Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is both a brilliant thriller and a psychological novel that explores the darkest aspects of the human psyche.
Buried deep within the breast of many men lie the seeds of great terror,
dark imaginings that should never see the light of day. Follow in Dr.
Jekyll's tortured steps as he unleashes the evil buried within himself
in the form of Mr Hyde. The tale starts in London's foggy streets with a
brutal attack by a mysterious character. As events unfold we come to
learn of a sinister rogue on the prowl, Mr. Edward Hyde, and his
horrific connection with the respectable Dr. Jekyll.
Utterson and Enfield are worried about their friend, Dr. Jekyll, who has been avoiding them and spending more and more time on his mysterious research project. After discovering a creature known as Mr. Hyde, committing certain atrocities, Utterson further investigates and links the man to his good friend, Dr. Jekyll. He soon discovers that Dr. Jekyll has succeeded in creating an alter ego in Mr. Hyde that allows him to seperate his good and evil inclinations and house them in separate bodies.
Hyde and Jekyll are apparently collaborating on a project, but when an old man is brutally murdered and Hyde becomes the main suspect, Hyde abruptly vanishes. Utterson grows increasingly worried about Jekyll, who swears that he has broken off contact with the sinister Hyde. Matters are complicated further when Utterson discovers a note that is written by Hyde—in Jekyll’s handwriting. Soon afterward, Jekyll’s butler, Mr. Poole, visits Utterson in a state of desperation: Jekyll has secluded himself in his laboratory for several weeks, and now the voice that comes from the room sounds nothing like the doctor’s. As the mystery deepens, time appears to be running out for Utterson and Enfield to discover what is really wrong with their friend Dr. Jekyll—and the final revelation divulges a ghastly secret that makes us wonder about our ability to truly transform ourselves.
Book in Detail
Characters To Personalise
Dr. Henry Jekyll - A respected doctor and friend of both Lanyon, a fellow physician, and Utterson, a lawyer. Jekyll is a seemingly prosperous man, well established in the community, and known for his decency and charitable works. Since his youth, however, he has secretly conducted experiments that enable him to change his personality and physical appearance by ingesting a chemical mixture. Through these experiments, he brings Mr. Hyde into being. Unfortunately, Jekyll eventually loses control over this evil side of himself. Mr. Hyde commits murder and eventually takes over Jekyll's life, body and soul.
Mr. Edward Hyde - A strange, repugnant man who looks faintly pre-human. Hyde is violent and cruel, and everyone who sees him describes him as ugly and deformed—yet no one can say exactly why. Hyde is Jekyll’s dark side, released from the bonds of conscience and loosed into the world by a mysterious potion.
Dr. Gabriel Utterson - is a lawyer and loyal friend of Jekyll's (and Lanyon's), is the character the narrator focuses on, and follows in Utterson's quest to discover the identity of Hyde. Utterson is described as a measured, and at all times emotionless, bachelor—who nonetheless seems believable, trustworthy, tolerant of the faults of others, and indeed genuinely likeable. While not a man of science, Utterson resembles his friend Dr. Lanyon—and perhaps Victorian society at large—in his devotion to reasonable explanations and his denial of the supernatural.
Dr. Hastie Lanyon - Dr. Lanyon is described as a "hearty, healthy, dapper, red-faced gentleman, with a shock of hair prematurely white, and a boisterous and undecided manner." A reputable London doctor and, along with Utterson, formerly one of Jekyll’s closest friends. He disagrees with Jekyll’s "scientific" concepts, which Lanyon describes as "...too fanciful". He is the first person to whom Hyde's identity is revealed (Hyde transforms himself back into Jekyll in Lanyon's presence). Dr Lanyon helps Utterson solve the case, when he describes the letter given to him by Jekyll. When Lanyon witnesses the transformation process, (and subsequently hears Jekyll's private confession, made to him alone), Lanyon becomes critically ill and later dies of shock.
Mr. Poole – is Jekyll’s butler. Mr. Poole is a loyal servant, having worked for the doctor for twenty years, and his concern for his master eventually drives him to seek Utterson’s help when he becomes convinced that something has happened to Jekyll. Events finally drive him into joining forces with Utterson to discover the truth.
Mr. Richard Enfield – is a distant cousin and lifelong friend of Mr. Utterson. Like Utterson, Enfield is reserved, formal, and scornful of gossip; he is the person who mentions to the lawyer the actual personality of Jekyll's heir, Mr Hyde. After witnessing an incident in which Hyde mistreats a little girl, he gives an account of the incident to Utterson.