Extension Creative Essay

Submitted By SnowFlower12
Words: 1607
Pages: 7

In the Man and the Monster, composers reflect existing fears and anxieties in society, and manipulate textual forms and features in response to their times.

The rise of catchphrases such as the ‘fear of evolution and degeneration of humanity’, ‘fear of the path of science’ and ‘fear of the regression’ is testimony to the cultural significance of fear today. The literatures show us about the larger fears and anxieties of society, in fact, they act as a mirror; and sometimes we don’t like what we see. Regardless of what the fears have been, there has always been a monster to represent them. Whether it from the late 19th Century to the 21st century, composers have manipulated textual forms and features in works such as: Robert Stevenson’s “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, ‘Tell me your dreams’ by Sidney Sheldon and film ‘The Incredible Hulk’ directed by Louis Leterrier that have all functioned as a reflection of societal fears and anxieties of their respected era. In its narrative of a respectable doctor who transforms himself into a savage murderer, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tapped directly into the anxieties in Stevenson’s age. The Victorian era was a time of unprecedented scientific progress and an age in which European nations carved up the world with their empires. By the end of the century, however, many people were beginning to call into question the ideals of progress and civilization that had defined the era with a growing sense of pessimism. Stevenson creates the notion of a single body containing both the erudite Dr. Jekyll and the depraved Mr. Hyde; Stevenson’s novel portrays an inextricable link between civilization and savagery, good and evil. “ If each….could be housed in separate identities life would be relieved of all that was unbearable the unjust might go his way...” In the broadly cultural context of the Victorian era, Hyde might be comparable to the modern culture's fascination with perceived "savage" in contrast with Jekyll who embodies the civilised world. Indeed, Stevenson’s portrayal of society’s repression of humanities’ darker side only increases the curiosity.

Modern composers have depicted the ‘monsters’ such as Mr Hyde, Toni Prescott and the Hulk to be a reflection of the new ideas about the workings of the human mind of the man’s subconscious desires to be freed from ones society’s restrictions. The theory that has most influenced interpretations of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is Sigmund Freud’s theory of repression, which has made its way to be the basis of ‘Tell me your dreams, ‘Ashley and Toni. According to Freud, repression is a process by which unacceptable desires or impulses are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious.
The Gothic element of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is represented via the theme of duality that also reappears in Sheldon’s ‘tell me your dreams’. The transformation of Henry Jekyll to Edward Hyde is generated by the fear of repression, as both men are revealed to be the same person. Stevenson's depiction of the respectable gentleman Dr Jekyll as capable of the terrible behaviour exhibited by Mr Hyde is evidence of his manipulation of Victorian anxieties and social fears. It shattered the veneer of the class-conditioned respectability that covered and controlled the lives of respectable members of the population. As the text demonstrates, it is not only the impoverished, working classes living in the slum areas of the city district ‘Soho’ that is the symbolises an atavistic playground expressed in the simile phrase,” like a district of some city in a nightmare’, that is capable of committing crimes; criminals are also found in educated, wealthy, and seemingly respectable echelons of society. Unfortunately, in more frightening cases, sometimes the monster would be in those ‘sheep’s clothing, ‘I guess it is a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde thing, but in this case she [Toni] is a beautiful Hyde’; this is the linking theory of Sheldon’s ‘Tell me your dream’, influenced by…