Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde
The story begins with a description of Mr. Utterson, a lawyer in
London. Mr. Utterson is a reserved, conservative man who does not
reveal his true, vibrant personality. He tolerates the strangeness
and faults of other. Early in his life, he watched as his brother
fell to ruin, and it is noted that he is often the last
respectable person that men who are turning to evil or ruin have
to talk to. This foreshadows Utterson’s involvement with upcoming
Mr. Utterson is friends with Richard Enfield, although the two are
totally different from one another. They always took walks with
each other on Sundays no matter what else they might have to do.
As they walk down a lane on Sunday that would usually be crowded
with merchants and children during the week, Enfield points out an
old building without many windows, and only a basement door.
Enfield tells a story of how, one night at about 3:00 am, he saw a
strange, deformed man round the corner and bump into a young girl.
The strange man did not stop but simply walked right over the
young girl, who cried out in terror. Enfield rushed over and
attended the girl along with her family. Still, the strange man
carried on, so Enfield chased him down and urged him back. A
doctor was called and Enfield and the doctor felt an odd hatred of
the man, warning the man that they would discredit him in every
way possible unless he compensated the girl. The strange man
agreed to offer 100 British pounds.
Enfield notes that the man is like Satan in the way he seems
emotionally cold to the situation. The strange man presented a
cheque signed by an important person, which they together cashed
the next morning. Enfield states that he refers to the building as
Black Mail House. Utterson asks Enfield if he ever asked who lived
in the building, but Enfield explains that he doesn’t ask
questions about strange things:
the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask.
The building appears lived in, and the two men carry on their
walk. Enfield continues that the strange man he saw that night
looked deformed, though he could explain how. Utterson assures
Enfield that his story has caught his interest. The two agree
never to talk about the story again.
The same evening, Utterson came home. Instead of reading until
sleep at midnight, he poured over the will of his friend Henry
Jekyll, a doctor and very educated man. The will stated that
Jekyll’s possessions and position should be handed over to Mr.
Hyde, a friend that Utterson had never heard nor met. Utterson
went to the house of Dr. Lanyon, an old school and college friend
of Utterson’s and Jekyll’s, and asked him about Hyde, but Lanyon
had never heard of him. Lanyon uses several evil references when
talking about Jekyll, such as devilish, and gone wrong,
foreboding evil relations between Jekyll and Hyde. Utterson knows
something is wrong between the two. Utterson can’t sleep for the
rest of the night.
Utterson considers how the strange man Enfield spoke of could
trample a child and care nothing for it. Utterson staked out the
door of the strange building looking for the strange man, whom he
also believed was Mr. Hyde. One night, he found him. He confronts
him as he is about to go inside the strange door, and finds the
strange man is indeed Mr. Hyde. Hyde is unpleasant, cool, defiant,
and confident. Utterson convinces Hyde to show his face, and Hyde
suggests Utterson should know his address, implying that he knows
of Jekyll’s will. Utterson refers to Hyde to himself as
troglodytic, meaning a primitive human being, detestable and
unpleasant. Utterson decides to try and visit Jekyll at the late
At Jekyll’s home, he learns from the servants that Hyde never east
dinner at Jekyll’s house, but is always there in the laboratory,
with his own key. The servants rarely see him, but they have
orders to obey him. Utterson leaves, and reflects upon his own
life, what evil deeds he may be guilty of, and what bad things his
friend Jekyll may have done in his life. He decides that this Hyde
must be gravely evil, far worse than anything Jekyll may have ever
done. Utterson decides to try and discover what evil things Hyde
has done and may be doing, but fears that his friend Jekyll will
object. To finish, Utterson again considers the strange will of
Jekyll, specifically that it he disappears for longer than three
months, that his estate should be turned over to Hyde. Utterson
fears that Hyde might kill Jekyll for the will.
Dr. Jekyll has a dinner party and Utterson attends. Utterson is a
well liked and respected man, by Jekyll as well as anyone.
Utterson stays behind after the party, and talks with Jekyll about
the will. Jekyll tries at first to politely and jovially avoid the
topic towards his scientific rivalry with Dr. Lanyon, but Utterson
insists. Utterson explains that he thinks the will is a bad idea,
and Jekyll wishes to stop talking about it. Jekyll states that he
is in a unique situation that can’t be fixed through talking, but
Utterson promises that he can be trusted to help in confidence.
Jekyll insists that he is in control, that he can be rid of Mr.
Hyde at his own discretion. He begs Utterson to leave the matter
alone. He explains that he has great interest in Hyde, and that
Utterson follow his will and secure Jekyll’s estate for Hyde if
Jekyll passes away. Utterson promises to fulfill this duty.
One of Jekyll’s maid servants is watching out her window on a
foggy night and sees Hyde and Sir Danvers meet by chance, They
talk under her window, and without warning, Hyde explodes with
rage and strikes Danvers with his heavy cane. Hyde stomped upon
the man, crushing his bones, while the maid faints.
The maid wakes up, calls the police. They find a purse and gold
watch, and an envelope for Utterson on the victim, but no papers
or cards. They find part of Hyde’s splintered, broken cane.
Utterson goes to the police station to see the body. Utterson
identifies the victim as Danvers, and notices that the piece of
cane resembles one he gave to Jekyll a long time ago. Utterson
leads the police to Hyde’s house in Soho. As they arrive at Hyde’s
house, Utterson notices the darkness from the brown fog, and
considers the fear people must have of the law and the police. At
Hyde’s, an very white skinned woman with grey hair and an evil
face tells them she hadn’t seen Hyde for 2 months. At first the
woman protests, but she seems happy to learn that Hyde might be in
In the house, Utterson and the police inspector find that only a
few rooms are being used. They find clues to show that Hyde was
responsible for the murder:
Hyde’s clothes had been ransacked, a burnt cheque book, the other
part of the cane, and at the bank, Hyde’s account had several
thousand pounds (British money) in it. The inspector believed that
they could simply catch him when he returned to the bank, but
found that without an accurate description of Hyde, they could not
prepare the bank to recognize Hyde when he came in again.
Utterson goes to Jekyll’s house, and up to his cabinet (bedroom),
where he finds Jekyll sick, not even getting up to say hello.
Utterson tells Jekyll that Danvers was a client of his and asks if
Jekyll is hiding Hyde. Jekyll declares that Hyde is safe, and
Utterson finds it strange that Jekyll can be so sure. Jekyll gives
Utterson a letter written by Hyde where he apologizes to Jekyll
for causing so much trouble, although Jekyll is afraid that the
letter might harm his own reputation. Utterson finds this a
selfish consideration. Utterson believes that Hyde told Jekyll how
to make his will, and tells Jekyll that he is lucky because Hyde
was going to kill him. Jekyll is upset and says only, Oh what a
lesson I have learned!. Jekyll tells Utterson that the letter
came to him by delivery, not through the mail, but as Utterson
leaves, he asks the servant, who tells him that no letters came by
That night, Utterson has his assistant, Mr. Guest, over to look at
the letter, so that he might hear his thoughts on the matter.
Guest notices that Hyde’s handwriting is the same as Jekyll’s,
except slanted differently. Utterson cannot imaging why Jekyll
would forge Hyde’s letter for him.
The police’s investigation into Hyde’s background showed that he
had a violent reputation. In the meantime, Jekyll seemed better
than ever in his life. On January 6th, Jekyll had a dinner party,
and Utterson and Lanyon went. However, after that date, Jekyll
refused to allow any visitors. Utterson decides to visit Lanyon,
but finds that Lanyon seems deathly sick, and won’t discuss why
except that he has had a shock. He seems that he has been
terrified, and begs not to be reminded of Jekyll.
Utterson goes home and writes a complaint to Jekyll about not
taking visitors, and about Lanyon. The next day, Jekyll replies
that he is sorry and doesn’t blame Lanyon for not wishing to ever
hear of Jekyll again, but doesn’t say why. Jekyll asks Utterson to
let me be alone to suffer for a great evil deed that he has
committed. Utterson feels that there must be some very serious
explanation for the strange behavior of both Lanyon and Jekyll.
A week later Utterson receives a letter from Lanyon. Inside is
another letter marked that it shouldn’t be opened until the time
that Jekyll disappears. Utterson is tempted to open it, but honors
the order on the envelope not to open it yet. Utterson checked in
with Poole, Jekyll’s servant, who said that Jekyll stayed in his
room, laid awake, did not read and was miserable. Utterson tried
to visit less and less.
On a walk with Richard Enfield again, he and Utterson resolve
never to see Hyde again. Enfield tells that he now knows that the
building Hyde entered that night long ago was Jekyll’s house. As
they strolled by Jekyll’s house, they saw him in a window.
Utterson urges him to come for a walk, but Jekyll refuses. They
agree to talk while Jekyll sits at the window. Suddenly, a look of
terror comes over Jekyll’s face, and the window blind is shut in
front of him, hiding him from the sight of Utterson and Enfield.
Frightened, the two men look at each other. God forgive us!
cries out Utterson, and the two men walk on.
Poole comes to Utterson’s house in a panic, saying that Jekyll is
locked up in his room again. Poole fears that Jekyll has been
murdered and that the killer is still in his room, pacing back and
forth and moaning and crying out. Utterson agrees to go to
Jekyll’s house with Poole. When they arrive, they find all the
house servants crowded around the fireplace in fear of what goes
up in Jekyll’s room. Poole tells Utterson that he wants him to
hear what is going on in Jekyll’s room. They proceed, and Poole
calls out to his master, saying that Utterson is there to visit. A
voice answers that is certainly Jekyll, pleading for Utterson to
leave him alone.
Poole reports that the person in the room tosses out papers with
orders for chemicals from every company in London, but with every
delivery, Jekyll/Hyde refuses them and sends them back claiming
they are not pure. They examine the notes, and find that the
writing is Jekyll’s, but with a strange slant like Hyde’s.
Poole mentions that he saw the person in the room at one point,
but it looked like
Hyde, not Jekyll
Poole and Utterson decide to break down the door and find out what
has happened in Jekyll’s room, using an axe. They post two other
servants near the door to prevent Jekyll/Hyde from escaping should
he get past Utterson and Poole. Utterson and Poole consider that
they face some danger in doing this. While they wait for the other
servants to get into position, they sit in the old surgery
theatre, where Poole describes how Jekyll/Hyde paces back and
forth across the floor and sometimes cries out. After the servants
are ready, Utterson warns Jekyll that he is coming in, and the
voice begs him not to.
They burst in and find Hyde twitching and dying on the floor. They
look around and find various articles, but no sign of Jekyll’s
body. They find chemicals, a book, a cheval-glass, and a strange
drug. They search the house, and still do not find the body.
Utterson finds Jekyll’s latest will and learns that it leaves his
estate to Utterson, not Hyde. Utterson finds this strange because
Hyde was in the room and cold have destroyed this will in favor of
the one that names him the recipient of the will. Utterson finds a
note written in Jekyll’s handwriting, and is afraid to read it.
In it Jekyll says that he has disappeared, that Utterson should
read the letter Lanyon sent, and also Jekyll’s own confession
which is included with this note. Utterson returns to his office
where he will read the two important documents.
Chapter 9 – Lanyon’s Narrative
On January 9th, Lanyon receives a letter from Jekyll. It tells
Lanyon that this is a matter of life and death. Lanyon is to go to
Jekyll’s house, and The door of my cabinet is then to be forced;
and you are to go in alone; to open the glazed press (letter E) on
the left hand, breaking the lock if it be shut; and to draw out,
with all its contents as the stand, the fourth drawer from the top
or (which is the same thing) the third from the bottom. This is
to get Jekyll’s drug. Then, Lanyon is to return to his own home’s
consulting room, and wait for a visitor at midnight from Jekyll.
Lanyon does this and finds the drug that Jekyll must have made
because it is not as neatly done as a chemist would do. He returns
to his home and waits for the visitor, keeping a gun with him
(revolver) should he need to defend himself.
At midnight, Hyde shows up, and is very excited to get the drug,
almost crazy, but he stays calm enough. Once Lanyon gives it to
him, a scary smile comes over Hyde’s face. He tells Lanyon that
Lanyon was a fool, and that he would now see proof of
transcendental medicine. He drinks the drug and changes into
Jekyll in a terrifying way that haunts Lanyon for the rest of his
few days until he dies. Lanyon ends his letter by saying that he
cannot tell what Jekyll told him because it is too terrible, other
than that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person.