The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde book cover
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How does Stevenson present Mr. Hyde?

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Stevenson first presents the character of Mr. Hyde through the conversation between Mr. Enfield, a man who has actually seen Hyde, and his relative, Mr. Utterson. Enfield describes a scene he once saw where this man, Hyde, came out of a door that Enfield and Utterson happen to be passing on their walk. Hyde "stumped along" the street, trampling over a little girl with whom he crossed paths, and he kept going as though nothing had happened. Enfield says that he had "taken a loathing to [the] gentleman at first sight" and that every time the doctor who cared for the little girl looked at Hyde, the doctor "turn[ed] sick and white with desire to kill him." Hyde's mere appearance apparently inspires such revulsion and hostility in others that even a stranger to him would feel this way.

Further, Enfield says that Hyde had a "kind of black, sneering coolness," and his manner provoked everyone around him to look with "hateful faces" at him. He seemed to be such a "really damnable man" that "nobody could have to do with" because people just seemed to hate him immediately upon looking at him. Enfield describes Hyde's appearance as "displeasing, [...] downright detestable" and says that he'd never met anyone he "so disliked" even though he cannot figure out why. Perhaps it was because Hyde seemed to be somehow "deformed somewhere," but Enfield cannot be specific about in what way. Hyde is somehow, in some way, indescribable, except that he impresses others with his evilness without having to speak a word.

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