Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Poole Character Analysis

is the loyal servant of Dr. Jekyll, who greets visitors at the house and eventually is instrumental in the discovery and confession of his master. His near constant presence and yet his fear and ignorance of what is actually going on show the extent to which Jekyll has concealed his true self and lived a life of secrecy, even in his own home.

Poole Quotes in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quotes below are all either spoken by Poole or refer to Poole. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Signet Classics edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde published in 2012.
Chapter 8 Quotes

The hall, when they entered it, was brightly lighted up; the fire was built high; and about the hearth the whole of the servants, men and women, stood huddled together like a flock of sheep.

Related Characters: Mr. Gabriel Utterson, Poole
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Mr. UItterson is summoned to Dr. Jekyll's laboratory immediately. There, Utterson is shocked to see Jekyll locked in his room, with the servants of his household gathered around the bright, warm fire.

Stevenson chooses his words very carefully. Notice that the servants are described as being a "flock of sheep," reinforcing their innocent, blissfully ignorant nature. The servants are huddled around a warm, bright fire, a symbol of goodness and virtue (but also a Promethean symbol of the runaway scientific knowledge that has brought Jekyll to his current lowly position!). In contrast, Jekyll is portrayed as being isolated from the rest of society, a slave to his own dark desires. Jekyll has stumbled upon a discovery so horrifying that he can scarcely control it: all human beings have a secret evil side which, once directly outed, can never be fully controlled again. As Stevenson writes, the servants remain blissfully unaware of their own secret potential for evil.

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"O, sir," cried Poole, "do you think I do not know my master after twenty years? Do you think I do not know where his head comes to in the cabinet door, where I saw him every morning of my life? No, sir, that thing in the mask was never Dr. Jekyll--God knows what it was, but it was never Dr. Jekyll; and it is the belief of my heart that there was murder done."

Related Characters: Poole (speaker), Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

Poole, Dr. Jekyll's old, faithful servant, insists that the figure locked in Dr. Jekyll's study isn't actually Dr. Jekyll at all. Poole has known Jekyll for 20 years, and can clearly tell that the Jekyll he knows is no longer present in the house. Poole's solution to the mystery of Jekyll's disappearance is that someone has murdered Jekyll and taken his place. But as we'll soon discover, the truth is far more disturbing. In reality, Jekyll's own hidden nature has consumed him: he has meddled with science and been punished for his experimentation with an awful curse. Mr. Hyde has finally triumphed over Jekyll: in other words, the evil side of Jekyll's soul has dominated the good.

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Poole Character Timeline in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The timeline below shows where the character Poole appears in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
...to visit his friend Dr. Lanyon, whose house is always crowded with eager patients. The butler brings Mr. Utterson straight to the doctor, who is sitting, ruddy and energetic, in his... (full context)
Chapter 5
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
On the way out, Utterson asks Poole, Dr. Jekyll’s servant, to describe the sender of the letter, since Dr. Jekyll said it... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
...The house itself fills him with a kind of dread. He talks to the servant, Poole, instead. Poole keeps Utterson up to date with his master’s condition, but Dr. Jekyll is... (full context)
Chapter 8
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
One evening, Utterson receives a surprise visit from Poole. Seeing that the servant looks ill, Utterson asks what the matter is, and Poole confesses... (full context)
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Utterson kindly pushes Poole for an answer and Poole replies that he believes some kind of “foul play” is... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Utterson follows Poole through the moonlit, windy nighttime air to the square. The moon, the wind and the... (full context)
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...their old acquaintance. Utterson is shocked to find them all away from their posts, but Poole explains that they are all afraid. The maid starts to cry, causing the servants to... (full context)
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Poole leads Utterson with a candle to the garden, in between the main building and Jekyll’s... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Utterson notices that Jekyll’s voice is changed, and Poole comments that it is not merely changed but a different person altogether. He believes that... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Poole has been supplying him with ingredients from the pharmacy but each time, he has been... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Utterson sees that the handwriting is identical to Dr. Jekyll’s, and Poole says they need not even look at that evidence—he says he has seen the murderer... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Utterson speaks with hope, but Poole is certain – even in their brief encounter, he saw that this person was of... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
Utterson makes clear to Poole that they are about to put themselves in grave danger. Because of this, Utterson wants... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...of Jekyll's, and asks him to stand on guard outside the lab, while he and Poole attempt an ambush. They wait, listening to the nearby footfalls of their suspect. Poole says... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...to. The changed voice pleads mercy. Utterson hears that the voice is Hyde's and orders Poole to break down the door. Poole strikes with his axe. It takes him five hefty... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...now go looking for Jekyll’s body. They search the entire laboratory building, but find nothing. Poole thinks that Jekyll’s body must instead be buried somewhere. Utterson entertains the idea that Jekyll... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Innocence and Violence Theme Icon
As they continue to search for Jekyll, they find leftover substances from unfinished experiments, which Poole recognizes as the same chemical substance that he was made to order from the chemist’s.... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...now doubts that Hyde committed suicide, and thinks instead that Jekyll must have killed him. Poole asks Utterson why he hesitates in reading the document, and Utterson says he is scared... (full context)
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...Jekyll's own confession. Utterson finds the confession among the papers in Jekyll's letter, and instructs Poole not to tell anyone about any of this. He decides to go home to read... (full context)
Chapter 9
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...Lanyon to postpone all other engagements and to take a carriage directly to his house. Poole has instructions and will be waiting with a locksmith. Jekyll then orders Lanyon to break... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...is determined to follow his instructions. He goes directly to Jekyll’s place, where he finds Poole and they go, with two tradesman, into the old operating theatre to the door of... (full context)
Chapter 10
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...gone on for years but he found himself running out of necessary chemicals. He sent Poole out for more but nothing worked. Now, he is using up the last of the... (full context)