Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
|Strange Case of Dr Jekyll
and Mr Hyde
Title page of the first London edition (1886)
|Author(s)||Robert Louis Stevenson|
|Publisher||Longmans, Green & co.|
|Publication date||5 January 1886|
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.
The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often spuriously called "split personality", referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil; completely opposite levels of morality. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.
Inspiration and writing 
Stevenson had long been intrigued by the idea of how personalities can affect a human and how to incorporate the interplay of good and evil into a story. While still a teenager, he developed a script for a play about Deacon Brodie, which he later reworked with the help of W. E. Henley and saw produced for the first time in 1882. In early 1884 he wrote the short story "Markheim", which he revised in 1884 for publication in a Christmas annual. One night in late September or early October 1885, possibly while he was still revising "Markheim," Stevenson had a dream, and upon wakening had the intuition for two or three scenes that would appear in the story. Biographer Graham Balfour quoted Stevenson's wife Fanny Stevenson:
"In the small hours of one morning,[...]I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare, I awakened him. He said angrily: 'Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.' I had awakened him at the first transformation scene."
Lloyd Osbourne, Stevenson's stepson, wrote:
"I don't believe that there was ever such a literary feat before as the writing of Dr Jekyll. I remember the first reading as though it were yesterday. Louis came downstairs in a fever; read nearly half the book aloud; and then, while we were still gasping, he was away again, and busy writing. I doubt if the first draft took so long as three days."
As was customary, Mrs Stevenson would read the draft and offer her criticisms in the margins. Louis was confined to bed at the time from a haemorrhage. Therefore, she left her comments with the manuscript and Louis in the toilet. She said that in effect the story was really an allegory, but Louis was writing it as a story. After a while Louis called her back into the bedroom and pointed to a pile of ashes: he had burnt the manuscript in fear that he would try to salvage it, and in the process forced himself to start again from nothing, writing an allegorical story as she had suggested. Scholars debate whether he really burnt his manuscript; there is no direct factual evidence for the burning, but it remains an integral part of the history of the novella.
Stevenson re-wrote the story in three to six days. A number of later biographers have alleged that Stevenson was on drugs during the frantic re-write; for example, William Gray's revisionist history A Literary Life (2004) said he used cocaine, while other biographers said he used ergot. However, the standard history, according to the accounts of his wife and son (and himself), says he was bed-ridden and sick while writing it. According to Osbourne, "The mere physical feat was tremendous and, instead of harming him, it roused and cheered him inexpressibly". He continued to refine the work for four to six weeks after the initial re-write. The novella was written in the southern English sea side town of Bournemouth, where Stevenson had moved due to ill health, in order to benefit from its sea air and warmer southern climate.
In London, Gabriel John Utterson, a prosecutor, is on his weekly walk with his relative Richard Enfield, who proceeds to tell him of an encounter he had seen some months ago while coming home late at night from Cavendish Place. The tale describes a sinister figure named Mr Hyde who tramples a young girl, disappears into a door on the street, and re-emerges to pay off her relatives with 10 pounds in gold and a cheque signed by respectable gentleman Dr. Henry Jekyll (a client and friend of Utterson's) for 90 pounds. Jekyll having recently and suddenly changed his will to make Hyde beneficiary, Utterson is disturbed and concerned about this development, and makes an effort to seek out Hyde. This is instilled by Utterson's fear that Hyde is blackmailing Dr. Henry Jekyll for his money. Upon finally managing to encounter Hyde, Utterson is amazed by how ugly the man seems, as if deformed; though Utterson cannot say exactly how or why, Hyde provokes an instinctive feeling of revulsion in him. Much to Utterson's surprise, Hyde willingly offers Utterson his address. After one of Jekyll's dinner parties, Utterson stays behind to discuss the matter of Hyde with Jekyll. Utterson notices Jekyll turning pale, yet he assures Utterson that everything involving Hyde is in order and to be left alone.
A year passes uneventfully. One night, a servant girl witnesses Hyde beat a man to death with a heavy cane. The man is MP Sir Danvers Carew, who was also a client of Utterson. The police contact Utterson, who suspects Hyde of the murder. He leads the officers to Hyde's apartment, feeling a sense of foreboding amid the eerie weather (the morning is dark and wreathed in fog). When they arrive at the apartment, the murderer has vanished, but they find half of the cane (described as being made of a strong wood but broken due to the beating) left behind a door. It is revealed to have been given to Jekyll by Utterson. Shortly thereafter, Utterson again visits Jekyll, who now claims to have ended all relations with Hyde. Jekyll shows Utterson a note, allegedly written to Jekyll by Hyde, apologizing for the trouble he has caused him and saying goodbye. That night, however, Utterson's clerk points out that Hyde’s handwriting bear a remarkable similarity to Jekyll's own.
For a few months, Jekyll reverts to his former friendly and sociable manner, as if a weight has been lifted from his shoulders. Later, Jekyll suddenly begins to refuse visitors, and Dr. Hastie Lanyon, a mutual acquaintance of Jekyll and Utterson, dies suddenly of shock after receiving information relating to Jekyll. Before his death, Lanyon gives Utterson a letter, with instructions that he not open it until after Jekyll's death and disappearance. Utterson goes out walking with Enfield, and they see Jekyll at a window of his laboratory; the three men begin to converse, but a look of horror suddenly comes over Jekyll's face, and he slams the window and disappears. Soon afterward, Jekyll's butler, Mr. Poole, visits Utterson in a state of desperation and explains that Jekyll has secluded himself in his laboratory for several weeks. Utterson and Poole travel to Jekyll's house through empty, windswept, sinister streets; once there, they find the servants huddled together in fear. They go to see the laboratory where they hear that the voice coming from inside is not the voice of Jekyll and the footsteps are light not the heavy footsteps of the doctor. After arguing for a time, the two of them resolve to break into Jekyll's laboratory.
Inside, they find the body of Hyde wearing Jekyll's clothes and apparently dead from suicide. They find also a letter from Jekyll to Utterson promising to explain the entire mystery. Utterson takes the document home, where first he reads Lanyon’s letter and then Jekyll's. The first reveals that Lanyon’s deterioration and eventual death were caused by the shock of seeing Mr. Hyde drink a serum, or potion, and as a result of doing so, metamorphose into Dr. Jekyll. The second letter explains that Jekyll, seeking to separate his good side from his darker impulses, discovered a way to transform himself periodically into a creature free of conscience, this being Mr. Hyde. The transformation was incomplete, however, in that it created a second, evil identity, but did not make the first identity purely good. At first, Jekyll reports, he delighted in becoming Hyde and rejoiced in the moral freedom that the creature possessed. Eventually, however, he found that he was turning into Hyde involuntarily in his sleep, even without taking the potion.
At this point, Jekyll resolved to cease becoming Hyde. One night, however, the urge gripped him too strongly, and after the transformation he immediately rushed out and violently killed Sir Danvers Carew. Horrified, Jekyll tried more adamantly to stop the transformations, and for a time he proved successful by engaging in philanthropic work. At a park, he considers how good a person he has become as a result of his deeds (in comparison to others), believing himself redeemed. However, before he completes his line of thought, he looks down at his hands and realizes that he has suddenly once again become Mr. Hyde. This was the first time that an involuntary metamorphosis had happened in waking hours. Far from his laboratory and hunted by the police as a murderer, Hyde needed Lanyon's help to get his potions and become Jekyll again; when he undertook the transformation in Lanyon's presence, the shock of the sight instigated Lanyon's deterioration and death. Meanwhile, Jekyll returned to his home, only to find himself ever more helpless and trapped as the transformations increased in frequency and necessitated even larger doses of potion in order to reverse them. It was the onset of one of these spontaneous metamorphoses that caused Jekyll to slam his laboratory window shut in the middle of his conversation with Enfield and Utterson.
Eventually, the stock of ingredients from which Jekyll has been preparing the potion ran low, and subsequent batches prepared by Jekyll from renewed stocks of the ingredients failed to produce the transformation effected by the original potion. Jekyll speculates that the one essential ingredient that made the original potion work must have been a trace contaminant that was absent from the ingredients he had subsequently purchased. He assumes that subsequent supplies all lacked the essential ingredient that made the potion successful for his experiments. His ability to change back from Hyde into Jekyll has slowly vanished in consequence. Jekyll writes that even as he composes his letter he knows that he will soon become Hyde permanently, and he wonders if Hyde will face execution for his crimes or choose to kill himself. Jekyll notes that, in either case, the end of his letter marks the end of the life of Dr. Jekyll. He ends the letter saying "I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end". With these words, both the document and the novella come to a close.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde 
Dr Jekyll is a "large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty", who occasionally feels he is battling between the good and evil within himself, thus leading to the struggle between his dual personalities of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He has spent a great part of his life trying to repress evil urges that were not fitting for a man of his stature. He creates a serum, or potion, in an attempt to mask this hidden evil within his personality. However, in doing so, Jekyll is transformed into the smaller, younger, cruel, remorseless, evil Edward Hyde. Dr Jekyll has many friends and has a friendly personality, but as Mr Hyde, he becomes mysterious and violent. As time goes by, Mr Hyde grows in power. After taking the potion repetitively, he no longer relies upon it to unleash his inner demon i.e., his alter ego. Eventually, Mr Hyde grows so strong that Dr Jekyll becomes reliant on the potion to remain conscious.
Stevenson never says exactly what Hyde takes pleasure in on his nightly forays, generally saying that it is something of an evil and lustful nature; thus it is in the context of the times, abhorrent to Victorian religious morality. Hyde may have been reveling in activities that were not appropriate to a man of Jekyll's stature, such as engaging with prostitutes or burglary. However, it is Hyde's violent activities that seem to give him the most thrills, driving him to attack and murder Sir Danvers Carew without apparent reason, making him a hunted outlaw throughout England.
Realizing he will soon be Hyde forever, Jekyll leaves behind a testament; pointing out that while Jekyll often felt like a charlatan, Hyde felt like a "genuine man" years younger and far more energetic than his more "sociable" self. He also states in his final confession that although Hyde knew people recoiled from him, he did not recoil from them.
The original pronunciation of Jekyll was "Jeekul" which was the pronunciation used in Stevenson's native Scotland. This is also the pronunciation of Gertrude Jekyll, the garden designer.
Mr. Gabriel John Utterson 
Gabriel John Utterson, 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. However, Utterson is not immune to guilt, as, while he is quick to investigate and judge the faults of others even for the benefit of his friends, Stevenson hints he has old secrets: "he was humbled to the dust by the many ill things he had done". Whatever these secrets may be, he does not partake in gossip or other views of the upper class out of respect for his fellow man. Often the last remaining friend of the down-falling, he finds an interest in others' downfalls, which creates a spark of interest not only in Dr Jekyll but also regarding Mr Hyde. He comes to the conclusion that human downfall results from indulging oneself in topics of interest; as a result of this line of reasoning, he lives life as a recluse and "dampens his taste for the finer items of life". Mr Utterson concludes that Dr Jekyll, conversely, lives life as he wishes to, by enjoying his occupation.
Richard Enfield 
Richard Enfield is Mr Utterson's distant relative and is a well known "man about town", suggesting a certain sexual licentiousness — this may be evidenced that he first sees Hyde at about 3am in an episode that is well documented as Hyde running over a little girl. He is the person who mentions to the lawyer the actual personality of Jekyll's heir, Mr Hyde. Enfield witnessed Hyde running over a little girl in the street recklessly, and the group of witnesses, with the girl's parents and other residents, force Hyde into writing a cheque for the girl's family. Enfield discovers that the cheque was signed by Dr Jekyll. The cheque is found to be genuine. He says that Hyde is disgusting looking, but finds himself stumped when asked to describe the man. Perhaps it is Hyde's personality and mannerisms that distinguish him from his fellow human beings, making it impossible for them to identify with such a character.
Dr. Hastie Lanyon 
A late friend of Jekyll's, Hastie Lanyon disagrees with his "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, and his thoughts and reactions to the transformation. 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. As an embodiment of Victorian rationalism, materialism, and skepticism, Lanyon serves as a foil to Jekyll.
Mr. Poole 
Mr Poole is Dr Jekyll's butler who, upon noticing the reclusiveness and changes of his master, goes to Mr Utterson with the fear that his master has been murdered and his murderer, Mr Hyde, is residing in the chambers. Poole serves Jekyll faithfully, and attempts to do a good job and be loyal to his master. Yet events finally drive him into joining forces with Utterson to find the truth.
Inspector Newcomen 
Sir Danvers Carew 
A kind, white haired, old man and important Member of Parliament. He was killed in the streets of London, on the night of 18 October (sometime between 11pm and 2am by the testimony of the maid), by (as alleged by the maid) Mr Hyde in a murderous rage. Carew was 70 years old. He was however carrying on his person, at the time of his death, a letter addressed to Gabriel Utterson. As a result the police subsequently interviewed Utterson with regard to the murder. Although there is no clear reason for his murder, Carew openly greets Hyde immediately prior to the killing. Coupled with this, both characters have a direct link to Utterson.
A maid, whose employer Mr Hyde had once visited, is the only person who claims to have witnessed the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. She states that she believes the murder to have been committed by Mr Hyde. She faints after she sees what happens, then wakes up and rushes to the police, thus instigating the murder case.
Literary genres which critics have applied as a framework for interpreting the novel include religious allegory, fable, detective story, sensation fiction, doppelgänger literature, Scottish devil tales and gothic novel. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has been the influence for The Hulk, Two-Face and the general superhero genre for the story's ties to a double life.
This story represents a concept in Victorian culture, that of the inner conflict of humanity's sense of good and evil. In particular the novella has been interpreted as an examination of the duality of human nature (that good and evil exists in all), and that the failure to accept this tension (to accept the evil or shadow side) results in the evil being projected onto others. Paradoxically in this argument, evil is actually committed in an effort to extinguish the perceived evil that has been projected onto the innocent victims. In Freudian Theory the thoughts and desires banished to the unconscious mind motivate the behavior of the conscious mind. If someone banishes all evil to the unconscious mind in an attempt to be wholly and completely good, it can result in the development of a Mr Hyde-type aspect to that person's character. This failure to accept the tension of duality is related to Christian theology, where Satan's fall from Heaven is due to his refusal to accept that he is a created being (that he has a dual nature) and is not God. This is why in Christianity, pride (to consider oneself as without sin or without evil) is the greatest sin, as it is the precursor to evil itself; it also explains the Christian concept of evil hiding in the light.
Various direct influences have been suggested for Stevenson's interest in the mental condition that separates the sinful from moral self. Among them are the Biblical text of Romans (7:20 "Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."); the split life in the 1780s of Edinburgh city councillor Deacon William Brodie, master craftsman by day, burglar by night; and James Hogg's novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), in which a young man falls under the spell of the devil.
Some readers have argued that the "dual personalities" interpretation is overly simplistic. Jekyll himself notes that a person may be divided into many more than two distinct personalities — he expects that researchers in the future will discover that a person is made up of many different selves. In his discussion of the novel, Vladimir Nabokov argues that the "good versus evil" view of the novel is misleading, as Jekyll himself is not, by Victorian standards, a morally good person.
One popular interpretation is the "civilized versus animalistic" approach. Other readers have argued even further that the split between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde represents the civilized and the animalistic version of the same person. The description of Hyde as an almost prehuman creature and his actions that occur without thought, suggests that Hyde is more animal than man. Dr Jekyll on the other hand, can be seen as existing in a constant state of repression, with the only thing controlling his urges being the possible consequences imposed by civilized society.
Another common interpretation sees the novella's duality as representative of Scotland and the Scottish character. On this reading the duality represents the national and linguistic dualities inherent in Scotland's relationship with the wider Britain and the English language, respectively, and also the repressive effects of the Calvinistic church on the Scottish character. A further parallel is also drawn with the city of Edinburgh itself, Stevenson's birthplace, which consists of two distinct parts: the old medieval section historically inhabited by the city's poor, where the dark crowded slums were rife with all types of crime, and the modern Georgian area of wide spacious streets representing respectability.
The novella has also been noted as "one of the best guidebooks of the Victorian era" because of its piercing description of the fundamental dichotomy of the 19th century "outward respectability and inward lust," as this period had a tendency for social hypocrisy.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an immediate success and is one of Stevenson's best-selling works. Stage adaptations began in Boston and London and soon moved all across England and then towards his home Scotland  within a year of its publication and it has gone on to inspire scores of major film and stage performances.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was initially sold as a paperback for one shilling in the UK and one dollar in the U.S. The American publisher issued the book on 5 January 1886, four days before the first appearance of the UK edition issued by Longmans; Scribner's published 3000 copies, only 1250 of them bound in cloth. Initially stores would not stock it until a review appeared in The Times, on 25 January 1886, giving it a favourable reception. Within the next six months, close to forty thousand copies were sold. The book's success was probably due more to the "moral instincts of the public" than any perception of its artistic merits; it was widely read by those who never otherwise read fiction, quoted in pulpit sermons and in religious papers. By 1901 it was estimated to have sold over 250,000 copies.
There are dozens of stage and film adaptations of the novella, over 123 film versions alone, not including stage and radio versions.
- Stevenson published the book as Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (without "The"), for reasons unknown, but it has been supposed to increase the "strangeness" of the case (Richard Dury (2005)). Later publishers added "The" to make it grammatically correct, but it was not the author's original intent. The story is often known today simply as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or even Jekyll and Hyde.
- // is the Scots pronunciation of the name, but // is the accepted general pronunciation.
- Jekyll's pronunciation according to Stevenson himself
- Saposnik, Irving S. "The Anatomy of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 11.4, Nineteenth Century (1971): pp. 715-731.
- "Jekyll and Hyde definition | Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- Swearingen, Roger G. The Prose Writings of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Macmillan, 1980. (ISBN) p. 37.
- Balfour, Graham (1912). The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson II. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 15–6. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- Possibly with the help of cocaine, according to William Gray's revisionist history Robert Louis Stevenson: A Literary Life (2004). ISBN 978-0-333-98400-0
- Nightmare: Birth of Victorian Horror (TV series) Jekyll and Hyde (1996)
- Sanford, John A. Evil The Shadow Side of Reality. Crossroad (1981)
- "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: An Introductory Essay." Signet Classic, 2003
- The Beast Within The Guardian, 13-Dec-2008
- Robert Louis Stevenson and His World, David Daiches, 1973
- "Edinburgh: Where Jekyll parties with Hyde". The Daily Telegraph (London). 1998-07-25. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- Derivative works of Robert Louis Stevenson
Further reading 
- Borinskikh L. I. (1990c). ‘The method to reveal a character in the works of R.L.Stevenson [The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde]’/. In *** (ed.) The Problem of character in literature. Tchelyabinsk: Tchelyabinsk State University. Pp. 31–32. [in Russian, German and Hindi].
- Richard Dury, ed. (2005). The Annotated Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. ISBN 88-7544-030-1, over 80 pages of introduction material, extensive annotation notes, 40 pages of derivative works and extensive bibliography.
- Paul M. Gahlinger, M.D., Ph.D. (2001). Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse. Sagebrush Medical Guide. Pg 41. ISBN 0-9703130-1-2.
- Kathrine Linehan, ed. (2003). Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Norton Critical Edition, contains extensive annotations, contextual essays and criticisms. ISBN 0-393-97465-0
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
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- Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Internet Archive. Many antiquarian illustrated editions.
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at Project Gutenberg ver.1
- Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at LibriVox (audiobooks)
- "The Beast Within", Freudian fable, sexual morality tale, gay allegory — the novella has inspired as many interpretations as it has film adaptations. By James Campbell, The Guardian, December 13, 2008
- Warlock was Dr Jekyll prototype BBC News
- 1950 Theatre Guild on the Air radio adaptation at Internet Archive