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The Changing Role of Science in Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Dracula
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay has examined the role of science in the three classic horror stories Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Dracula. The argument stated that the role of science in these works is changeable and constitutes both a friend and an enemy, depending on the protagonists’ motives. Viktor Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll explore science selfishly and without forethought, creating fear of uncontrollable speculation as well as unpredictable degeneration. However, the good aspects of science are later redeemed when Van Helsing and Dr Seward add human and religious values. In order to show the argument to be true, the motives for turning to science, the use of science and the results have been scrutinized.

In the three chapters, the protagonists’ relation to and exploration of science have been examined. Viktor Frankenstein’s scientific obsession results in an isolated, mad scientist and a tormented creature, hungry for revenge. The violent and hateful Mr Hyde, a symbol of primitive backlash, is the outcome of Dr Jekyll’s scientific venture. Conversely, Van Helsing’s and Dr Seward’s humanistic use of scientific progress creates shelter and hope. The distinguishing element in these outcomes is morality, carrying with it reflective forethought and compassion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
The gothic, science, scientific progress, morality, transgressor, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde, Dracula, Van Helsing
Keyword [sv]
Skräck, vetenskap, moral, vetenskapliga framsteg, överträdare, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde, Dracula, Van Helsing
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68948ISRN: LIU-IKK/EN-A--10/001--SEOAI: diva2:422482
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-06-13 Created: 2011-06-13 Last updated: 2011-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Jacobsson, Lisa
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