Scandalous gentleman : Mr. Hyde and his first murder.

 Within the first read of  ‘The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde’ has brought up some reoccurring themes of  brutality  and especially duality. Within the first paragraph when the maid witness the crime, repetition is used to emphasize the brutal nature of the crime. Words and phrases such as “ferocity,” “startling,” “stamp,” “trampling,” and “blows”(Stevenson,1886) are repeated, intensifying the violence and makes a shocking and vivid image to the maids and the readers. This violence is greatly contrasted by how the old gentleman acted in the previous sentence, highlighting the improper and violence attitude Mr. Hyde has “it seemed to breathe such an innocent and old-world kindness of disposition, yet with something high too, as of a well-founded self-content” (Stevenson,1886).

There are other motifs  that also highlights the contrast and duality within a person’s character. The moonlight and the fog are contrasting motifs that contribute to the atmosphere and foreshadow the duality of characters. The moon, representing innocence and purity, illuminates the scene and initially casts a gentle light on the old gentleman, physically making him good-natured. In contrast, the fog symbolizes hidden agendas and obscurity, hinting at the second nature of Mr. Hyde’s true self. The contrast characters of the old gentleman and Mr. Hyde makes up the whole passage . The former embodies innocence, old-world kindness, and good-hearted while the latter is characterized by impatience, anger, and an animalistic nature. Making all of these foreshadowing and contrasting could be seen as the author trying to create a sense of suspense, deepening the impact of the crime, and highlight the contrasting personalities of the characters involved.

From my perspective, I think this passage can be seen as an exploration of the duality of human nature and the consequences of suppressing one’s darker impulses. The scandalous nature of Mr. Hyde’s actions is heightened by his high social status, which adds a layer of shock to the narrative. Mr. Hyde represents the embodiment of Jekyll’s repressed animalistic behavior and immoral tendencies, which are considered taboo by society while the old gentleman is what society considers as proper. This duality becomes scandalous because it challenges the conventional beliefs of respectability and the expectation that individuals of high social standing should embody only proper qualities. It also conveys the pressure of the 19th century view on class and how the maid’s witness can damage Mr. Hyde reputation as an elite.

A night with the dead : Dracula and the Victorian’s fear of death.(late post#4 due to web reasons)

In Dracula by Bram Stokers, there is a heavy emphasis on death and mortality that happens throughout the whole novel but I believe there is also a fear of the mortality that the characters experiences and how it correlates to the Victorian’s attitude of the time. To be more specific, within the Mina’s journal when she wakes up and find her deceased mother, we get several motifs to indicate that death is around the corner.  ” Somewhere near, a passing bell was tolling; the dogs all round the neighborhood were howling; and in our shrubbery, seemingly just outside, a nightingale was singing”(Chapter 11).  It is interesting to see how Bram Stoker decided to structure this sentence to be similar to poetry with the rhythms “tolling” , “howling”, “singing”. As a matter of fact, all of the actions mentioned above indicate death. The passing bell, tolling to announce a death, symbolizes the closeness and inevitability of mortality. The howling dogs and the wind rushing through the broken window evoke a sense of suspense and the uncertainty that Mina’s feeling with her mother’s body and what’s to come. Even the nightingale’s song that brings her comfort is reminiscent of her deceased mother’s voice. “but the sound of the nightingale seemed like the voice of my dead mother come back to comfort me”(chapter11). All of these accumulate and accurately describes how distressed and vulnerable Mina is at the moment. Mina’s distress is further intensifies as she discovers her maids unconscious on the floor, having been drugged with laudanum. Laudanum being used here is interesting as it was a potent opiate commonly used during the Victorian era and it also  highlights the prevalent fear of pain, suffering, and the need for sedation in the face of illness or death. One quote from this ties up Mina’s dread of isolation and mortality that could be linked to how the Victorian’s attitude with mortality ” Alone with the dead!”(Chapter11).The fear of death is evident in this passage and can be connected to the Victorian era’s views and anxieties surrounding mortality. Death was a prevalent and looming aspect of Victorian life, with high mortality rates due to various diseases and the limited medical advancements of the time. In addition, the fear of death in the Victorian era was often intertwined with the fear of the unknown, the supernatural, and the loss of control. Mina’s refusal to leave her deceased mother’s side and her reluctance to remove the flowers from her body reflects how the Victorians also emphasize on taking care of the dead. Overall, the passage highlights the psychological impact that Mina’s goes through with her mother’s death and how it is linked to the sense of vulnerability and isolation that can accompany the contemplation of mortality.

Good girl gone bad: How Lucy’s transformation could be a fascination within the Victorian era.

Within the novel Dracula, the transformation of Lucy into a vampire gives the reader a lot of insight into how much it  looks into the Victorian obsession with forbidden desire and the anxiety associated with the unknown. Therefore, through Lucy’s gory and shocking depiction,  “Dracula” reflects the core Victorian ideas of dual morality, the destruction of purity and the sexual lure of the supernatural and women. The passage describes Lucy’s physical transformation, highlighting the drastic change from her previous form. The text states, “The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness,”(Brahms, chapter 16) indicating a significant alteration in her demeanor and physical attributes. This theme of transformation and the exploration of the duality of human nature were recurrent motifs in Victorian literature. Furthermore, the contrast between Lucy’s previous gentle nature and her current state, with her eyes now unclean and full of hell-fire, alludes to the concept of the “fallen woman” prevalent in Victorian society. The characters’ reactions, their horror and Van Helsing’s momentary failure of nerve, highlight the profound impact of witnessing such a transformation, evoking the Victorian fascination with the macabre and the inexplicable like the text states” My own heart grew cold as ice”(Brahms, chapter 16) . There’s also a theme of gore such as “lips were crimson with fresh blood”(Brahms, chapter 16) that may indicate the true of transformation of Mina but it also have some correlation with blood transfusion, the loss of innocence within Mina, and the fascination of bodies and medical things within the Victorian era. This moment within novel truly encapsulate how the Victorian public were interested with themes of corruption within a woman so much that she changed every single aspects about her but also how it taps into the sexual desire of the unknown and the fascination with supernatural beings as a medium to explore their morality and identity.

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have drank : how foreshadowing works with the audience


“If I had been in my senses, I should have considered him, personally, as being rather a suspicious specimen of an old soldier. He had goggling, bloodshot eyes, mangy mustaches, and a broken nose. His voice betrayed a barrack-room intonation of the worst order, and he had the dirtiest pair of hands I ever saw—even in France. These little personal peculiarities exercised, however, no repelling influence on me. In the mad excitement, the reckless triumph of that moment, I was ready to “fraternize” with anybody who encouraged me in my game. I accepted the old soldier’s offered pinch of snuff; clapped him on the back, and swore he was the honestest fellow in the world—the most glorious relic of the Grand Army that I had ever met with. “Go on!” cried my military friend, snapping his fingers in ecstasy—“Go on, and win! Break the bank—Mille tonnerres! my gallant English comrade, break the bank!”



In this passage of “THE TRAVELER’S STORY OF A TERRIBLY STRANGE BED”,There’s a highlight of the state of mind and vulnerability. The narrator’s description of the soldier’s appearance and behavior suggests that he is not a trustworthy or desirable companion. The use of phrases like “rather a suspicious specimen,” “barrack-room intonation of the worst order,” and “the dirtiest pair of hands” reinforces this notion. There’s also some clues that also sets up how the character sees the world around them as a foreign and unkempt world with the quotation of “even in France”. Accompanied with the soldier’s ecstatic attitude gives the reader even more suspicion on his true intention. Yet with the mix of alcohol and the “reckless triumph” that really highlight how common sense and logic is distorted. I believe that this is a great foreshadow to what’s to come in the short story and sets up an unnerving attitude towards the old soldier. To be more specific, with how the passage started with “if i had been in my senses”, it really shows how the narrator has such an unreliable point of view and judgment that makes the soldier’s appearance and attitude even more disturbing. This type of foreshadowing is really prominent within the sensation genre where the authors may gives us a foreshadowing of the main character’s fate within the next chapters. This not only makes interests the readers more but make them anticipate what’s gonna happen and how bad it could get. In short, this passage is a perfect example of a hindsight perspective on a bad situation.

Running out of time: Lady Audley’s losing control of herself.


“But by-and-by she started from that rigid attitude almost as abruptly as she had fallen into it. She roused herself from that semi-lethargy. She walked rapidly to her dressing-table, and, seating herself before it, pushed away the litter of golden-stoppered bottles and delicate china essence-boxes, and looked at her reflection in the large, oval glass. She was very pale; but there was no other trace of agitation visible in her girlish face. The lines of her exquisitely molded lips were so beautiful, that it was only a very close observer who could have perceived a certain rigidity that was unusual to them. She saw this herself, and tried to smile away that statue-like immobility: but tonight the rosy lips refused to obey her; they were firmly locked, and were no longer the slaves of her will and pleasure. All the latent forces of her character concentrated themselves in this one feature. She might command her eyes, but she could not control the muscles of her mouth. She rose from before her dressing-table, and took a dark velvet cloak and bonnet from the recesses of her wardrobe, and dressed herself for walking. The little ormolu clock on the chimneypiece struck the quarter after eleven while Lady Audley was employed in this manner; five minutes afterward she re-entered the room in which she had left Phoebe Marks. “(Braddon, ch.32)


It is interesting to me how the author use repeating of actions involving the mirror serves as a significant pattern in this passage. Lady Audley’s movement from the rigid attitude to the dressing-table mirror signifies a pivotal moment of self-reflection. This reflection is even more highlighted by her movement “ pushed away the litter of golden-stoppered bottles and delicate china essence-boxes, and looked at her reflection in the large, oval glass”( The actions can be interpreted as a sense of urgency within Lady Audley to readjust her visage and control her emotions. Also, The mirror becomes a symbol of self-examination and a tool for Lady Audley to confront her true emotions. By pushing away the bottles and boxes, she clears the clutter, both literally and metaphorically, to focus solely on her reflection. Word choices such as “rigidity,” “immobility,” and “firmly locked” highlight the tension within Lady Audley. These words emphasize her struggle to maintain control over her emotions, particularly through her lips, which refuse to obey her will. “obey” ,”slaves”, “commands” are words related to control and constraint underscores her internal conflict, suggesting that her carefully constructed facade is starting to crack. The imagery of the dark velvet cloak and bonnet, coupled with the mention of the time on the clock, creates a sense of secrecy and urgency. Lady Audley’s decision to dress herself for walking at such a late hour hints at hidden motives and a desire to conceal her actions from prying eyes. And what I am trying to convey within this passage is how the reader can sense the urgency and turmoil within Lady Audley which may signifies a heightened action or ending within the next chapters. It could also be said that Lady Audley’s sense of controls over her body parts and may be her own morals are at stake here.