Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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The Appearance of Evil Symbol Analysis

The Appearance of Evil Symbol Icon
When Mr. Hyde is first described, he is associated with a strange, unnerving sensation, a sensation of evil. Mr. Enfield describes it as a “deformity”, but it is not a physical condition – it is something more ethereal and unexplained. This, from the outset, is what marks Hyde as a different kind of being from the other characters, whose professionalism and reserve keep them on the right side of the law. Not only is Hyde again and again associated with this intangible deformity, but it seems also to affect those around him, who feel a kind of instinctive and powerful hatred for Hyde that is beyond their normal limits. For instance, Hyde's housekeeper, an old woman, wears an expression of “odious joy” when she thinks Hyde might be in trouble. Hyde's evil seems to bring out the dark side of others, suggesting the reality of the duality that Jekyll has been trying to prove, that there is evil and good, odious and joyous, in everything.

The Appearance of Evil Quotes in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Appearance of Evil. 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 1 Quotes

"He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something down-right detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point.”

Related Characters: Mr. Enfield (speaker), Mr. Hyde
Related Symbols: The Appearance of Evil
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:

Mr. Enfield describes the appearance of Mr. Hyde to his friend Mr. Utterson. Enfield notes that Hyde seems hideously ugly, though Enfield can't exactly explain why. Because Mr. Hyde is the embodiment of evil, Mr. Enfield's reaction to Hyde's appearance reflects his attitude toward the abstract concept of evil. Because Enfield is a good, moral man, he naturally rejects Hyde, and just as Enfield finds Hyde ugly without being to specify what, exactly, is ugly about him, Enfield instinctively rejects evil without fully understanding it.

Enfield's observation that Hyde seems "deformed somehow" suggests that evil is a twisted, misshapen version of good. Hyde's deformed appearance could also reflect the fact that at this early stage in the novel, Jekyll's good side is stronger than his bad side--Jekyll (good) is strong, and Hyde (evil) is weak.


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Chapter 3 Quotes

The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very lips, and there came a blackness about his eyes. "I do not care to hear more," said he. "This is a matter I thought we had agreed to drop."

Related Characters: Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Gabriel Utterson
Related Symbols: The Appearance of Evil
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

In this chapter, Mr. Utterson brings up Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jekyll. Instead of talking about the matter, Jekyll replies that he refuses to discuss Hyde in any capacity. Utterson is surprised by Jekyll's reaction, since Utterson is one of Jekyll's oldest friends.

Jekyll's behavior--i.e., his refusal to discuss his secrets--is indicative of the repressive, stuffy atmosphere of Jekyll's society: Victorian society in general, but particular his circle of bachelor friends and acquaintances. Like his friends, Jekyll refuses to disclose his sins, or even to allude to them. And yet even here, when Jekyll hasn't ingested any of the potion that transforms him into Hyde, Utterson can see some "blackness" in Jekyll. It's as if Jekyll's secret, sinful nature is struggling desperately to get out, affecting even his physical appearance.

Chapter 4 Quotes

An ivory-faced and silvery-haired old woman opened the door. She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy: but her manners were excellent.

Related Symbols: The Appearance of Evil
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the police investigate Hyde's living quarters. An old woman with an evil, "hypocritical" face, lets the police into the room. The woman's face symbolizes some of Stevenson's ideas about the relationship between good and evil. All human beings have a secret desire to do evil, but most people learn how to control or at least conceal such a desire.

The old woman is a great example of a character who plainly desires to do evil, yet she is also an excellent example of the way society prevents people from giving in to their sinful desires. Good manners, it's suggested, help the old woman control her sinfulness--in other words, even though she's thinking nasty thoughts, she's able to conceal her thoughts beneath the facade of politeness. In a way, the old woman--and not Mr. Hyde--represents the real horror of Stevenson's novel. At least Mr. Hyde is clearly evil--someone like the old woman, who conceals her evil behind the appearance of goodness, can be far more dangerous in the long run.

Chapter 5 Quotes

The fire burned in the grate; a lamp was set lighted on the chimney shelf, for even in the houses the fog began to lie thickly; and there, close up to the warmth, sat Dr. Jekyll, looking deathly sick. He did not rise to meet his
visitor, but held out a cold hand and bade him welcome in a changed voice.

Related Characters: Dr. Jekyll
Related Symbols: Mist and Moonlight, The Appearance of Evil
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene Mr. Utterson reunites with Dr. Jekyll after a long time. As is often the case when Stevenson sets the scene for something ominous or sinister, fog and mist are all around (even in the house!), obscuring what might otherwise be clear. Utterson immediately notices that Jekyll seems physically weak--his voice is different, and his hands are cold. Although Utterson doesn't know it yet, Dr. Jekyll has become physically weak because he's been spending more and more time as Mr. Hyde. One's good and evil side grow stronger with regular "exercise"--so because Jekyll has been neglecting his good, conscious side in favor of his evil, unconscious side, Mr. Hyde has grown stronger and Dr. Jekyll himself has shriveled up. Jekyll's changed voice also alludes to Jekyll's experiences in Mr. Hyde's shoes. Jekyll might still be a good man, but he still remembers what he did during his time as Hyde. As a result, Jekyll has come to hate himself.

Chapter 10 Quotes

I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and hairy. I was once more Edward Hyde.

Related Characters: Dr. Jekyll (speaker), Mr. Hyde
Related Symbols: The Appearance of Evil, Letters and Documents
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Dr, Jekyll is sitting on a park bench in public. Suddenly, he finds himself transforming into Mr. Hyde, despite the fact that he hasn't drunk any of the potion that's supposed to enable such a transformation. Thus far, Jekyll has believed that he can control his dual nature: he can be Hyde one day and Jekyll the next. Now, Jekyll begins to realize that he can't control his spirit at all: once Hyde has been released, there's no controlling him.

Stevenson's description of Hyde's sudden, unexpected appearance parallels some of Sigmund Freud's ideas about the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind. Mr. Hyde's unexpected appearances evoke the way the human unconscious can "jump out" at any time, no matter how rigorously one tries to control it. At the same time, Stevenson makes this duality physical in a horrifying way, again portraying Hyde as evil even down to his appearance--he is "shrunken," "corded," and "hairy," unlike the presumably healthy and wholesome Jekyll.

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The Appearance of Evil Symbol Timeline in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Appearance of Evil 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
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Innocence and Violence Theme Icon
...through the dark street and ponder the inexplicable grotesqueness of the man. There is something deformed, even monstrous, about Hyde, but Utterson cannot place what detail gives him that impression. (full context)
Chapter 4
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
The policeman requests to search Hyde’s rooms. The old lady’s face is filled with “odious joy” as she expresses her interest that Hyde is in trouble. She lets the men in... (full context)
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...identify him. The descriptions they gather of Hyde only have one sure detail, his unexplained deformed appearance. (full context)
Chapter 9
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
...a visitor at midnight, and meets him on the porch. The visitor is a small, evil-looking man, who slinks into the house with suspicious glances to the street, and hurries at... (full context)