Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield are on another of their Sunday walks and again pass by the Jekyll’s dissecting rooms. They stop and look. Enfield expresses his relief that they will not hear from Hyde again. Utterson is less sure. He tells Enfield that he too saw Hyde only once and had the same feeling of repulsion. Enfield isn’t surprised; he thinks that it would be impossible to look on Mr. Hyde and not feel that strange repulsion. Utterson suggests that they go through into the courtyard, thinking it would please Jekyll to see old friends, even from outside his lab window. The court is dank and through one of the barred windows, they spot Dr. Jekyll, sitting like a forlorn prisoner.
The story comes back to its initial scene, and this time the absence of Hyde only increases the sense of danger about this house, like a calm before a storm. Now that the street and the house have been tarnished with the story of Hyde’s violence, there is no going back to the innocence of Utterson and Enfield’s first Sunday walk. The mention of Hyde’s “deformity” reminds us of his unexplained, unnatural characteristics and teaches us to expect the unexpected.
Themes
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
Dr. Jekyll sees them, and tells Utterson that he is very low. Utterson blames Jekyll's condition on staying indoors and invites his friend to join him and Enfield on their walk, but Jekyll says it would be impossible, even though he would like very much to join them. He apologizes for not asking them in – the room is in no fit state, he says. So Utterson suggests kindly that they talk through the window instead, and this idea pleases Jekyll.
Jekyll is stuck inside his lab. He has become a physical prisoner as well as a prisoner to his own internal duality. This room is symbolic of the way he has locked away his personality and kept his friends at arm’s length.
Themes
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Innocence and Violence Theme Icon
But no sooner have they settled on this plan than Dr. Jekyll is possessed by a strange expression of terror, suddenly rushes off, and does not return. Utterson and Mr. Enfield are shaken They leave Jekyll’s courtyard and walk silently. Finally all Utterson can manage is a stunned “God forgive us”.
Now we are getting closer to Jekyll’s true demon. Jekyll’s strange turn shows that the force controlling him is close enough to make his mood transform in a second, without any visible, external threat – it shows that the threat could even be something internal.
Themes
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon