Key Quotations for Jekyll


“The large handsome face of Jekyll grew pale to the very lips, and there came a blackness around his eyes” Chapter 3

Explanation

The image of Dr Jekyll’s typically human, handsome face transforming into a paler version of himself with darkness around the eyes gives him almost a vampire-like new appearance, which helps Stevenson illustrate to his audience the transition from good to evil in almost a visual manner. Stevenson uses this to actually portray the change as it happens, which allows the audience, as well as the other characters to gage that something malicious is happening to Dr Jekyll.

 

“The moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde” Chapter 3

Explanation

Jekyll is under the impression that he has full control over Hyde, which we know not to be true. Due to his scientific arrogance, Jekyll believes his skill within his scientific field is sufficiently well-developed in order to control the monster he has created. This can almost be considered dramatic irony, considering the fact that the audience is aware of the fact that Hyde is uncontrollable, therefore Jekyll’s naivety is almost funny.

 

“A look in the eye and quality of manner seemed to testify to some deep-seated terror of mind” Chapter 6

Explanation

Jekyll is a deeply, emotionally troubled man. The idea that fellow characters are beginning to see that, and suspect malice speaks for the fact that Jekyll’s involvement with Hyde, as well as his own greed for scientific discovery, are foreshadowing his very own demise. “Deep-seated” could also suggest that the “terror of mind” that we know Hyde to be, is also inseparable from Dr Jekyll, which would prove his original theory of the duality of man.

 

“I have bought on myself a punishment and a danger I can not name. If I am the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also” Chapter 6

Explanation

The use of religious language such as “punishment”, “sinner” and “suffer[ing]” are a good link to the Victorian Era context of the novel due to the fact that England, where the novel is based, was mainly Evangelical Christian at the time. It could also demonstrate to us the very serious nature of the situation Jekyll has put himself in, with the connotations of the Christian idea of hell. Dealing with a version of himself that is entirely evil could be his very own, personal hell. This is actually mirrored by the Biblical story of Eve bringing on her own doom by greedily eating the apple from the tree of knowledge.

 

“I will not last long, thank God” Chapter 7

Explanation 

As a man of secular belief, the notion of suicide should not bring up religious connotations for Dr Jekyll, therefore to use religious language, in a very likely careless way, would imply that he is no longer keeping his cool like the typical Victorian gentleman. Instead, he seems to be very thankful for the end to his suffering, which speaks volumes for the intensity of said suffering, considering his life will have to end along with it.

 

“I have been doomed to such a dreadful ship-wreck that man is not truly one, but truly two.” Chapter 10

Explanation 

The use of passive language would imply that doom has been done onto Dr Jekyll, which we know not to be true, as he orchestrated the entire experiment, came up with the potion, and willingly drank it himself. His own undoing is bought on completely out of his own will which, considering the use of passive language, he does not seem to blame himself for at all. The implication of the use of “man” actually reads more as “humanity”, and to assert that duality exists within all of humanity is a bold claim from a scientist whose life is ruined by his own experiment, and yet the assertion of said claim shows Jekyll still believes in the validity of his scientific findings.