The will’s wording itself is disquieting to Utterson, as it states that Hyde inherits Jekyll’s estate in the event of Jekyll’s “disappearance or unexplained absence exceeding three calendar months”. As Utterson hears more about Hyde around town—all of it bad impressions—he feels certain that the only reason Jekyll would make Hyde his heir, and make such an odd stipulation about “disappearance” is that Hyde must be blackmailing Jekyll, forcing his way into the will with sinister intentions.
Several months later, a respected elderly citizen Danvers Carew is murdered—beaten to death with a cane. Numerous people witness the murder, and there is no doubt that the perpetrator is Edward Hyde. This is the last straw for Utterson, who again confronts Jekyll about the will. “I swear to God I will never set eyes on him again,” Jekyll reassures Utterson, making it plain his association with Hyde is over.
Even with Hyde out of the picture, Utterson continues to be concerned for Jekyll who has increasingly become a recluse, locking himself up in his lab for days at a time, admitting no visitors. So...
... middle of paper ...
...uently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the last good influence in the lives of downgoing men.” This surely proves to be the case in his relationship with Jekyll.
Stevenson’s book is not an allegory, but the truths Christians can glean from it and apply to the spiritual life are numerous, making it a more “edifying” read than one might expect to get from a 19th century horror novel. Jekyll is portrayed so as to make readers sympathize with him. He is a villain, but a tragic one. As he says of himself, “If I am the chief of sinners, I am also the chief of sufferers.” What’s so horrifying about Stevenson’s tale is that the evil he portrays is not external, something out there, as in books such as Frankenstein or Dracula. The evil is inside the human heart. If the book has a “moral”, it is that all of us have a Hyde inside of us, waiting to get out.
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