Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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  • Created on: 30-03-18 11:02

Chapter 1 analysis

Summary

  • Despite being quite different, Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield are close friends
  • On one of their walks, Mr. Enfield points out the door of a building and describes his encounter with Mr. Hyde
  • He saw Mr. Hyde knock over a young girl and describes him as a small, strange, violent and hateful man
  • He thinks the owner of the building is being blackmailed by Mr. Hyde 
  • Mr. Utterson knows more about the story than he wants to reveal, and he and his friend agree not to talk about it again

Key Quotes

  • 'It is connected in my mind,' added he, 'with a very odd story.' (Mr. Enfield)
  • '... every time he looked at my prisoner, I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with every desire to kill him.' (Mr. Enfield)
  • M. Utterson again walked some way in silence and obviously under a weight of consideration
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Chapters 2 and 3 analysis

Summary

  • Mr. Utterson looks at Dr. Jekyll's will: if he vanishes for more than three months or dies, Mr. Hyde inherits everything
  • Mr. Utterson visits an old friend, Dr. Lanyon, and it appears he and Dr. Jekyll have fallen out after a scientific disagreement
  • Mr. Utterson decides to meet Mr. Hyde but, when he does, he becomes more concerned by the dislikeable man
  • He offers to help Dr. Jekyll but his friend tells him there is no need for concern

Key Quotes

  • ... he replaced the obnoxious paper in the safe, 'and now I begin to fear it is disgrace.' (Mr. Utterson about the will: Chapter 2)
  • 'It turns me cold to think of this creature stealing like a thief to Harry's bedside; poor Harry,' (Mr. Utterson: Chapter 2)
  • Utterson heaved an irrepressible sigh. 'Well,' said he, 'I promise.' (Chapter 3)
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Chapters 4-6 analysis

Summary

  • After viciously murdering Sir Danvers Carew, Mr. Hyde disappears
  • Mr. Utterson worries that Dr. Jekyll may be covering up for Mr. Hyde
  • After Mr. Hyde's disappearance, Dr. Jekyll becomes more sociable again
  • However, one day he returns to his secretive ways and refuses to see anyone
  • Mr. Utterson discovers that Dr. Lanyon is ill. He says that he had a terrible shock and dies a fortnight later
  • Mr. Utterson then receives an envelope from Dr. Lanyon that it is not to be opened until after the death or disappearance of Dr. Jekyll

Key Quotes

  • ... there, close up to the warmth, sat Dr. Jekyll, looking deathly sick. (Chapter 5)
  • 'What!' he thought. 'Henry Jekyll forge for a murderer!' And his blood ran cold in his veins. (Mr. Utterson: Chapter 5)
  • Now that the evil influence had been withdrawn, a new life began for Dr. Jekyll. (Chapter 6)
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Chapters 7 and 8 analysis

Summary

  • Poole visits Mr. Utterson, worried that his master, Dr. Jekyll, has been murdered by Mr. Hyde
  • He has not heard Dr. Jekyll's voice for over a week but someone is still in the laboratory pretending to be him and asking for drugs from the chemist
  • Mr. Utterson goes to Dr. Jekyll's house. When they hear Mr. Hyde's voice, Poole breaks down the door of the laboratory
  • Before they can get inside, Mr. Hyde poisons himself. There is no sign of Dr. Jekyll but there is a letter from him, addressed to Mr. Utterson

Key Quotes

  • ... Mr. Enfield only nodded his head very seriously and walked on once more in silence. (Chapter 7)
  • '... he's shut up again in the cabinet; and I don't like it, sir - I wish I may die if I like it. Mr. Utterson, sir, I'm afraid.' (Poole: Chapter 8)
  • 'Sir,' said the butler, turning to a sort of mottled pallor, 'that thing was not my master,' (Chapter 8)
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Chapter 9 analysis

Summary

  • The novel becomes a first-person narrative, written to Mr. Utterson from Dr. Lanyon's perspective
  • He includes a letter he received one night from Dr. Jekyll, asking for his help
  • After collecting chemicals from Dr. Jekyll's laboratory, he is visited at midnight by Mr. Hyde
  • Before his eyes, Mr. Hyde mixes and drinks a potion that transforms him back into Dr. Jekyll
  • Dr. Lanyon is horrified by the events and shocked to realise the double identity of the man who murdered Sir Danvers Carew

Key Quotes

  • Upon the reading of this letter, I made sure my colleague was insane; 
  • (... from the first moment of his entrance, struck in me what I can only describe as a disgustful curiosity)
  • ... groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death - there stood Henry Jekyll! 
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Chapter 10 analysis

Summary

  • The final chapter is told from Dr. Jekyll's perspective
  • He explains how he created Mr. Hyde out of his belief that people have two sides to their character: one good and one bad
  • Mr. Hyde allowed him to do bad things that he couldn't do as the respectable Dr. Jekyll
  • However, Mr. Hyde became more powerful and Dr. Jekyll couldn't stop himself from changing into him
  • Having run out of the necessary drug, Dr. Jekyll realizes that the next time he changes into Mr. Hyde he won't be able to change back

Key Quotes

  • There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet
  • ... my blood was changed into something exquisitely thin and icy. Yes, I had gone to bed Henry Jekyll, I had awakened Edward Hyde.
  • He, I say - I cannot say I. That child of Hell had nothing human;
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Narrative form and structure

Summary

  • Stevenson uses multiple narrators to achieve different effects
  • Each chapter is told in a linear way but the novel's overall narrative structure is non-linear
  • He uses the third person to establish the plot and engage the reader, creating mystery and tension through the withholding of information and the inclusion of cliff-hangers
  • He then heightens the horror while resolving the story through the first person, adding depth to the novel by raising questions about human nature

Key Quotes

  • For once more he saw before his mind's eye, as clear as transparency, the strange clauses of the will (Chapter 2)
  • My life is shaken to its roots; sleep has left me; the deadliest terror sits by me at all hours of the day and night; (Dr. Lanyon: Chapter 9)
  • ... the course of my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle, (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10) 
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Context: Victorian Society

Victorian England

  • Victorian England was growing wealthy through industrialisation but its cities were also full of wide-spread poverty
  • Crime, drug abuse and prostitution were increasing problems in major cities
  • The rich tended to ignore the country's problems while some indulged in the criminal vice that was available
  • Stevenson was interested in revealing these problems to his readers, not because he had a solution but because it was a reality that could not be ignored or blamed on others

Victorian Values

  • Victorian values were a strict moral and social code
  • Reputation was highly valued in Victorian society
  • The middle and upper classes expected each other to behave in a polite and respectable way, avoiding vice and living a life of restraint
  • Dr. Jekyll was used by Stevenson to show that not all Victorians lived like this. For many, it was just a surface appearance, hiding immoral behaviour 
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Context: Science, Evolution and Physiognomy

  • The nineteenth century saw many advances in chemistry. Stevenson draws on this to make Jekyll's transformation into Hyde seem more realistic
  • Stevenson also makes use of Darwinism in his characterisation of Jekyll and the way in which Hyde is described
  • Descriptions of Jekyll and Hyde also link to the popular pseudoscience of physiognomy in order to play on the readers' expectations
  • Dr. Jekyll can be seen as an effect of Darwinism. He questions established ideas about humanity and the natural world and wishes to tamper with what was previously seen as God's creation
  • Stevenson also draws on evolution when describing Mr. Hyde. When Poole, for example, refers to him as 'a masked thing like a monkey' in Chapter 8, Stevenson uses Darwinism to create a sense of de-evolution (the reverse of evolution) as if Mr. Hyde is a lower form of human life
  • One of the ways in which the reader knows that Mr. Hyde is evil is through his 'evil' appearance. In Chapter 1, Enfield describes him as having 'something wrong with his appearance, something displeasing; something downright detestable'. 
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Context: Gothic Horror

  • The novel was a modern version of the Gothic genre, describing strange events in a contemporary nineteenth-century setting
  • It also features elements of other genres, such as detective and science-fiction
  • Stevenson uses popular forms of literature while exploring complex ideas about human behaviour
  • The negative view of humanity that is created through the character of Mr. Hyde also places the novel in the genre known as fin de siècle, which means 'end of the century' in French. This was an idea that, as the new century loomed, society had become decadent and degenerate
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Context: Dr Jekyll's setting and Mr Hyde's setting

Dr. Jekyll's setting

  • Stevenson uses the setting to suggest things about Dr. Jekyll
  • The good appearance of the house and the area in which he lives suggest that he is a good person
  • However, different references to darkness, shadows and corruption are used to imply another side to his character
  • These descriptions of the setting link to the importance of appearance and status in Victorian society, and the way in which this sometimes hid a less moral reality

Mr. Hyde's setting

  • Stevenson uses the setting to suggest things about Mr. Hyde
  • The neglected back entrance to Dr, Jekyll's house suggests that he is an immoral and corrupt person
  • This is emphasised by the description of Soho, which was infamous for vice, poverty and disease in the nineteenth century
  • However, the contrasting interior luxury of his lodgings creates mystery and links to how Dr. Jekyll is the better side of Mr. Hyde's identity
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Characters: Dr Jekyll

Summary

  • Dr. Jekyll is initially presented as a Victorian gentleman, with the truth about Mr. Hyde held back until the last two chapters
  • Stevenson creates mystery through Dr. Jekyll's association with someone who seems the opposite of his character
  • He is ambiguous when discussing Hyde and there are different suggestions that he is being blackmailed or manipulated
  • Dr. Jekyll's behaviour becomes increasingly strange and isolating during the novel

Key Quotes

  • The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very lips, and then there came a blackness about his eyes. (Chapter 3)
  • 'Utterson, I swear to God,' cried the doctor. 'I swear to God I will never set eyes on him again.' (Chapter 5)
  • ... taking the air with an infinite sadness of mien, like some disconsolate prisoner... (Chapter 7)
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Characters: Dr Jekyll's development

Summary

  • Dr. Lanyon's narrative presents Dr. Jekyll as a mad, sinful scientist
  • Dr. Jekyll's own narrative reveals his dual nature: a wish to be respected and a wish to indulge in dubious pleasures
  • Dr. Jekyll feels free as Mr. Hyde but is also shocked by his behaviour
  • Stevenson uses this development of Dr. Jekyll's character to comment on how Victorian society is repressed and hypocritical

Key Quotes

  • I have been doomed to such a shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.
  • I was conscious of no repugnance, rather a leap of welcome. This, too, was myself.
  • I stood already committed to a profound duplicity of me.* (* Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
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Characters: Mr Hyde

Summary

  • Stevenson uses the pseudoscience of physiognomy to show that Mr. Hyde is evil
  • He is often described through the negative reactions he provokes in others
  • He is violent and uncontrollable 
  • Stevenson draws on Darwin's ideas of evolution to present Mr. Hyde as subhuman

Key Quotes

  • 'It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned juggernaut.' (Mr. Enfield: Chapter 1)
  • ... with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim underfoot... (Chapter 4)
  • ... it was something abnormal and misbegotten in the very essence of the creature... (Dr. Lanyon: Chapter 9)
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Jekyll and Hyde's struggle for dominance

Summary

  • Although Dr. Jekyll initially welcomes the freedom and pleasures that Mr. Hyde offers, he becomes increasingly horrified by Hyde's actions
  • The Mr. Hyde side of Jekyll's personality becomes stronger and the transformations take place involuntarily
  • Stevenson gradually increases the way Jekyll refers to himself in the third person to show his struggle to control his dual identities and the dominance of Hyde
  • As Hyde takes control, he hates and persecutes the weaker Jekyll

Key Quotes

  • The most racking pains succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit... (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
  • ... my new power tempted me until I fell into slavery. (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
  • Instantly, the spirit of Hell awoke in me and raged. (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
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Differing views of Dr Jekyll

Summary

  • It is possible to judge the character of Jekyll in different ways
  • Readers may sympathise with the things that led Dr. Jekyll to create Mr. Hyde and the way that this brought about his own destruction
  • Alternatively, readers might condemn his selfish behaviour and the crimes that he commits and blames on Mr. Hyde

Key Quotes

  • Promising Utterson that he is never going to see Mr. Hyde again: 'I bind my honour to you that I am done with him in this world. It is all at an end.' (Chapter 5)
  • Explaining his reclusion to Mr. Utterson: 'I have brought on myself a punishment and a danger that I cannot name.' (Chapter 6)
  • Describing the murder of Sir Danvers: I mauled the unresisting body, tasting delight from every blow; (Chapter 10)
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Characters: Mr Utterson

Summary

  • Mr. Utterson is described as a serious, restrained and professional man who wishes to help his friend, Dr. Jekyll
  • In many ways, he is presented as a stereotypically honourable Victorian gentleman
  • However, he is willing to ignore a loss of respectability in his own friends, conceals evidence from the police and has some past misdeeds of his own
  • He is the protagonist of the novel, in that Stevenson uses him to move the plot forward and reveal information to the reader

Key Quotes

  • He was austere with himself; (Chapter 1)
  • 'If he be Mr. Hyde,' he thought, 'I shall be Mr Seek.' (Mr. Utterson: Chapter 2)
  • 'Ah- that's not Jekyll's voice- it's Hyde's!' cried Utterson. 'Down with the door, Poole!' (Chapter 8)
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Characters: Dr Lanyon

Summary

  • Dr. Lanyon is presented as a sensible and respectable Victorian gentleman
  • Stevenson uses the character of Dr. Lanyon to create mystery in the novel
  • He is introduced as a happy, healthy man but he has had a disagreement with Dr. Jekyll; he later falls suddenly ill and refuses to talk about him
  • Dr. Lanyon's perspective is used in Chapter 9 to make the transformation frightening

Key Quotes

  • ... he sprang up from his chair and welcomed him with both hands. (Chapter 2)
  • He had his death warrant written legibly upon his face. (Chapter 6)
  • I saw what I saw, I heard what I heard, and my soul sickened at it; (Dr. Lanyon: Chapter 9)
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Characters: Mr Enfield and Poole

Summary

  • Mr. Enfield and Poole are socially very different but display similar Victorian values
  • Both characters are used to build up horror and mystery about Mr. Hyde
  • The change in Poole's appearance and behaviour helps to create tension in Chapter 8 by showing that something is seriously wrong

Key Quotes

  • Mr. Enfield about Mr. Hyde: '... gave me one look so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like running.' (Chapter 1)
  • About Poole: ... his face was white and his voice, when he spoke, was harsh and broken. (Chapter 8)
  • Poole about Mr. Hyde: '... it went down my spine like ice.' (Chapter 8)
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Themes: Good and Evil

Summary

  • Evil is presented through Mr. Hyde, just as goodness is presented through Dr. Jekyll
  • Utterson, Lanyon, Enfield and Poole display goodness and Christian values
  • Dr. Jekyll conveys the internal conflict between good and evil behaviour
  • Although he ultimately chooses to be good, it is suggested that the evil impulse is stronger as Mr. Hyde eventually takes over

Key Quotes

  • About Mr. Hyde: ... tales came out of the man's cruelty, at once so callous and violent; of his vile life, of his strange associates, (Chapter 6)
  • About Dr. Jekyll away from Mr. Hyde's influence: ... his face seemed to open and brighten, as if with an inward consciousness of service; (Chapter 6)
  • Dr. Jekyll describing his behaviour as Mr. Hyde: 'I gnashed my teeth upon him with a gust of devilish fury;' (Chapter 9)
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Themes: Respectability and Repression

Summary

  • Respectability is shown through the different codes of behaviour that the characters display
  • These codes are presented as social norms and expectations
  • Stevenson explores the idea of repression through Dr. Jekyll
  • Dr. Jekyll represses and hides his desires in order to maintain an appearance of respectability but this ends up destroying his life

Key Quotes

  • ... the mark of a modest man... (Chapter 1)
  • ... my pleasures were (to say the least) undignified, and I was not only well known and highly considered, but growing towards the elderly man... (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
  • ... I began to be tortured with throes and longings... (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
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Themes: Science and Discovery

Summary

  • Stevenson engages with the reader by using different techniques to surround Dr. Jekyll's experiments with mystery
  • Later in the novel, he presents Dr. Jekyll's discoveries as dangerous through images of pain and the way the transformations cannot be controlled
  • Dr. Jekyll's scientific work is linked to evil and Hell to suggest it is ungodly

Key Quotes

  • Mr. Hyde describing the effects of his potion: '... a new province of knowledge and new avenues to fame and power shall be laid open to you...' (Chapter 9)
  • ... his face became suddenly black, and the features seemed to melt and alter... (Dr. Lanyon: Chapter 9)
  • I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse. (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
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Themes: Dilemmas and Consequences

Summary

  • Dr. Jekyll has the dilemma of whether to take the drug he has created and then whether to continue transforming into Hyde
  • Having the dilemma of whether to show the police the incriminating letter forged by Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Utterson locks it in his safe
  • As a consequence to his experiments, Dr. Jekyll faces the consequence of losing his identity to Mr. Hyde
  • Dr. Lanyon falls ill with shock and dies as a consequence of discovering the truth about Dr. Jekyll's experiments

Key Quotes

  • ... the terms of this debate are as old and commonplace as man; much the same inducements and alarms cast the die for any tempted and trembling sinner; (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
  • ... my punishment might have gone on for years, but for the last calamity which has now fallen, (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
  • ... the doom that is closing in on us both... (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10) 
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Themes: Duality

Summary

  • Duality is a recurring motif throughout the novel that can be seen in Stevenson's characters, settings and themes
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the main images of duality and this is particularly explored in Chapter 10
  • Specific images are used to portray duality, such as the difference between the front and back of Dr. Jekyll's house, the contrasting interior and exterior of Mr. Hyde's lodgings and the differences between the two men's hands

Key Quotes

  • 'My master [...] is a tall, fine build of a man, and this was more of a dwarf.' (Poole: Chapter 8)
  • ... those provinces of good and ill that divide and compound man's nature. (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
  • ... two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, (Dr. Jekyll: Chapter 10)
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