“licking the chops of memory”: plotting the social sins of Jekyll and Hyde’

Oulton, C. (2018) “licking the chops of memory”: plotting the social sins of Jekyll and Hyde’. Humanities. (In Press)

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Abstract

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is hierarchical in its very title – alphabetically Hyde precedes Jekyll, but Jekyll’s superior education and culture are associated with social status where Hyde’s ‘Mr’ is a courtesy title often hedged in with demonic or animalistic terms. But despite the division insisted on in the title, Jekyll’s wilful complicity in the fate that overtakes him is suggested in a series of clues, ranging from his symbolic association with vivisection to the ostentatious exclusion of a female voice (typically the source of spiritual guidance or inspiration in Victorian fiction). As Hyde engages in an ascending scale of brutal acts, beginning with the assault of a child, the middle class male peer group attempts to exculpate or protect Jekyll from association with this rebarbative and criminal figure. But following the murder of Sir Danvers Carew, the climactic discovery of Hyde’s body provides the final evidence against Jekyll himself – in rejecting the possibility of religious salvation he has deliberately chosen the evil that his final statement presents as the ‘assault’ of an ungovernable temptation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 author can archive publisher's version/PDF
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PR English Literature
P Language and Literature > PR English Literature > PR3991 19th century (1770-1900)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Carolyn Oulton
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 15:18
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2018 15:22
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17130

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00