The ancient, decaying House of Usher, filled with tattered furniture and tapestries and set in a gloomy, desolate locale is a rich symbolic representation of its sickly twin inhabitants, Roderick and Madeline Usher.
The work is now associated with the mental condition of a 'split personality', where two personalities of differing character reside in one person. However, the text was written before the science of psychology was firmly established, and the novella itself appears to be influenced by a variety of scientific theories predominant in the late-Victorian era.
Atavism Cesare Lombroso's theory of atavism discussed in greater detail in 'The Victorian Gothic' essay on this website appears to have greatly influenced Stevenson's novella. The unsettling, dwarfish appearance of Edward Hyde and the violent behaviour he exhibits are clear atavistic traits.
In his short story 'Olalla', elements of atavism and heredity curses are woven into the story to create terror; the central protagonist becomes the victim of a bestial attack committed by the atavistic mother of the family with whom he is lodging.
This is revealed to the reader by the horrifying transformation of Dr Henry Jekyll into the atavistic murderer Edward Hyde. The transformation is generated by the fear of regression, as both men are revealed to be the same person. Stevenson's depiction of the respectable gentleman Dr Jekyll as capable of the terrible behaviour exhibited by Mr Hyde, is evidence of his manipulation of Victorian anxieties and social fears.
It shattered the veneer of class-conditioned respectability that covered and controlled the lives of respectable members of the population.
As the text demonstrates, it is not only the impoverished, working classes living in the slum areas of the city that are capable of committing crimes; criminals are also found in educated, wealthy, and seemingly respectable echelons of society.
The theme of doubling is symbolised throughout the text. The city of London is split in two. The one side where Dr Jekyll, Mr Utterson and their contemporaries live and work is represented as smart, wealthy and educated area, identified as such in Utterson's referral to Cavendish square - the home of Dr Lanyon - as 'that citadel of medicine.
Mr Hyde has a house in this district, assumedly so his detestable appearance and violent behaviour go unquestioned and unnoticed. The house provides a contrasting space, used both for Dr Jekyll's domestic purposes and his scientific experiments.
The laboratory at the end of the garden provides a convenient way of concealing his dubious experiments, and the side door onto the back-alley enables an appropriate means by which Hyde can come and go, without disturbing the household or being associated with Dr Jekyll.
Stevenson's skilful manipulation of Victorian anxieties is evident in the book's success. As testament to the book's popularity, there appeared in a stage version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, adapted by T. R Sullivan and Richard Mansfield.
Mansfield was cast as the double-lead role, playing both Jekyll and Hyde. The adaptation was staged in London during the spate of unsolved murders committed by the infamous Jack the Ripper in the Whitechapel district.
There were multiple theories circulating as to the identity of the murderer, with many suggesting he was highly educated or of royal birth. This fear parallels the shattered social veneer Stevenson presented in his novella thorough the revelation that the respectable Dr Jekyll is also the immoral murderer Mr Hyde.From this novel, gothic fiction developed and flourished, becoming a significant literary genre that inspired famous works such as Frankenstein, Dracula and Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Gothic texts share the central theme of horror, and incorporate elements of romanticism to create a dark, mysterious atmosphere and evoke feelings of fear within the reader. Gothic texts share the central theme of horror, and incorporate elements of romanticism to create a dark, mysterious atmosphere and evoke feelings of fear within the reader.
Gothic literature is, in essence, a genre which aims to create vivid moods and appeal to human emotions. Women in gothic literature are depicted and treated differently in different periods of the gothic genre.
Their roles are also subverted at times to achieve certain aims of the gothic novels. Basically, women are often placed in the bad light of society where they may either be weak or corrupted and treated badly by male characters.
compare and contrast scroll to top. Gothic Essay Examples. 10 total results. A Discussion on the Gothic Style. words. 1 page. The Use of Gothic Elements in A Rose for Emily, a Short Story by William Faulkner.
words. 2 pages. The Role and Contribution of the German Invaders to the Downfall of the Holy Roman Empire. . [In the following essay, Voloshin examines “The Fall of the House of Usher” as a unique variation of the gothic genre of short fiction that blends natural, preternatural, and .
Gothic literature, also known as Gothic fiction, is the genre of combined fiction, horror and Romanticism. Examples of Gothic literature are Frankenstein, The Castle of Otranto and Dracula. As well as these pieces, one of the famous pieces of Gothic literature is The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe.