How does Stevenson create mystery and suspense in chapters three and four of Jekyll and Hyde?

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Stevenson’s use of contrast heightens the tension in the already mysterious tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Unsure of their relationship, Utterson seeks to ask Jekyll about it out of friendly concern. Chapter three highlights the distinctions between the luxurious and warm setting of the doctor’s dinner party—"one of his pleasant dinners to some five or six old cronies, all intelligent, reputable men and all judges of good wine"—when Utterson, as the last remaining guest, sits by a cozy fire with his comrade. This is contrasted with the chill that comes with Hyde as a conversation topic, in which Jekyll’s face becomes pale and his eyes dark. Tension is increased with Jekyll’s request that Utterson care for Hyde in the event of his absence—a mysterious request which affects the lawyer’s scruples.

Contrast between the expected state of Hyde’s living arrangements and their reality bring more mystery to the tale. Following Carew’s murder, Utterson arrives at Hyde’s residence “the dismal quarter of Soho” to find the expected, dingy exterior, complete with a surly landlady to let them in the door. The interior, though it is clear its owner has run through it in a hurry, is unexpectedly lovely:

Mr. Hyde had only used a couple of rooms; but these were furnished with luxury and good taste. A closet was filled with wine; the plate was of silver, the napery elegant; a good picture hung upon the walls, a gift (as Utterson supposed) from Henry Jekyll, who was much of a connoisseur; and the carpets were of many plies and agreeable in colour.

The surprising contrast between Utterson’s expectations for the apartment and their true interior only serves to confuse the lawyer further and heighten the mystery of the full extent of the relationship between the two men—one now a murderer, and the other a well-known and amiable doctor.

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Creating contrasts between the characters of Jekyll and Hyde contributes to the mystery and suspense of the novel. Hyde appears young, small and hunched with an ugly air of evil about him, while Jekyll is large, handsome and middle-aged with a smooth, kind face. The author hints that Jekyll had been wild in his youth and also says that he has a “slyish” air about him.

The author also makes use of setting to increase mystery and suspense in these chapters. At first the sky is cloudless, reflecting the maid’s happy and positive outlook, but then the fog rolls in after Hyde’s evil act of murdering Mr. Carew. When Utterson visits Mr. Hyde’s lodgings, the fog is thick and dark but sometimes broken up by the wind, letting daylight shine through. Mr. Hyde’s neighborhood is dingy and muddy, and the dim lamps don’t succeed in lighting up the darkness of the streets. Hyde’s rooms are tastefully furnished inside to underscore his connection to Jekyll. However, the ransacked contents symbolize the savagery of the room's occupant and create even more of a mystery about him.

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In chapter three, Dr. Jekyll is so mysterious as he sits talking with his friend and lawyer, Mr. Utterson, that his odd responses to Utterson's questions create suspense and build tension. Utterson wants to discuss Jekyll's will, but Jekyll is unwilling to pursue the subject, even though Utterson is concerned because he's heard something "'abominable'" about Mr. Hyde, the man who is currently named as Jekyll's sole heir. Jekyll's face "grew pale [...], and there came a blackness about his eyes," and he speaks sharply to a friend who is only trying to help. He claims that Utterson does not and cannot understand his position, that he is "'painfully situated'" and that the situation is "'very strange.'" This odd vagueness is quite provoking and builds suspense as a result.

In chapter four, Mr. Hyde has killed one Mr. Carew, about one year after the previous chapter took place. Oddly, he has done so with a cane that Utterson gave to Jekyll many years earlier. Again, it is clear that there is some very odd relationship between Hyde and Jekyll, and Utterson's interest remains piqued, especially when he goes to Hyde's home and discovers that the man has clearly run off in a rush. The mystery of their relationship, why Hyde would kill someone, and why Jekyll would protect him continues to build suspense.

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