Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Exploring the Grotesque: The Fiction of Stevenson and McCullers College
Over the course of several centuries, grotesque imagery has played a vital role in the arts, literature, and cultures all over the world. Attempting to attribute a clear-cut definition to the word grotesque has proven to be a challenge for historians and literary scholars since its definition has changed over time, but the role it plays in each of these subjects is essentially the same. The Grotesque serves as a means by which to stray away from conventional beauty standards, to distort and exaggerate, and combine the familiar with the unfamiliar- much like the Uncanny. Because of this, Gothic literature often incorporates grotesque imagery to further emphasize themes of chaos, madness, and other dark aspects of the human condition. This essay will examine the concept of grotesque imagery and the role it plays in challenging conventional body notions in Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and McCullers’ Ballad of the Sad Cafe.
When first introduced to the word grotesque, most people would think of its adjectival form: “very strange or ugly in a way that is not normal or natural.” (The Master’s Review). Although these are indeed common grotesque elements, they do not necessarily constitute the whole meaning...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1059 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8305 literature essays, 2287 sample college application essays, 359 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in