Key Themes for Mr Utterson


Duality of Man

The truth of the relationship between Jekyll and Hyde is even more shocking than Utterson suspected to begin with, due to the fact that the façade of reputability is covering up the despicable nature of human duality. Although we don’t experience a lot of duality in the slightly dull character that Mr Gabriel Utterson is, he is in direct contact with the two very contrasting sides of the coin that is Dr Jekyll. Mr Utterson’s own duality is not well explained, and even though he is said to be “fairly blameless” he feels inexplicable guilt for the “many ill things” of his past.

Friendship

The entire novella is propelled by the sheer fact that Mr Utterson cares deeply for the well-being of his friend Dr Jekyll. His loyalty is proven again and again by acts such as inquiring about Mr Hyde and the potential blackmailing in Chapter 3 (“Dr Jekyll was Quite at Ease”), or assisting Poole in attempting to break into Jekyll’s lab in fear his friend might be in danger in Chapter 8 (“The Last Night”.)  Despite Dr Jekyll reassuring him against his suspicions of Mr Hyde, Mr Utterson is careful not to interfere in his life, yet wants to discover the truth for the sake of his friend.

Rationality

Mr Utterson is the epitome of rationality. He is logical and doesn’t have much concern for the supernatural. It can not be said that his nature depicts the views of Victorian society at the time due to the fact that many Abrahamic religions involve the ideology of angels, demons, ghosts, the afterlife, purgatory, and many other characters and motifs associated with the Bible. He represents the societal expectation to be civilized in the face of suspicious circumstances with supernatural overtones, and find logical and reasonable explanations for the unexplained.