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Mr Proffitt's Jekyll and Hyde Quotations
Key Quotations from R.L. Stevenson's fin-de-sciecle gothic novella 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'. For Higher or Intermediate 2 Critical Essay exam revision.
Terms in this set (34)
"I incline to Cain's heresy," he used to say, quaintly; "I let my brother go to the devil in his own way."
>Utterson. Passive observer of sinners.
>Perfect objective narrator.
>Reference to Cain and Abel - biblical brothers. (Cain murdered Abel) - foreshadows Jekyll's fate. Jekyll will create his own 'evil' brother whom he will ironically have to kill in order to protect others.
a sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street. It was two stories high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower story ... and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and sordid neglect.
> Building is symbolic (other side of Jekyll's house)
> Ugly like Hyde / sticks out from rest of London, like Hyde
> Lack of windows - secrecy/sinister
> "sordid" suggests evil exists within
> Connects to urban gothic theme - evil lurks in cities
I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with the desire to kill him.
> Hyde elicits murderous reaction from others.
> They sense his evil nature.
> He draws out the evil in others (links to wider theme of duality in all humans)
> Doctor perhaps senses Hyde is a scientific/medical aberration / unnatural.
killing being out of the question, we did the next best. We told the man we could and would make such a scandal out of this, as should make his name stink from one end of London to the other.
> Witnesses blackmail Hyde (his evil nature is transferred onto / reflected by them?)
> Importance of reputation and respectability in Victorian society - ruining it is akin to murder.
we were keeping the women off him as best we could, for they were as wild as harpies.
> Harpy = monster with head of woman, bird's body/claws. Grasping and vicious.
> Hyde's presence elicits the evil in people around him.
> Links to themes of human duality/evil in all.
I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarcely know why [...] ; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point.
> Hyde gives impression of physical abnormality/repulsiveness, but hasn't a visible defect.
> The impression is caused by his evil soul.
He began to go wrong, wrong in mind [...] Such unscientific balderdash would have estranged Damon and Pythias.
> Lanyon opposes Jekyll's scientific experiments on moral grounds. (Lanyon=rational, traditional materialist /Jekyll = experimental, fringe scientist)
> "wrong in mind" - unwitting allusion to Jekyll's mind creating Hyde. Ironic.
> "Damon & Pythias" - best friends in mythology. One offered to sacrifice his life for the other. Symbols of closest friendship.
> Lanyon doesn't realise Jekyll's experiments have done more than split the doctors' friendship apart - they have literally riven Jekyll apart!
the man seems hardly human! Something troglodytic
> Troglodyte = cave-dweller, prehistoric, unrefined, uncivilised person.
> Theme of evolution / we have evolved rules, society, culture, laws, but still retain our savage baser instincts (Hyde represents these) which could be unleashed if not controlled.
Or is it the mere radiance of a foul soul that thus transpires through, and transfigures, its clay continent?
> It is evil that makes Hyde appear ugly, and repulses people.
> His evil soul is so strong it physically affects his appearance.
the ghost of some old sin, the cancer of some concealed disgrace: punishment coming years after memory has forgotten [...] And the lawyer, scared by the thought, brooded awhile on his own past.
> Utterson worried Jekyll being blackmailed for past vices. Scares himself about prior sins.
> Emphasises importance of reputation and fragility of respectability in Victorian London.
> Mirrors the idea of our prehistoric savage impulses (the past) destroying our civilised society (in the present)
that hide-bound pedant, Lanyon [was distressed] at what he called my scientific heresies.
> "hide-bound" = trapped by own traditions/unwilling,unable to change.
> Ironic as Jekyll becomes "bound" by Hyde?
> or, Jekyll is scientifically experimental: he has untied himself from being "hide-bound" (Hyde-bound)?
> "Heresies" = belief contrary to what's generally accepted, esp. religious orthodoxy. Significant as Lanyon sees Jekyll as "playing God".
the moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde
> proves not to be true
> theme of addiction
> idea that our evil sides are an inseparable part of being human. Jekyll fails to separate from Hyde entirely because no human can escape their innate vices/sin (original sin)
with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered.
> animalistic attack - inhumane, savage
> description gory and emphasises cruelty/violence
> "ape" connotations of Darwinian evolution - Hyde is enacting savage prehistoric impulses we all possess?
> "trampling" recalls little girl, but this attack has escalated - much worse - Hyde getting out of control.
its muddy ways and slatternly passengers ... this mournful reinvasion of darkness, seemed in the lawyer's eyes, like a district of some city in a nightmare.
> Soho ( location of Hyde's flat) an area of depravity. London a city of two sides (like dual human nature)
> connects with wider symbolism of the city: sinister areas exist within the larger respectable city (just like evil exists behind veneer of respectability in humans)
> "slattern" = dirty/messy person or slut/prostitute
She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy, but her manners were excellent.
> Hyde's landlady (reflecting Hyde's evil?)
> Links to importance of appearance. Her hypocrisy is acceptable as long as it conceals sins.
> "manners" take priority of genuine character.
> She is the inverse of Hyde.
like some disconsolate prisoner, Utterson saw Dr. Jekyll.
> Jekyll trapped in lab for fear of changing into Hyde in public.
> Ironic that, by freeing/separating himself from Hyde, Jekyll has actually become trapped by him. Links to idea that we can never truly separate our darker sides.
a simple crystalline salt of a white colour [...] half-full of a blood-red liquor.
> The two ingredients of Jekyll's potion.
> Symbolic of duality of Jekyll/Hyde (and human nature)
> White connotes purity/good/innocence.
> Red connotes blood/danger/anger/passion.
the theater, once crowded with eager students, and now lying gaunt and silent
> Jekyll's operating/medical lecture theatre
> links his rejection of traditional medical practices
> Fin-de-Sciecle doubt over traditional science's potential/value/future (death of traditional Victorian scientific endeavour?)
the two hands are in many points identical: only differently sloped.
> the handwriting of Jekyll and Hyde
> Symbolic - the same, just two different angles
> Good and Evil both human, just different angles of our nature
I have since had reason to believe the cause to lie much deeper in the nature of man, and to turn on some nobler hinge than the principle of hatred.
> Lanyon realises the cause of Hyde's repulsiveness is rooted in the very fabric of his soul
> Lanyon (a rational materialist) finally accepts something exists beyond the physical - the possibility of the supernatural or spiritual?
your sight shall be blasted by a prodigy to stagger the unbelief of Satan.
> Hyde claims seeing the transformation will dramatically alter ("stagger") Lanyon's perspective on the world. (It does - it kills him!)
> "prodigy" - an amazing thing, one-of-its-kind
> Compares effect on Lanyon to a religious experience - will make him reconsider the existence of the devil.
> Reflects fin-de-sciecle religious beliefs, shaken by scientists "playing God", and theories (like Evolution) challenging accepted view of the world/God.
bound to the most narrow and material views, you who have denied the virtue of transcendental medicine - Behold!
> Hyde directly challenges Lanyon's rational, materialist approach.
> "virtue of transcendental medicine" - the value/power of supernatural/metaphysical experiments.
> "Behold!" Hyde takes pride in taking revenge on Lanyon.
I was in no sense a hypocrite; both sides of me were in dead earnest
> Jekyll says neither version of himself was "more him" than the other - both were the same, regardless of whether he did good or evil.
> Theme of innate duality of human nature / impossibilty of perfection
I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truely one, but truly two.
> Jekyll sums up his discovery - human nature is composed of good and evil.
> His words reflect the novella itself - building up towards the reader's "discovery" that Jekyll is also Hyde.
> "dreadful shipwreck" - metaphor - discovery ruined Jekyll because it was "partial": he didn't learn how to keep the two sides separate.
If each, I told myself, could but be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable.
> Jekyll's intention was virtuous.
> If people could separate good and evil sides, good side could live without temptation of sin, evil side could live sinfully without shame or guilt.
> Novella suggests that neither is possible in reality.
It was the curse of mankind that these incongruous fagots were thus bound together, that in the agonized womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously struggling.
> Sums up Jekyll's view of human nature
> Born into a constant battle between good and evil.
> "agonized womb of consciousness": in the mind, where thoughts are born, good and evil are "twins" constantly fighting against each other to be 'born' (ie turned into actions).
none could come near to me at first without a visible misgiving of the flesh. This, as I take it, was because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil; and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.
> Jekyll explains why people were repulsed by Hyde.
> Suggests all people have some good in the, because Hyde "alone in the ranks of mankind" is the only man made of pure evil.
The drug had no discriminating action; it was neither diabolical nor divine.
> The potion simply amplified what existed already in Jekyll.
> When he took the potion he was having dark thoughts, thus Hyde was created evil.
> He thinks if he'd been thinking kind thoughts at the time, he might have created a pure, good creature instead.
I fell into slavery. I had but to drink the cup to doff at once the body of the noted professor, and to assume, like a thick cloak, that of Edward Hyde.
> Slavery metaphor links to addiction. Vice/sin is addictive.
> Metaphor of "doffing" (taking off) body of Jekyll and "assuming" (putting on) Hyde "like a think cloak".
> Being Hyde allowed Jekyll to 'hide' from society's expectations and rules and behave how he liked.
> It was liberating. (like drug taking)
I was the first that could thus plod in the public eye with a load of genial respectability, and in a moment, like a schoolboy, strip off these lendings and spring headlong into the sea of liberty. But for me, in my impenetrable mantle, the safety was complete.
> Extends metaphor of Hyde as a "cloak" that Jekyll hid underneath.
> "mantle" = cloak or shawl / crust / shell
> "Sea of liberty" - eventually drowns Jekyll(?!)
My devil had been long caged, he came out roaring.
> After trying to avoid the potion for a long time, Jekyll's next transformation was even more evil.
> Links to idea that we can never be wholly evil or, in this case, good. Repressing our natural vices and desires only serves to amplify them.
> Personification of desires/Hyde as "My devil" - connects to religious themes (criticism of abstinence/repression?)
> "roaring" - animalistic connotations. Hyde represents savage, primitive desires.
And yet I was not alarmed; the fall seemed natural, like a return to the old days before I had made my discovery.
> Knowing he was doomed, Jekyll is strangely accepting/calm.
> "the fall" - literally falling back into evil/Hyde
> "The Fall" - used to refer to Adam and Eve's 'fall' from God's grace after sinning in the Garden of Eden.
it was in my own person that I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience; and it was as an ordinary secret sinner that I at last fell before the assaults of temptation.
> Jekyll actually abstained from becoming Hyde for several months. It is when he finally allowed his 'Jekyll mind' to wander to selfish thoughts that he (uncontrollably) transforms into Hyde and his decline begins.
> He accepts he is the victim of an evil that existed in himself all along.
It was a fine, clear, January day, wet under foot where the frost had melted, but cloudless overhead; and the Regent's Park was full of winter chirrupings and sweet with spring odours.
> Ironically, the uncontrollable transformation happened in an open, beautiful setting. Contrasting with the dark, foggy, sinister laboratory and streets previously.
> January - Janus - Two faced God, looking back to old year, forward to new year.
> Spring - time of re-birth. Jekyll is 'reborn' as Hyde.
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Ch 4-7 Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Annotations (The Care…
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - CHAPTER 8 (The last night)
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