Character Profile: Mr Utterson

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  • Gabriel Utterson
    • reputation
      • he wants to maintain respectability,order and propriety, and so when Jekyll's servants are distressed about his whereabouts,he disapproves of them making a scene
        • 'very unseemly'
      • he is shocked that Jekyll is willing to harm his reputation for Hyde, so he wants to find out why Jekyll is doing this so he can help him
      • he is suggested to be the most honest and principled men in the novella, and his name choice, Gabriel, even suggests he is holy in comparison to Hyde, stemming from the Angel Gabriel
      • he doesn't gossip about the situation and restrains himself from opening the letters due to the fact he doesn't want to find out something harmful to Jekyll's reputation
      • he approaches the mystery in the same manner as he would with a case, he carries good conduct naturally
      • he rejects any suggestions that seem unnecessarily dramatic, he is set on his rational way of thinking, in order to protect both his own and Jekyll's reputation
    • tolerance
      • although reputation is important to Utterson, he isn't judgemental of man's darker side
        • 'even his friendship seemed to be founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature'
      • he is helpful to those in trouble, he understands Jekyll is in a difficult position and does his best to help his client and friend
        • 'in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove'
      • Utterson's past was 'fairly blameless' yet he still sympathises with Jekyll, they both set their own moral standards very high to live an honourable life, it's just that Jekyll isn't so successful in doing so
        • 'I incline to Cain's heresy'
      • he relates to those who indulge in sin, and feels almost envious they can do so yet he is too concerned about preserving his reputation so he views it as for the best, glad it is them not him
        • 'I let my brother go to the devil in his own way'
    • suppresses his desires
      • he is strict with himself and doesn't allow himself to enjoy many pleasures, such as the theatre, which he enjoys greatly but hasn't been in 20 years
        • 'he was austere with himself'
      • doesn't appear very emotional and rarely smiles, yet he has a more human side that isn't shown in his speech
        • 'lean, long, dusty, dreary'
      • people enjoy his company due to the calmness of it, as a change from their frantic daily lives
        • 'rich silence
      • he receives two letters which contain all the answers to the mystery he is trying to uncover, yet he has been told not to open them and he does so out of respect for his companions
        • 'professional honour'
    • curious
      • he finds there is something alluring about Hyde, and this particularly affects Utterson.
        • 'a singularly strong, almost inordinate, curiosity'
      • without Utterson's interest, the readers would never reach the bottom of the story. He plays the detective in the mystery
      • he is frustrated by the situation, trying to use reason to solve it. He feels the need to see Hyde's face, as if he can solve it that way
        • 'well examined'
      • Stevenson could also be suggesting his great curiosity is due to the fact that he sees something of himself in Hyde, and so the author tells us that even the most moral people are drawn to the darker side of life
      • he feels confused when he meets Hyde for the first time, as if he knows there is something not quite right about the situation and it can't be explained through logical thinking
        • 'mental perplexity'


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