Unformatted text preview: Lecture 1: Robert Louis Stevenson (18501894)
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, photo by Henry Van der Weyde, circa 1895, London, England Outline of Stevenson lectures: Lecture 1: genre, plot, point of view Lecture 2: psychoanalysis Lecture 3: from moral to social allegory genres
"types or classes of literature" (Abrams 134) Novel (a basic definition)
"an extended work of fiction written in prose" (226) The Genres of Strange Case
moral allegory "shilling shocker" Gothic novel: supernatural elements; supense and horror; framing as a legal and psychological "case" plot
"The plot...in a dramatic or narrative work is constituted by events and actions, as these are rendered and ordered toward achieving particular artistic and emotional effects." (265) suspense
"A lack of certainty on the part of a concerned reader about what is going to happen, especially to characters with whom the reader has established a bond of sympathy." (266) Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) to Watson (Jude Law) in Sherlock Holmes:
"You're terrified of a life without the thrill of the macabre." point of view First person ("I") Third person ("he"): can be either limited or omniscient "I was conscious of no repugnance, rather of a leap of welcome. This too was myself. It seemed natural and human." (55) "This document had long been the lawyer's eyesore. It offended him both as a lawyer and as a lover of the sane and customary sides of life, to whom the fanciful was the immodest." (11) Lecture 2: Stevenson; point of view, cont'd; psychoanalysis Duality in Strange Case "this consciousness of the perennial war among my members" (Stevenson 52) "two natures... I was radically both" (53) "spiritual" vs. "animal" (62) "He, I say--I cannot say I. That child of Hell had nothing human; nothing lived in him but fear and hatred." (63) Key passage for analysis (57)
The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were, as I have said, undignified; I would scarce use a harder term. But in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn towards the monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was often plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity. This familiar that I called out of my own soul, and sent forth alone to do his pleasure, was a being inherently malign and villainous; his every act and thought centred on self; drinking pleasure with bestial... Key passage, continued (57)
...avidity from any degree of torture to another; relentless like a man of stone. Henry Jekyll stood at times aghast before the acts of Hyde; but the situation was apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp of conscience. It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone that was guilty. Jekyll was no worse; he woke again to his good qualities seemingly unimpaired; he would even make haste, where it was possible, to undo the evil done by Hyde. And thus his conscience slumbered. selfreflexive novel a narrative that "incorporates into its own narration reference to the process of composing the fictional story itself" (Abrams 275) writing about writing and, implicitly, about reader reception "Is Dr. Jekyll good?"
(Vladimir Nabokov's question) Scenes from 1931 film adaptation (Dir. Mamoulian)
Transformation from Hyde to Jekyll in front of Dr. Lanyon binary oppositions
pairs of opposed terms that "constitute a tacit hierarchy, in which the first term functions as privileged and superior and the second term as derivative and inferior" (Abrams 72) consider how and when binary oppositions are destabilized psychoanalytic criticism (1)
Sigmund Freud, 18561939 id: basic urges, instincts ego: conscious will superego: social constraints, social conscience cont'd; from moral to social allegory; and a thesiswriting demo! Lecture 3: Stevenson: psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic criticism (2)
Repression: libido vs. reality principle repression ensures adherence to social norms however, excessive repression produces "neurosis" and "uncanny" repetition "the frightening element can be shown to be something repressed which recurs. [...] this uncanny is in reality nothing new or alien, but something which is familiar and oldestablished in the mind and which has become alienated from it only through the process of repression." Freud, "The Uncanny" ["Das Unheimliche"] (1919) "Monsters are meaning machines"
(Judith Halberstam) figurative language
Simile: a comparison using "like" or "as" (Abrams 119) Metaphor: "a word or expression that in literal usage denotes one kind of thing is applied to a e.g. "apelike fury" (20); "like distinctly different kind of a monkey" (39); "apelike thing, without asserting a tricks" (65) comparison" (Abrams 119) e.g. "leap of welcome" (55); "it but shook the doors of the prisonhouse of my disposition" (56) allegory
"a narrative... in which the agents and actions, and sometimes the setting as well, ... make coherent sense on the `literal,' or primary, level of signification, and at the same time ... communicate a second, correlated order of signification." (Abrams 7) Two social interpretations of Strange Case
1) "an unconscious allegory about the masses and mass literacy" (Brantlinger) 2) "sex, secrecy, and alienation" (Linehan) London in the 1880s metropolitan centre of the British empire class division and geographical segregation (the West End vs. Soho and the East End) terrorism (anarchists, Irish Fenians) fears of urban pathology and degeneration ...
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