Notes on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Themes

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Topic Tracking: Two-Faced

Chapter 1

Two-Faced 1: Mr. Enfield is reluctant to dig into matters because he is afraid that he might uncover unpleasant truths. The stranger it seems, the less he is going to ask. This is illustrative of Victorian times, where appearance was one thing, reality another. Just as it is hard to tell where one building ends and another begins, it is difficult to tell what face of Victorian society is the real one--the appearance of civility or the immorality underneath.

Chapter 5

Two-Faced 2: The strange relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is highlighted by their similar handwriting. Mr. Guest, who is an expert in hands, brings this to light, further intensifying the mystery.

Chapter 7

Two-Faced 3: On their walk, Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield are surprised to find Dr. Jekyll at his window, in somber, yet peaceful spirits. In a flash, however, they witness a horrifying physical transformation as Dr. Jekyll goes into a convulsion. They leave the scene speechless.

Chapter 8

Two-Faced 4: Poole tells Mr. Utterson of the time he saw a figure digging at some crates in the cabinet room. When the figure looked up at Poole, he let out a cry and ran upstairs. Poole says that the figure had a mask on its face. Mr. Utterson believes Dr. Jekyll must be wearing a mask because of some malady that causes physical deformation. In a sense, Dr. Jekyll has been living a life where he is wearing two masks--one, the mask of respectability; the other, a mask of depravity. When it is no longer possible to switch "masks" at will, Dr. Jekyll must resort to wearing a mask to disguise his "mask."

Chapter 9

Two-Faced 5: Out of desperation, Dr. Jekyll writes a letter to Dr. Lanyon, requesting the contents of his potion. When he goes (as Hyde) to pick up the material, he reveals his secret to Dr. Lanyon by drinking the potion and turning into Dr. Jekyll.

Chapter 10

Two-Faced 6: As a young man, Dr. Jekyll is torn between his urges to live lustfully, and the life of a respectable doctor. His theory of man's dual nature leads him to find a drug to separate the two sides--evil and good.

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