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Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

The Gothic Novels of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

The word ‘Gothic’, taken from a Germanic tribe, the Goths, stood firstly for ‘Germanic’ and then ‘mediaeval’. It was introduced to fiction by Horace Walpole in ‘Castle of Otranto, a Gothic Story’, and was used to depict its mediaeval setting. As more novelists adopted this Gothic setting; dark and gloomy castles on high, treacherous mountains, with supernatural howling in the distance; other characteristics of the ‘Gothic Novel’ could be identified. The most dominant characteristic seems to be the constant battle between the good and the dark side of the human soul and how that, given a chance, the dark side of human nature will gradually develop, through the actions of the character in question, until it has engulfed the good, and also raises the theme of suffering and isolation. Other keynotes of ‘Gothic Novels’ seem to be the misuse or abuse of technology. For example, science is used to create new beings, the characters turning against or abusing nature and/or God, where the character may take on the role of God, the forbidden attraction of evil, the thrill of the kill, and death.

The novels Frankenstein, Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Confessions of a Justified Sinner all contain important truths about human nature and mankind. By looking into these three texts, I am going to explore exactly how they fit or do not fit into the various interpretations of ‘Gothic’ I have laid out.

The two most prominent themes in Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde are those of the ‘misuse of technology’and ‘the dark side of man and all its attractions.’ These two themes are, in fact, directly linked with each other as it is as a r…

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… Making monstrous. Frankenstein, criticism, theory. Manchester University Press, 1991.

Boyd, Stephen. York Notes on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Longman York Press, 1992.

Mellor, Anne K. Mary Shelley. Her Life, her Fiction, her Monsters. Methuen. New York, London, 1988.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. Edited with an Introduction and notes by Maurice Hindle. Penguin books, 1992

Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. New York:Dover Publishing, Inc., 1991.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 1886. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Stories. Harmondsworth: Penguin,1979. 27-97.

Svilpis, J.E. “The Mad Scientist and Domestic Affection in Gothic Fiction.” Gothic Fiction: Prohibition/Transgression. Ed. Kenneth W. Graham. New York: Ams, 1989.

Comparing The Lost Boys, Dracula and Peter-Pan

Common threads in The Lost Boys, Dracula and Peter-Pan

In The Lost Boys there are similar occurrences and references to both of the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker and Peter Pan, by Sir James Barrie. There are many similarities between the three story lines. In the stories of all three works there is a common thread of story it all started with Dracula.

The story of Dracula has many components of it used in the film The Lost Boys. The comparison’s begin with the vampire. Dracula is centered around the main vampire, Dracula. Dracula has many powers and ways he can alter reality. In the novel Bram Stoker’s Dracula we see that there is a power struggle. In all of the universe, no one being has complete control over another. In Dracula God, Dracula, Nature, and Humanity have some form of dominance over another, whether it be direct control or as the instrument through which another must exert its power. In this paper we will examine the different ways that control and power are used.

Just some of The vampire’s numerous powers are: He can turn humans into the Undead, he is virtually immortal, he has the ability to grow younger by drinking blood, he casts no shadow, he casts no reflection, he has the ability to crawl along walls, he has the ability to control animals, he can control the weather and he also has the power to transform his own shape. Here we can see these powers.

Dracula can turn humans into the Undead. An example is the three women whom he has turned into vampires, creatures of the night. Renfield desires to be made into a creature of the night. He views Dracula as his master and seeks only to serve him. Lucy is made into a vampire by Dracula. However, the most memorable person he has given birth t…

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…and mayhem. The boys from Peter Pan exhibit the same traits. They are all young and wild. The carnival in The Lost Boys is equivalent to the Neverland in Peter Pan. It has all the things that children want, admire, and adore.


Primary Sources

Stoker, Bram; Dracula, (1897) Barrie, J.M.; Peter Pan, (1911)

Schumacher, Joel; The Lost Boys,(1988)

Secondary Sources

Dunbar, Janet, J. M. Barrie: The Man Behind the Image (1970)

Florescu, Radu, and McNally, R. T., Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler, 1431-1476 (1973)

Sorescu, M., Vlad Dracula the Impaler, trans. by D. Deletant (1987).

Florescu, Radu R., and McNally, Raymond T., Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and Times (1989)

Green, Roger Lancelyn, J. M. Barrie (1960).

McNally, Raymond, and Florescu, Radu, In Search of Dracula (1972; repr. 1994)

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