Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Letters and Documents Symbol Analysis

Letters and Documents Symbol Icon
There are many complicated, convoluted interactions between the characters in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Confessions, transferals of responsibility, and even the narrative itself are all forms of documentation that create the suspense and mystery of the book. The characters are often sworn to secrecy or are repressing their own disgust or disbelief and therefore tend to put their feelings in writing rather than speaking or revealing details to each other. This creates a web of secret documents that weaves its way between scenes and between characters. The story begins with the lawyer Utterson’s fear of the new will of Dr. Jekyll – this document holds power over him and over Jekyll – and the final three documents that Utterson finds left to him from Dr. Jekyll make clear everything that the will obscured. In this way, Stevenson frames the whole novel with items of documentation, and plays with the line between myth and truth.

Letters and Documents Quotes in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quotes below all refer to the symbol of Letters and Documents. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet Classics edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde published in 2012.
Chapter 9 Quotes

“Think of me at this hour, in a strange place, labouring under a blackness of distress that no fancy can exaggerate, and yet well aware that, if you will but punctually serve me, my troubles will roll away like a story that is told. Serve me, my dear Lanyon and save

Your friend, H.J.”

Related Characters: Dr. Jekyll (speaker)
Related Symbols: Letters and Documents
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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"Lanyon, you remember your vows: what follows is under the seal of our profession. And now, you who have so long been bound to the most narrow and material views, you who have denied the virtue of transcendental medicine, you who have derided your superiors--behold!"

Related Characters: Dr. Jekyll (speaker)
Related Symbols: Letters and Documents
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

What he told me in the next hour, I cannot bring my mind to
set on paper. I saw what I saw, I heard what I heard, and my soul
sickened at it; and yet now when that sight has faded from my
eyes, I ask myself if I believe it, and I cannot answer.

Related Characters: Dr. Hastie Lanyon (speaker), Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde
Related Symbols: Letters and Documents
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in cu

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 10 Quotes

With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the
intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.

Related Characters: Dr. Jekyll (speaker)
Related Symbols: Letters and Documents
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id

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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I am careless; this is my true hour of death, and what is to follow concerns another than myself. Here then, as I lay down the pen and proceed to seal up my confession, I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end.

Related Characters: Dr. Jekyll (speaker)
Related Symbols: Letters and Documents
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

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Letters and Documents Symbol Timeline in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The timeline below shows where the symbol Letters and Documents appears in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
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
...in the lane along with half of the cane, a purse of money, and a letter addressed to Mr. Utterson. (full context)
Chapter 5
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...anymore. Dr. Jekyll’s anxious manner worries Utterson. Jekyll admits that he is possession of a letter from Hyde, and he is unsure whether to show it to the police. Utterson is... (full context)
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Innocence and Violence Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
...explains that the envelope wouldn’t make a difference in terms of evidence anyway, because the letter was hand-delivered. Utterson asks if he should take the letter away with him. Jekyll responds... (full context)
Chapter 6
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 decides to write to Dr. Jekyll, demanding answers. Jekyll replies in a long, tragic letter. He says first that he doesn’t blame Lanyon for their falling out but also doesn’t... (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
...funeral, Utterson, in an emotional state, sits down in his study and brings out a letter from Lanyon, addressed to Utterson with a strict instruction on the envelope that the document... (full context)
Chapter 8
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
They examine Jekyll’s desk and find a letter addressed to Utterson. Inside are several documents, including another will, much like the previous one... (full context)
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Utterson reads the letter. Jekyll writes that if Utterson is reading these words it means that he, Jekyll, has... (full context)
Chapter 9
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
Chapter Nine is the letter Lanyon asked Utterson not to open until both Lanyon and Jekyll have died. Lanyon starts... (full context)