication of The Strange Case of DR Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped in 1886. Then, he settled in Samoa, where he gained a reputation as a story-teller, and finally died in 1894 from a brain haemorrhage.

Context of the book

Stevenson wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde at bornemouth, in England, in 1885, while convalescing from an illness. The original idea occured to him in a nightmare from which his wife awakened him. In fact, stevenson was disappointed that she had interrupted a « fine bogey-tale » he said. Originally, Stevenson’s idea was to compose a simple horror story, but after reading the original version to his wife, she suggested more could be made of the tale. Stevenson burned the original manuscript and rewrote the entire novel in only three days.

Stevenson lived and wrote during the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria ruled England. The Victorian era brought a great progression of technology and the advancement of European power throughout the world. However, during Stevenson’s writing at the end of the nineteenth century, artists, writers and intellectuals were beginning to move away from the celebration of "progress" that had so defined the times, and were questioning the relevance and permanence of the global domination of Western culture. As a part of this pessimistic group of writers, Stevenson based this fictional book on his own experiences, such the upper middle class a world of powerful men in which issues such as appearance and dress are extremely important.

In examining this superficial existence, Stevenson targets the hypocrisy of social classes and the danger of allowing the innate evilness of human nature to run free in his narrative of a respectable doctor who transforms himself into a savage murderer.

The story takes place in London, which gave Hyde precious anonymous freedom.


The story begins in front of a door in London between a lawyer, Mr.Utterson, accompanied by Mr. Richard Enfield, whom explained to his cousin, Mr Utterson, a story he had lived in London one night when a deformed, short man trampled a girl in the street. The man continued on his way, leaving the little girl screaming on the sidewalk, as if nothing happened but the mysterious man was intercepted by Mr. Enfield, who forced him to give money to the parents of the girl. Agreeable to this compromise, the mysterious man disappears into the cellar door and returns with a check bearing the name of the respectable Dr. Jekyll.

The investigation starts as a sort of curiosity and anxiety, when he reads the will of his client Dr. Henry Jekyll, it states that in case of Dr. Jekyll’s death, his fortune and estate will pass to Edward Hyde, whom Utterson has never met and whom he assumes is the mysterious man. Utterson concludes that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll and resolves to seek the man out to understand why.

One year later, Edward Hyde brutally murders Sir Danvers Carew, whom is a member of the British Parliament, by beating him to death with a cane, which the police and Mr. Utterson discovers it belongs to Dr. Jekyll. He thinks that Dr. Jekyll helps Mr hyde in his murder.

Jekyll, whom was social, isolates himself in his laboratory in the throes of a disorder that nobody can understand. Later, Dr. Lanyon, who worked with Jekyll but had stopped for ten years because of misunderstanding, suddenly dies of a psychic shock.

Dr. Lanyon leaves Utterson a letter instructing him only to read it after Dr. Jekyll's death or disappearance.

For many weeks the doctor no longer accepts any visitors in his house, even to Mr. Utterson. Richard Poole, jekyll’s faithful butler, comes to Utterson to ask for help, to take charge of the stranger who had killed Jekyll. Together, they discover that it was Hyde body, and Jekyll was not found.

Finally, Utterson reads the letters of each who deceased. The first, Lanyon, reveals that he was a direct witness to the fact that Mr Hyde is none other than Dr. Jekyll, who turned into Mr. Hyde with a potion of his invention.

The other letter is a confession, which Jekyll tells his story: how he arrived at a theory that every man has two aspects, good and bad in him. On this basis, he created a potion that can transform humans into his dark side, which he named Edward Hyde.

However, the appearance of Hyde began to strengthen and escaped the control of Jekyll. After Hyde had become a murderer, Jekyll decided to stop taking the drug allowing him to transform, but he did it again. He committed suicide one evening in the form of Hyde.

Who is Who ?

Mr. Utterson :

The narrator of the book, is a middle-aged lawyer, never smiles, not sentimental, tall, skinny. As an old friend of Jekyll, he recognizes the changes and strange occurrences of Jekyll and Hyde, and resolves to further investigate the relationship between the two men. He is perhaps the most rational character in the book, and it is therefore significant


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