A barbaric contrast to the eye: The city of Edinburgh reflected in Robert Louis Stevenson's “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Rudroff, Brandon Michael
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Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde , is widely regarded to be intrinsically concerned with the inner-workings of the human subconscious and is therefore subject to be read with somewhat of a psychoanalytic slant. The following paper attempts to remove the novel from the recesses of the mind and map it onto the streets of Edinburgh. In reading through much of Stevenson.s writings aside from said novel, it becomes readily apparent that his home city had a ravaging effect on his disposition. Confined to his nursery throughout much of his childhood because of health issues, Stevenson was forced to let his imagination carry him places that his body couldn't. Because of this, the legends and lore of Edinburgh - the stories of Dr. Knox and his resurrection men; of Deacon Brodie and his dastardly ways; of the very schism which shaped the city into what it is today, had a lasting impact on the author's conceptions of his external environment. These effects, combined with the Calvinistic religious environment in which he was raised, led to the formation of the dualistic notion that gave birth to Jekyll and Hyde . When this is taken into consideration, it can no longer be taken for granted that the novel is engaged with psychoanalytical abnormalities, so much as it is concerned with those of the geographic variety.