What two pieces of information does Utterson learn about Hyde’s letter to Jekyll?What is Utterson's reaction?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 5 titled "Incident of the Letter," Utterson is given a letter by Dr. Jekyll purportedly from Mr. Hyde, who is wanted for murder and has disappeared. The letter in Hyde's handwriting assures Jekyll that he will stay out of his life forever and that he will also manage to avoid being captured by the police. Jekyll lets Utterson keep the letter, and later that lawyer shows it to his head clerk Mr. Guest, who is an amateur handwriting expert. Guest compares Hyde's letter with one that Utterson has just received from Jekyll and points out that they appear to have been written by the same man, that is, by Jekyll himself. Utterson is appalled. He thinks that Jekyll has forged the first letter to protect a murderer. The chapter ends at this point. Utterson has not decided what to do, but he is coming a little closer to the realization that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person. Because so much of the tale has been told from Mr. Utterson's point of view up to this time, the reader also begins to understand the close relationship between Jekyll and Hyde, although the reader does not yet understand that Jekyll is finding it impossible to rid himself of his wicked alter ego.

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