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Summary (Jekyll and Hyde)
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This section provides chapter summaries of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Chapter 1 -Story of the Door

Mr Utterson and his cousin Mr Enfield are out for a walk when they pass a strange-looking door. Enfield recalls a story involving the door. In the early hours of one winter morning, he says, he saw a man trampling on a young girl. He chased the man and brought him back to the scene of the crime. A crowd gathered and, to avoid a scene, the man offered to pay the girl compensation. This was accepted, and he opened the door with a key and re-emerged with a large cheque. Utterson is very interested in the case and asks whether Enfield is certain Hyde used a key to open the door. Enfield is sure he did.

Chapter 2 -Search for Mr Hyde

That evening the lawyer, Utterson, is troubled by what he has heard. He takes the will of his friend Dr Jekyll from his safe. It contains a worrying instruction: in the event of Dr Jekyll's disappearance, all his possessions are to go to a Mr Hyde. Utterson decides to visit Dr Lanyon, an old friend of his and Dr Jekyll's. Lanyon has never heard of Hyde, and not seen Jekyll for ten years. That night Utterson has terrible nightmares. He starts watching the door (which belongs to Dr Jekyll's old laboratory) at all hours, and eventually sees Hyde unlocking it. Utterson is shocked by the sense of evil coming from him. Utterson goes next door to warn his friend, Jekyll, against Hyde, but is told by the servant, Poole, that Jekyll is out and the servants have all been instructed by Jekyll to obey Hyde. Utterson is worried that Hyde may kill Jekyll to benefit from the will.

Chapter 3 -Dr Jekyll WasQuite at Ease

Two weeks later, following a dinner party with friends at Jekyll's house, Utterson stays behind to talk to him about the will. Jekyll laughs off Utterson's worries, comparing them to Lanyon's conventional and unadventurous attitude to medical science. The reader now sees why Lanyon and Jekyll have fallen out, and starts to understand that Jekyll's behaviour has become unusual. Utterson persists with the subject of the will. Jekyll hints at a strange relationship between himself and Hyde. Although he trusts Utterson, Jekyll refuses to reveal the details. He asks him, as his lawyer not his friend, to make sure the will is carried out. He reassures him that 'the moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr Hyde'.

Chapter 4 -The Carew Murder Case

Nearly a year later, an elderly gentleman is brutally clubbed to death in the street by Hyde. The murder is witnessed by a maid who recognises Hyde. Utterson recognises the murder weapon as the broken half of a walking cane he gave to Jekyll years earlier. When he hears that the murderer is Hyde, he offers to lead the police to his house. They are told that Hyde has not been at home for two months. But when they search the house they find the other half of the murder weapon and signs of a hasty exit.

Chapter 5 -Incident of the Letter

Utterson goes to Jekyll's house and finds him 'looking deadly sick'. He asks whether he is hiding Hyde. Jekyll assures him he will never see or hear of Hyde again. He shows Utterson a letter from Hyde that indicates this. Utterson asks Guest, his head clerk, to compare the handwriting on the letter to that on an invitation from Jekyll. There is a resemblance between the two, though with a different slope. Utterson believes Jekyll has forged the letter in Hyde's handwriting to cover his escape.

Chapter 6 -Remarkable Incident of Dr Lanyon

The police cannot find Hyde. Coincidentally, Jekyll seems happier and, for two months, he socialises again. Suddenly, however, he appears depressed and will not see Utterson. Utterson visits Dr Lanyon to discuss their friend's health, but finds Lanyon on his death-bed. Lanyon refuses to discuss Jekyll who, he hints, is the cause of his illness. Trying to find out what has happened, Utterson writes to Jekyll. He receives a reply which suggests Jekyll has fallen into a very disturbed state and talks of being 'under a dark influence'. Lanyon dies and leaves a letter for Utterson in an envelope marked 'not to be opened till the death or disappearance of Dr Henry Jekyll'. Utterson, being a good lawyer, locks it away unopened in his safe. Utterson tries to revisit Jekyll several times, but his servant, Poole, says he is living in isolation and will not see anyone.

Chapter 7 -Incident at the Window

Utterson and Enfield are taking one of their walks, as at the opening of the book. They pass Jekyll's window and see him looking like a prisoner in solitary confinement. Utterson calls out to him and Jekyll replies, but his face suddenly freezes in an expression of 'abject terror and despair'. The change in Jekyll's expression is so sudden and horrible it 'froze the very blood of the two gentlemen below', and they depart in silence.

Chapter 8 -The Last Night

One evening, Jekyll's servant comes to Utterson and asks him to come to Jekyll's house. They go to the laboratory, but the door is locked. The voice from inside does not sound like Jekyll's and both men believe it is Hyde. Poole says the voice has for days been crying out for a particular chemical to be brought, but the chemicals given have been rejected as 'not pure'. Poole says that earlier he caught a glimpse of a person in the lab who looked scarcely human. They break down the door and inside find a body, twitching. In its hand are the remains of a test tube (or vial). The body is smaller than Jekyll's but wearing clothes that would fit him. On the table is a will dated that day which leaves everything to Utterson, with Hyde's name crossed out. There is also a package containing Jekyll's 'confession' and a letter asking Utterson to read Dr Lanyon's letter which he left after his death and is now in Utterson's safe. Utterson tells Poole he will return before midnight, when he has read all the documents.

Chapter 9 -Dr Lanyon's Narrative

Chapter 9 lists the contents of Dr Lanyon's letter. It tells of how Lanyon received a letter from Jekyll asking him to collect a drawer containing chemicals, a vial and a notebook from Jekyll's laboratory and to give it to a man who would call at midnight. Lanyon says he was curious, especially as the book contained some strange entries. At midnight a man appears. He is small and grotesque, wearing clothes that are too large for him. The man offers to take the chemicals away, or to drink the potion. Lanyon accepts and, before his very eyes, Hyde transforms into none other than Dr Jekyll. In horror at what he has witnessed, Lanyon becomes seriously ill.

Chapter 10 -Henry Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case

Dr Jekyll tells the story of how he turned into Hyde. It began as scientific curiosity in the duality of human nature (the good and evil sides), and his attempt to destroy the 'darker self'. Eventually, however, he became addicted to the character of Hyde, who increasingly took over and destroyed him.

 

 

 

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