This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparing A Plea For Gas Lamps And Jekyll And Hyde

1079 words - 5 pages

A Plea for Gas Lamps and Jekyll and Hyde

    In "A Plea for Gas Lamps" Robert Louis Stevenson describes how, with the advent

of urban gaslight, "a new age had begun for sociality and corporate pleasure

seeking." Referring to the lamps as "domesticated stars," he describes the new

lamplit city emerging gracefully as a festive public sphere in which "soft joys

prevail" and "people are convoked to pleasure." Wolfgang Schivelbush connects

such gaslit pleasure directly to commerce. "Gaslight offered life, warmth and

closeness. This was true also of the relationship between light and the shop

goods upon which it fell. They were close to each other, ...view middle of the document...

A sedate electrician somewhere in a back

office touches a spring -- and behold! . . . the design of the monstrous city

flashes into vision -- a glittering hieroglyph many square miles in extent." The

monstrosity of the city is defined by this sudden, startling uniformity, which

obliterates the its pleasing variety, rendering it a vast, but simple design.

Moreover, Stevenson explicitly portrays the new brightly-lit city as a place of

brutal crime. "A new sort of urban star now shines out nightly, horrible,

unearthly, obnoxious to the human eyes. . . A lamp for a nightmare! Such a light

as this should shine only on murders and public crime, or along the corridors of

lunatic asylums, a horror to heighten horrors." The more and stronger light,

Stevenson seems to be saying, the more terrifying and criminal the landscape

becomes. This seems odd, since throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth

centuries the discourse of street lighting focuses on crime prevention--and

common sense seems to suggest that more light means less crime. But when gas

lighting began to spread in the mid nineteenth century, its opponents claimed

that it would enable criminals, by creating a more efficient nightworld.(Robins

142) In the quote above Stevenson echoes the idea that criminal acts occur not

in darkness but in light--that the streetlight itself becomes synecdochic of the

criminal world.


Let us look at Enfield's description of his first sight of Hyde in this context.


  I was coming home from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock

  of a black winter morning, and my way lay through a part of town where there

  was literally nothing to be seen but lamps. Street after street, and all the

  folks asleep--street after street, all lighted up as if for a procession and

  all as empty as a church--till at last I got into a state of mind when a man

  listens and listens and begins to long for the sight of a policeman. (3)


The association between uniform, efficient streetlighting and crime that we see

in Stevenson's discussion of electric lighting emerges quite explicitly here.

Enfields' uneasiness arises from the geometrical simplicity of the scene in

which only lamps are visible. One literally sees nothing but lamps, and the

lamps offer no real visual object, leading the eye onto the next in line,

"street after street." All the bustling visual...

Other Essays Like Comparing A Plea for Gas Lamps and Jekyll and Hyde

What Contribution Does Setting Make to the Novel “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”?

1924 words - 8 pages populated areas E.g. London. Another story that can be classed as ‘Gothic’ is the novel ‘Frankenstein’. The reason for it being a ‘Gothic’ novel is the way to use science to create life. During the Nineteenth century, horror stories were getting more popular than ever. Several popular horror stories, like Dracula, Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are still known today. These stories were not set in busy countries, but written as

The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Hyde, By Robert Stevenson

718 words - 3 pages have to face justice for the murder he has committed or find the courage to kill him. At the end of the novel, it is Hyde's body that was found void of any life. The triumph of good in The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, demonstrates that ultimately asset is stronger and will reign over evil. Characters Mr. Utterson: the narrator of the book. A middle-age lawyer. As an old friend of Jekyll, he recognizes the changes and

Contrast Essay On Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, By Robert Louis Stevenson

1162 words - 5 pages The duality of mankind, or the belief that the human mind is made up of a good and evil part, has always been a matter of great interest for many philosophers, psychologists and writers. Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr.Hyde is a unavoidable classic on the subject; for its portrayal of both nature in the persons of Hyde and Jekyll is efficiently drawn in the symbolic descriptions, and the significant critic that is made through the

How Does Stevenson's Use of Setting Develop Tension in the the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

1113 words - 5 pages ’ experiments. While Jekyll lives in a nice, respectable district, his other half, Hyde, resides in Soho this area of London is ideal for an evil person with devious plans, placing these two characters in such distinct districts helps Stevenson to explore the theme of duality in human nature. The square where Jekyll lives is middle class, and the 'inhabitants were doing well [and there were] freshly painted shutters, well-polished brasses and general

How Does Robert Stevenson Build Up Our Expectations in the Story of the Door: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

590 words - 3 pages the go on walks. "It was reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that they said nothing." This shows a theme of contrast which is shown later on in the book as there is a big contrast between Jekyll and Hyde. Dr. Jekyll is the good person and Mr. Hyde is the evil person. A time when Utterson and Enfield are on a walk together in a busy quarter of London they come upon a two story neglected building. The building has no

How Do the Writers Mary Shelley and Robert Louise Stevenson Present the Notion of the “Monster”, in Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

783 words - 4 pages different way. Jekyll also describes Hyde’s hand as “lean, corded, knuckly, of a dusky pallor, and thickly shaded with a swart of hair”. These similarities show how Shelley and Stevenson presented ugliness as being evil. Both Hyde and Frankenstein’s monster were judged their looks and it shows how people judge people on how they look. Mary Shelley and Robert Louise Stevenson both use juxtapositions to present the notion of their monsters. Frankenstein

This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen - Term Paper

1078 words - 5 pages This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen: A human’s instinct for survival. Throughout time, the rights of individuals have been ignored People should be entitled to freedom and equal rights. As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everybody is born free and equal. The declaration also states, that no human being should be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments. In Tadeusz Boworski’s novel, “This Way for the Gas

Ol and Gas

1754 words - 8 pages , crane drivers, mechanics, divers and designers. Roles in purchasing and supply cover all levels, from operational such as buyers and store managers, to strategic such as in supply chain analysis or strategic sourcing, so there are opportunities for everyone. Entry levels vary. Many people join oil and gas companies after having worked in other industries. Some young people join the industry straight from school; others after a college or

Bp Oil and Gas

574 words - 3 pages The oil, gas and petrochemicals industries are highly competitive. Within the oil and gas the competition is very strong. There are other countries that supply the fuel if there is a need for commerce, industry and the home. With the competitive industry so much pressure on the prices, affects oil products marketing and requires continuous management focus on reducing unit costs and improvements that are needed(Wikinvest, 2012). The

Oil and Gas

4407 words - 18 pages Practice for Quality of Service for City or Local Natural Gas Distribution Networks) Regulations, 2010. (2) These shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette. 2. Definitions. (1) In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires,(a) “Act” means the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006; (b) “Board” means the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board established under sub-section (1) of

Oil and Gas Prices

2603 words - 11 pages Oil and Gas Prices Steven Donaldson COM 150 December 18, 2011 Lacey Thompson Oil has been used for over four thousand years with the use of asphalt in Babylon for construction. In more modern times, the internal combustion engine has brought many new uses of oil. Oil is both bought and sold in many countries around the world, many countries consuming more than they produce. As the years went by, organizations such as OPEC

Related Papers

Jekyll And Hyde Essay

1383 words - 6 pages peoples curiosity start to expand as Jekyll becomes more secluded. This causes major issues for both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. “ In this brief novel, Stevenson delineates the moral conflict between the two characters while creating a sinister tale of horror.” (Victorian Novelists, 311). In the novel Stevenson goes into much detail about the transformation Jekyll succumbs to being Hyde. He put the glass to his lips, and drank at one gulp. A

Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, Utterson Letter

541 words - 3 pages don’t know how Jekyll has come to know of your man in the story but that is beyond my knowledge. My impressions of Hyde are very clear, he is a violent man no doubt about it I also think that this man cant be human the way he acts, he is cruel, remorseless, and a is a very evil man which is why I am worried for Jekyll. Hyde is a mysterious type of character Richard which I’m sure you are aware of. I have a tendency to help people rather than to

Suspense In Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

688 words - 3 pages about when I talk about this story. The big mystery in this story is that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person! Dr. Jekyll made many potions in order to make his dual personality, Mr. Hyde. Mr. hyde resembles Dr. Jekyll's adventurous and even at times, evil side. This science-fiction story has marveled many readers for many years. Works Cited for Jekyll and Hyde essay "Essay: How Does Stevenson Create Intrigue and Engage the Reader in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"?" Essays & Coursework Help. GCSE, A-Level, and University Essay and Coursework Library - Coursework.Info. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. .

Theme Of "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde" Good Vs. Evil

520 words - 3 pages The book Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde made the biggest impact on me. This book was written in the late 1800's and the theme still has deep meaning today. In my opinion, the theme of the story is based on the idea that we all have a good side and an evil side. I believe that there are life lessons to this idea. I also enjoyed the theme because I could relate to it in some ways.Dr. Jekyll was a very kind and friendly man, unsuspected to be the cause of