In pages 34-60, Stevenson uses a number of devices to enhance the sense of mystery and tension. In this essay I will look at the following aspects closely-
I will start with pg 34, “Incident if the letter”. In the middle of the page, Stevenson describes the laboratory by saying it has “dingy windowless structure” and a “distasteful sense of strangeness”. This is good as it creates a very mysterious atmosphere. The surroundings themselves create tension and mystery.
Secondly on pg 37. In the second paragraph it describes the weather. It talks about “the fog still… drowned city”. This obviously creates a dark mysterious atmosphere. I also think it is a metaphor for Hyde’s character. His character is sort of like fog because it is mysterious and you cant see into it at all. Nobody understands Hyde.
Next on pg 38. Hyde’s writing is exactly the same as Jekyll’s but “differently sloped”. Why would they have such similar writing. This adds to the mystery by giving us a hint at the truth.
Next on pg 41. At the bottom of the page Lanyon says “Jekyll is ill… no more of Dr Jekyll”. This is Stevenson building up the tension. We don’t know where he is and we don’t know why Dr Lanyon would be so serious on not seeing Jekyll.
Next on page 43. After Utterson speaking to Lanyon it says that “in something less than a fortnight he was dead”. This adds to the mystery as we don’t know why he would have died so suddenly. It also adds to the tension as we don’t know who is going to die next.
Another account on pg 43 is when Utterson is about to open the letter and he is talking about how it could “cost the life of a friend”. This creates a large amount of tension.
Next on page 44 it adds to the tension by telling us how Jekyll has now locked himself in his room and is sleeping and eating there. Why would he not want to show himself in this time?
Next on page 46 Stevenson tells us that something has put “horror in their eyes”. But he does not let us know what it is that has scared them. This adds to the mystery of it. Also why is Jekyll in such a bad state? This adds to the mytery as we don’t know what it is that is making Jekyll go this way.
Next on pages 47-60 there is the highest amount of tension and mystery in the book. From the moment Poole starts speaking it gets us wanting to know what we will find behind the door of the cabinet. Utterson builds up even more mystery by saying “if by any chance… don’t go”. He is telling him not to go in. Why should he not go in? What is there that could put him in danger? Also when they are talking abut the letter that Jekyll had written on page 51. Why would he need these salts? Why does he need “some of the old”? And why is it so important to him? Also Poole is talking about Jekyll constantly running about not letting anyone see him and whimpering. This build up a lot of tension. Last of all when they finally get in. Where is Jekyll? Why is Hyde in that state on the floor? Is Jekyll dead or alive.
All of these accounts build up tension and questions arise. But all these questions are answered from page 60 to the end of the book. Stevenson has done very well in using surroundings, peoples reactions, and peoples physical states.