Robert Louis Stevenson’s "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde": A Geography of the Human Mind


Seminar Paper, 2008

10 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Abstract or Introduction

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde presents a landscape that can be read as a geography of the human mind. The two separate dwelling- places of Dr. Jekyll and his alter ego, Mr. Hyde, can be analyzed in psychoanalytical terms as representing the conscious and the unconscious. The suppressed desires of the unconscious, which are related to a discourse of homosexuality underwriting the novel, return to haunt and ultimately destroy the mind of Dr. Jekyll.
This paper will examine how the city functions as a mirror of the human mind. It takes a more general approach at first, analyzing different descriptions of the city throughout the novel. As a second step towards establishing the evidence to support the thesis, it will be necessary to take a closer look at the specific geography of Dr. Jekyll’s psyche, arguing that the separate dwelling places of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde represent the conscious and the unconscious in terms of Freudian psychoanalysis. Finally, the paper will examine how this reading allows for an interpretation of Dr. Jekyll’s hidden desires as being related to homosexuality.
Other interpretations concerning these vices are possible and not mutually exclusive with the one pursued in this paper, as, for example, a reading of Jekyll’s mental and physical descent as due to alcoholism and drug abuse. However, a broader analysis taking into account these additional interpretations would be beyond the scope of this paper. It will therefore focuse on the evidence that supports the idea of a homosexual discourse in the novel.

Details

Title
Robert Louis Stevenson’s "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde": A Geography of the Human Mind
College
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Course
Victorian Literature
Grade
1,0
Author
Year
2008
Pages
10
Catalog Number
V172966
ISBN (eBook)
9783640930784
ISBN (Book)
9783640930494
File size
498 KB
Language
English
Notes
Es handelt sich um eine kurze Seminararbeit, bei der das eigenständige Entwickeln eines Interpretationsansatzes ohne Zuhilfenahme von Sekundärliteratur gefragt war. Es ist nicht auszuschließen, daß Gedanken und Aspekte dieser Arbeit auch in der Sekundärliteratur zu finden sind, die vorliegende Arbeit wurde jedoch ohne deren Kenntnis vefaßt.
Keywords
victorian literature, jekyll and hyde, robert louis stevenson, psychoanalytical reading, homosexuality
Quote paper
Katharina E. Thomas (Author), 2008, Robert Louis Stevenson’s "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde": A Geography of the Human Mind, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/172966

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