Written by: Barbara Passerela
Jekyll and Hyde - Extract
Poole swung the axe over his shoulder; the blow shook the building, and the red baize door leaped against the lock and hinges. A dismal screech, as of mere animal terror, rang from the cabinet. Up went the axe again, and again the panels crashed and the frame bounded; four times the blow fell; but the wood was tough and the fittings were of excellent workmanship; and it was not until the fifth, that the lock burst in sunder and the wreck of the door fell inwards on the carpet.
The besiegers, appalled by their own riot and the stillness that had succeeded, stood back a little and peered in. There lay the cabinet before their eyes in the quiet lamplight, a good fire glowing and chattering on the hearth, the kettle singing its thin strain, a drawer or two open, papers neatly set forth on the business-table, and nearer the fire, the things laid out for tea: the quietest room, you would have said, and, but for the glazed presses full of chemicals, the most commonplace that night in London.
Right in the midst there lay the body of a man sorely contorted and still twitching. They drew near on tiptoe, turned it on its back and beheld the face of Edward Hyde. He was dressed in clothes far too large for him, clothes of the doctor's bigness; the cords of his face still moved with a semblance of life, but life was quite gone; and by the crushed phial in the hand and the strong smell of kernels that hung upon the air, Utterson knew that he was looking on the body of a self-destroyer.
"We have come too late," he said sternly, "whether to save or punish. Hyde is gone to his account; and it only remains for us to find the body of your master."
The far greater proportion of the building was occupied by the theatre, which filled almost the whole ground story and was lighted from above, and by the cabinet, which formed an upper story at one end and looked upon the
Stevenson creates drama in this extract by the quotation ‘dismal screech, as of mere animal terror’; this creates drama and suspense because of the annotations relating Hyde to a creature/animals, and it sounds like a defensive movement/ sound that an animal would normally make. This is fear of the unknown for the audience, because they never really find out what Hyde is; if he is partially human or a full animal. This also links to Darwin’s theory (that humans evolved from monkeys) was circling in the Victorian Times, Another quotation that creates drama is ‘ the body of a man sorely contorted and still twitching’; this creates drama because the body has recently died and it looks like suicide. In addition, before Hyde was crying out for mercy; this is perplexing because why someone so horrid calls out for help and mercy.
Stevenson creates drama in another quotation in the same extract regarding ‘ a good fire glowing and chattering on the hearth’. This contrast to when we saw where Hyde has been staying previously (which was untidy and cluttered); it is also ironic because, Hyde is a wanted criminal, and Utterson and Poole just ran down the door to enter a beautifully decorated, peaceful room which is was residing in. The difference between Hyde and the elegant room is conflicting and effective on the readers; they may think there is a possible vulnerable side to Hyde.
Finally, Stevenson creates drama in alternative quotation ‘ glazed presses full of chemicals, the most commonplace that night in London ‘, this quotation creates an eerie, supernatural atmosphere. It is also pathetic fallacy, relating the night Utterson and Poole and going to confront Hyde to the weather being dark and cold. An additional quotation is ‘Utterson knew that he was looking on the body of a self-destroyer’, this quote is really deep because the annotations of ‘self destroyer’ it relates to suicide and encourages the fact that Hyde is a selfish, brutal man. This is also linking the connotations to Jekyll that he is truly the self-destroyer. Therefore, Stevenson creates drama in this extract.