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Literature - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Time Machine - Essay Example

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In coming to understand the world around us, we are more accustomed to looking out and judging what we see based upon ideas that exist on the surface of our being instead of why we might feel that way. This is as true today as it was during the start of the 20th century, the…
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Literature - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Time Machine
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Download file to see previous pages In describing the human experience during the fin de seicle era, sociologist Marshall Berman says “they are moved at once by a will to change – to transform both themselves and their world – and by a terror of disorientation and disintegration, of life falling apart” (Berman, 1982). Through this statement, it is easy to see the conflicting emotions of an individual experiencing the type of rapid change that has characterized society since this period. As the people living during this period became more familiar with the concepts of Sigmund Freud and the hidden recesses of the mind and the ideas of Charles Darwin and the processes of natural selection and evolution, it became a necessity to examine the beliefs and customs of their inner selves. No longer was the world considered stable so the only center of gravity had to be found within, yet the world within was even more threatening. Many of the old values were shifting as factories rose and cities were built. Women were gaining new freedoms and the old aristocracy, with its life of leisure and waste, was slowly falling into disrepute as enterprising and hard-working individuals from the lower classes began to make names for themselves, building up a middle class that valued work above play and based wealth upon monetary measures rather than the size of one’s property holdings. The resulting clash of values also constituted a meeting between the self and the other, as landed gentry struggled to come to grips with the new boldness of the rising middle class. It was during the fin de seicle era in particular that the question of the inner nature of man and his ultimate direction in life were made the focus of scientific study at the same time that the pace and direction of life were thrown into chaos, explaining this period’s fascination with the concept of the monstrous.
The novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886, presents the ultimate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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