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Women and Sadism in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:

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Gina Arnold

on 12 November 2014

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Transcript of Women and Sadism in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:

Three themes explored
Three "assaults"
Use of Freudian concepts
Utterson as the dreamer of this nightmare
Article Concepts:
Feminine presence:
City as a female character
"Invisible" women central to novel's meaning
Women viewed negatively, yet as the victims of male sadism
city and hidden self share fluid nature
city, mind, and story all "embroiled in fog" (314)
fog represents indefinite human identity (316)
fog is the repression
Young girl- "ran over" by Hyde
sexual connotation
child prostitution in London at the time
Maid at the Window- witnesses murder of Carew
"psychologically destructive of her peace of mind and positive sentimental attitude about love and life" (316).
Breaking open door of Jekyll's laboratory
Utterson breaking down repressive barrier
mirrors Hyde's murder of Carew
Utterson's own symbolic sadism in action (318)
Feminine presence
Door motif
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:
Women and Sadism in
"City in a Nightmare"
by: Charles Campbell
Small child
Maid at the window
The door to Jekyll's laboratory

"The composite Jekyll/Hyde, like the city, is a liquid entity; and the face of Hyde and the mind of Utterson, as well as the transformation itself, are described as 'Melting'" (314).

"The fog that envelops him is the fog of the city, the fog of his own mind, the fog of Jekyll and Hyde and the mist of indefinite human identity. And when it lifts he sees many women coming out of their doors" (316).
Door Motif:
"series of violent acts directed physically of symbolically against women" (318).
Freudian concept:
women's bodies represented in dreams as rooms
doors have a very sexual connotation
Prevalent with Utterson:
"had not crossed the theatre doors in twenty years"- What's behind the door??
Utterson's door of repressed sexual desires
In the end...
Utterson breaks open door
Who is door? Invisible woman (Utterson's repression)
assault on door
careful reclosing of the door (once more repressing desires)
"Out of the fog of faulty masculine self-knowledge and urban violence come the hidden women as secret objects of lust and victims of the sadism, the inverted lust of city life" (319).
Works Cited:
Campbell, Charles. "Women and Sadism
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
: 'City in a Nightmare'."
English Literature in Transition 1880-1920
3 (2014):309.
Literature Resource Center.
Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
Full transcript