The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Contains: Dr. Jekyll Was Quite At Ease (Or In Which Jekyll Buys Insurance)
and The Carew Murder Case (Or Why Hyde Would Make a Terrifying Old Man)
We get our first look at Jekyll this chapter at a party he’s holding for a few close friends, and of course, Utterson is invited. Aside from telling us that this means he is at least 100 times more sociable than Hyde, we also find out what Jekyll looks like. Apparently, he is a “large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty with something of a slyish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity and kindness” which makes him the Anti-Hyde in pretty much everything. It’s also noteworthy to know that there is no kind of “deformity” present in Jekyll’s face (although, to be fair, people tend to find you more attractive when they don’t catch you stomping on children).
Anyway, Utterson is here to find out more the will you know, the oh-so-mysterious one that gives Hyde control over everything. Jekyll sort of dances around the topic until Utterson brings up Hyde. Then, he “grew pale to the very lips, and there came a blackness about his eyes” Utterson tries to get him to come clean with the promise that, whatever trouble he’s in, Utterson could get him out of it. It’s very sweet, a promise he would probably completely regret if the next chapter title is any indication, but very sweet.
Jekyll refuses, saying that, while he is glad for the offer, it “is not as bad as that” and “the moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde”, which I get is supposed to be reassuring, but just makes him sound like an addict. Yes, he can quit when he wants, he just doesn’t want to, God.
But, while Jekyll refuses help for his problem, he does ask Utterson to help Hyde “get his rights” if anything ever happens to him. Reluctantly, Utterson agrees.
“I can’t pretend I shall ever like him,” said the lawyer.
“I don’t ask that,” pleaded Jekyll laying his hand upon the other’s arm; “I only ask for justice ; I only ask you to help him for my sake, when I am no longer here.”
Utterson heaved an irrepressible sigh. “Well,” said he, “I promise.”
The chapter comes to a close and we transition to the next chapter, The Carew Murder Case
I’d say more, but we all know where this chapter is headed
It takes place nearly a year, at midnight on October 18th, through the perspective of a random maid. There’s no picture, so let’s just assume she looks like this
The maid is sitting at a window when she notices “an aged beautiful gentleman white hair, drawing near the lane: and advancing to meet him, another and very small gentleman”
Anyway, ABG (aged beautiful gentleman) is just minding his own business when he makes the absolutely fatal mistake of asking Hyde for directions. Enraged by this terrible offense, Hyde brings out his pimp cane and beats the man to death.
Of course, this being a Victorian novel, the maid faints
Sexy Maid comes to around two in the morning, where she promptly calls the police. The body is still laying in the street, and so is, curiously enough, half of the murder weapon. You really think that Hyde would’ve taken care of that in the two or so hours he had to escape. But whatever, Hyde is not particularly known for thinking things through.
Oh! There’s something else important about ABG, he was carrying a letter addressed to Utterson! I not sure why Hyde felt the need to beat him to death for that, considering he just gave Utterson his address two chapters ago, you’d think that he could somewhat tolerate him. But perhaps Jekyll had finally taken up Utterson on that offer for help, or perhaps Hyde has a deep and uncontrollable hatred for envelopes, the world may never know.
Moving on, Utterson recognizes the man as Sir Danvers Carew, a man who we will probably never hear about again. He also recognizes the cane as Jekyll’s, because he was the one that gave it to him a year ago. Utterson puts two and two together and guesses that it’s Hyde and he, along with the police, visit Hyde’s address in Soho.
At Hyde’s house, an “ivory-faced and silvery-haired old woman opened the door. She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy:but her manners were excellent.”
By this definition, would an acne-ridden teenager be the messenger of truth? And does the but imply that she’s okay because she has manners, or that evil people don’t have manners?
Anyway, Utterson tells her their purpose and “a flash of odious joy appears on the woman’s face.” which leads them to conclude that Hyde is not a popular man even around Soho. No kidding.
In Hyde’s apartment, they find a partially burned checkbook and half of a cane, essentially proving that Hyde did it. Hyde, however, is nowhere to be found. Since Hyde has the disguise skills of Clark Kent, and also has no family and has never been photographed, he gets away this chapter unscathed.
Also, I’m sorry for the very long wait. I just off vacation and got immediately sick afterwards so this took me some time. As usual, be sure to read, like, or review, because every one I get is much appreciated.