'Man is not truly one, but truly two': a positive reading of Robert Louis Stevenson's double

Garland, Kate E. (2018) 'Man is not truly one, but truly two': a positive reading of Robert Louis Stevenson's double. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis will explore the literary double – doppelgänger or other – in the works of Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894). Through a consideration of the literary double found within three key texts, the short story ‘Markheim’, the novella a Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and the novel The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale, I shall undertake a reading which accounts for the influence Calvinism and Scottish Presbyterianism had upon Stevenson’s double. I shall demonstrate this by focusing on the relationship between the first and second self – the two selves which together constitute the double - evidencing my theory with Stevenson’s writings, in addition to those by John Calvin, and Scottish Presbyterian thought. Ultimately, I will suggest when viewed through a theological lens, Stevenson’s literary double can accommodate a positive reading of duality.

Specifically, in Chapter One I will consider ‘Markheim’, suggesting it is Stevenson’s most positive treatment of the double, which results in a redemptive Effectual Calling. In Chapter Two I will venture that whilst the double collapses within the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, this need not necessarily be the nihilistic ending for Jekyll that is appears. I will turn to Stevenson’s most sustained exploration of the double in Chapter Three found within The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale, suggesting that within this seemingly destructive and negative appraisal of the double there are instances of positivity and a lesson to be gleaned. Lastly, I shall reflect upon my endeavours suggesting that a feature length study of Stevenson’s religious thought, rendered into a Calvinist anthropology of his writings, would greatly benefit Stevenson studies.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Milbank, Alison
Keywords: robert louis stevenson, double, duality, dualism, calvinism, doubles, presbyterianism, literature
Subjects: P Language and literature > PR English literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 48664
Depositing User: Garland, Kate
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2018 04:40
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/48664

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