Modern Novel Essay Sample
1. In Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it is Jekyll, not Hyde, who is the real monster. Write an essay to prove or disprove this thesis.
The dominant theme in this story is the relevance of grace amongst human beings. Grace is a spiritual kind of connection with God thus it is contributed by one’s faith. The moral codes of these particular characters are what assist us in judging their grace. A moral code is simply a set of beliefs and behaviors that people follow as a standard way of living life. Thus, people have different codes of conduct and this make them do what they believe is right with their conscience even if it is wrong according to other people. Dr. Jekyll is an individual who believes that being a man means having the correct morals and he hides himself inside this idea that he even expects Hyde not to kill him due to that very fact. The readers also encounter Dr. Jekyll questioning the power and divinity of Jesus Christ which raise a point of concern if really he is endorsed with grace. He finds it hard to pray even after identifying herself with Christianity throughout the story.
Hyde, who is also one of the main characters in the story, also has his set of beliefs which make him live the kind of life he lives. He challenges religion especially when he comes across Dr. Jekyll who is so selfish that he only asks him to spare his life alone not caring about his family which included his son, wife and the children. Hyde is so upset with this kind of character trait in Dr. Jekyll and shoots him thrice perhaps to bring him closer to God. Dr. Jekyll had accepted the grace of God when he referred to the Hyde as his child. According to Hyde, there is no religion and thus, he abides by his own form of religion which is violence. He believes the price he pays for his criminal engagement is not proportionate and that is why he makes a comment about life being with “no pleasure but meanness”.
Therefore, for Hyde, the crime he committed is not actually clear to him as he also believes that his parents were the “finest people in the world” and he could not have found a reason to kill his father. The doctor at the federal penitentiary is the one who tells him that he was taken there because he killed his father but basing on his childhood memories he clearly remembers that his father died because of flu. Hyde is also regretful since he is so sorry for the mistakes he has done so far but according to his conscience he believes it was not his wish at all to do the nasty things he did.
2. Fitzgerald focuses on class difference and antagonism in The Great Gatsby. Discuss the novel from this aspect.
The main theme on this story is the difference between class and antagonism. The significant style that has been used to illustrate these two themes in the story is symbolism. The first symbol is the main character’s mode of dressing which symbolizes his demonic acts. He dresses herself in a manner that indicates that he is ready for an accident. He says that he wants the people to know that he was a lady even in her death. This obsession with being a lady even at death is definitely an indication of misguided moral code because the grandmother does not even think about her family. Another symbolism is when he says he would have done well to marry Mr. Teagarden because he was a gentleman and a very wealthy man. This is an indirect confession of her love for money and materialistic possession and at the end of the story he says that he is ready to surrender all her money to Jesus in exchange for salvation. Thus, the use of symbolism is an aspect that is heavily employed to bring out the meaning of the story which is highly related to class.
Antagonism is characterized by manipulation which is observed throughout the story especially at the beginning of the story. The story starts off when the main character’s son wants to take his family to Florida for a vacation but then through the mother’s manipulation, he gets to change his mind and decides to take them to Tennessee where his mother has relatives to visit too. This manipulation takes place in a very simple and tricky manner that the antagonist does not employ any violence. He neither says it directly he wants her way but in attempt to scare him off, he speaks about the criminals in Florida. It is also evident that this manipulative character in the antagonist when he tries to convince his enemies not to kill her demonstrates possession of power. For her being a lady means you should be respected and a lady is a good person that should not be killed. He also attempts to win over the enemy by referring to him as a good person because he doesn’t look like he has common blood.
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