The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde By, Michael Glaser

Setting

The novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" takes place in The Victorian Time Period(The Late 19th Century). The story takes place in London, England. The servants, the discrepancy between rich and poor, the bachelor living, the religious allusions, and the repression all point straight at Victorian England.

Characterization

Mr. Utterson: This is the man that we follow along side with for just about the entirety of the novella, aka the narrator. Utterson is a middle-aged male who is an important and upstanding lawyer and is very well respected in the community that he lives in. He is a very reserved, rationale, and dignified man who is always trying to do the correct thing. He is very good friends with both Dr. Lanyon and Dr. Jekyll. Utterson also represents the perfect Victorian gentleman meaning he's always looking to keep order and civility, never gossips, and always protects his friend's reputation as if it was his own.

Dr. Jekyll: He is a very well respected doctor in the community at the time. We are told he is both a very tall and handsome middle-aged man known for his charitable acts. However, we find out that from a young age, Jekyll has a darker, corrupt, sort of evil side to him that no one knows of. So, in trying to split the two emotion/different people he created a potion that changed him into the man we now know as Mr. Hyde. The doctor believed that in every human there existed both good and evil sides to that person.

Mr. Hyde: A very strange and somewhat scary man who looks some what in-human. He is a very violent and cruel man that everyone who has seen him(which isn't to many) describe him as deformed. Lanyon, Enfield, and Utterson all say that when they had seen him there was definitely some sort of evil nature coming off of him. Hyde is Jekyll's darker side that comes out when Jekyll needs to release his anger.

Dr. Lanyon: Just like Jekyll, he is also a very well respected doctor in the community at the time. He is basically the counter opposite of Jekyll's version of science. Where Jekyll is more of a magical/supernatural science where as Lanyon is more materialistic science. He is the first one that really knows of Dr. Jekyll's strange and abnormal experiments.

Mr. Poole: This man is Dr. Jekyll's extremely devout and loyal butler who has been working for Jekyll for the past 20 years. He eventually realizes the awful state that his boss/master is in so he finally decides to call on some help(Utterson) him see what has actually happened.

Mr. Enfield: This man is a cousin of Mr. Utterson's. Him and Utterson take many long distance walks together without speaking a word to one another. Just like Utterson, he is a calm/cool man and his also opposed to gossip.

Mr. Guest: This man is Utterson's clerk and acquaintance. He is a very observant person because he is the one who notices that in the letter both Hyde's and Jekyll's handwriting are in fact the same, however, the are slanted in different ways.

Sir Danvers Carew: This man is a distinguished member of Parliament, and the murder of Carew(by Hyde) is a turning point in the story.

Metaphors/Allegory

Metaphors:

  • "From that time forward, Mr. Utterson began to haunt the door in the by-street of shops."- this metaphor is when Utterson wants to see Hyde for himself so he decides to "haunt" his door and wait. The use of the word haunt is used to act as though he is a ghost haunting the area attempting to blend in until he could see his target.

Allegories:

  • London Fog vs. Light: The London fog serves to shroud or veil the city and make it eerie. The literal fog emphasizes the metaphorical fog surrounding the true identity of Hyde.
  • The Passageways: These are basically the separation between the two worlds of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. This is was the split between the good and evil in this book.

Point of View

The book "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is in the Point of View of Third Person Limited. Meaning the story picks one character and follows him around; which in this case is Mr. Utterson.

Mood and Tone

Moods:

  • During the coarse of the book I felt anxious at many times not knowing what is going to happen next. Mainly because I didn't know that Jekyll and Hyde were the same person until someone ruined it for me, but whatever.
  • Also, I feel as if there was a mood of impending disaster throughout the entirety of book because it felt as if at any moment things could go drastically south(bad).

Tones:

  • One of the constant re-occurring tones in this novel is that of mysteriousness. Meaning we never really knew what was fully going on so we were always left in some sort of suspicion of what was going to happen.
  • Another tone used is seriousness. Throughout the story there is sort of solemnity about it mainly because the never really mess around, but always get straight down to business.

Themes

Good vs. Evil: This is easily the biggest and probably the most obvious theme in the novel. This theme is brought about by the 2 characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The creation of Hyde was to separate the good part of Dr. Jekyll from the evil part. However, what we do not know is that which side is actually superior. We could assume evil since Hyde does eventually completely take over Jekyll, but Hyde to eventually end up killing himself so we don't really know for sure.

Science: In this story, Science is basically Jekyll's "excuse" to perform these experiments with potions to try to separate the good and evil side within himself. Jekyll and Lanyon(both doctors) have very different ideas of science. Lanyon is much more of a materialistic approach while Jekyll is more of a supernatural approach.

Friendship: Throughout the story, we are told a lot about the friendships between that of Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Lanyon, and Mr. Utterson. The great friendship between that of Jekyll and Utterson is what drove Utterson find out what was gravely wrong with his friend while other people may have just walked away and had other people to deal with it.

Created By
Michael Glaser
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