Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Literary Devices Carly Gessner


  • Late 19th century
  • London england, Victorian era
  • The setting relates back to the characters because Mr. Utterson depicts the best example of a Victorian man: Prim and proper while minding his own business
  • As a mystery novel, the setting gives an eerie feeling, playing along with the same same setting as other mystery novels such as Sherlock Holmes

Characterization (In order of appearance)

  • Utterson- Central character, mostly keeps to himself. Not a busy body, but close friend to Jekyll and Lanyon as well as Enfield. He is a lawyer and rationalist
  • Enfield- Related distantly to Utterson, but complete opposite of him. They still seem to enjoy each others company on their Sunday walks. Reserved and formal, scornful of gossip
  • Jekyll- Popular physician in London, handsome and distinguished but some what shut out form the world because of his experiments: Obsessed with finding a person's evil side, why he creates Mr. Hyde within himself.
  • An example of his Interest in finding the two sides, "...and from an early date, even before the course of my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements.
  • Hyde- The alive, physical version of Jekyll's evil side, very ugly and all around. So ugly people can't point out specifically why. Guilty of committing evil acts throughout the novel, poor language. Let loose by a mysterious potion
  • Mr. Hyde is evil, even when people are trying to be nice to him, "Once a woman spoke to him, offering, I think, a box of lights. He smote her in the face, and she fled."
  • Lanyon- Jekyll's closest friend, but had a falling out because of Jekyll's need to find a person's evil side. Embodiment of rationalism, materialism and skepticism
  • Poole- Jekyll's main butler, been working for him for more than 20 years. Knows Jekyll so well he is able to tell that the man in the lab is not his master. Gets Utterson to help when he thinks something happened to Jekyll
  • Mr. Guest- Utterson's clerk, expert in handwriting. Examines the letters of Hyde's writing and notices his hand writing is the same as Dr. Jekyll's just slanted the other way

Metaphors and Allegories

  • Utterson uses a metaphor in his concern for Jekyll saying, "Poor Harry Jekylll... my mind misgives me, he is in deep waters!". Jekyll is not literally in deep water drowning, but Utterson knows he must be in trouble.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde themselves are also examples of metaphors for good and evil. Jekyll is the good side to every situation, while Hyde is the bad. Together they work in harmony, almost like the Ying and the Yang.
  • An allegory for the novel would be the door leading to the laboratory. It symbolizes when and where Dr. Jekyll turns into Mr. Hyde and leaves his old self behind.

Point of View

  • The narrator is unknown but speaks in the third person, even though Dr. Jekyll and Lanyon each narrate a chapter during their confessional letters
  • the novel follows Utterson, for the most part, and what he sees, until Jekyll and Lanyon tell their stories

Mood and Tone

  • The tone set throughout the novel is mysterious and somewhat grim.
  • The mood the story gives off is sort of eerie in the sense that you don't know what kind of twists or turns the novel is going to take


  • Every person has different sides- We all have two different sides to our personalities, we just don't physically transform into them when they arise. Jekyll however is obsessed with finding what his alter ego is like and spends most of his days focusing on only that. Jekyll talks about his transformation by saying, " I was once more Mr. Hyde," implying this wasn't the first time he changed into him.
  • Importance of a person's reputation- Mr. Utterson worries tremendously about how he acts and hold himself to a high standard. He minds his own business and doesn't want to believe in the supernatural because people might find him crazy, ruining his perfect reputation. Utterson is described in the first sentence of the book as this, "Mr. Utterson, the lawyer, was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty, and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable."


Created with images by Jemimus - "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Easton press binding." • Karen Roe - "Ickworth Park (NT) 02-03-2012" • andreacervantes2 - "Cervantes-5987.jpg" • Karen Roe - "Ickworth Park (NT) 02-03-2012" • Unsplash - "jetty wooden plank" • Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho - "Evening Tone" • Nederland in foto's - "Winter theme"

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