Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


Robert Louis Stevenson

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Themes and Colors
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
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Science, Reason and the Supernatural

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde creates a tension between the world of reason and science and the world of the supernatural, and seems to suggest the limits of reason in its inability to understand or cope with the supernatural phenomena that take place. Jekyll confesses at the end of the novel that he has been fascinated by the duality of man and has taken to both chemical and mystical methods to try to get to…

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The Duality of Human Nature

Dr. Jekyll confesses to Utterson that he has for a long time been fascinated by the duality of his own nature and he believes that this is a condition that affects all men. His obsession with his own darker side gives the novel its plot but also its profound, psychological implications. Even before the climax of the story in which it is revealed that Hyde and Jekyll are the same person, the duality of their…

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Reputation, Secrecy and Repression

Much of the suspense associated with the mysteries of the novel are suspenseful solely because they are deliberately kept secret or repressed by the characters. The novel's secrets come out in spits and spurts. Enfield shares his story with Utterson, but he is only persuaded to share Hyde’s name at the end. Utterson, upon hearing Hyde's name, does not reveal that he has heard it before, in Jekyll's will. From that point on…

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Innocence and Violence

Utterson and Enfield’s Sunday walk is a comforting, habitual practice of theirs, but as they pass the fateful street with the strange facade jutting out before them, their quiet is ended. This begins the pattern in the novel of innocence being rudely interrupted by violence. First, the little girl is trampled by Hyde. Then the maid witnesses and is shocked into a faint by Hyde's murder of Carew. The maid also effusively describes…

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Bachelorhood and Friendship

Like many stories of Robert Louis Stevenson’s era, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde shows a world dominated by men and most of the featured characters are male. The streets of London, where all this violence takes place, are painted by the writer as a masculine society, particularly full of academic, well-educated men who keep in each other’s confidence and entertain a certain level of professional respect. Utterson and Jekyll are old friends, for example, and…

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