Look at the new and ominous connotations linked to the name of Mr. Hyde found in chapter two of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

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rareynolds eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter Two begins with the lawyer Utterson contemplating Dr. Jekyll’s will, particularly the mysterious provision to leave all his possessions to “Edward Hyde.” “Hyde” is just a letter away from “hide,” and Utterson is determined to see what Hyde might be hiding (“If he be Mr. Hyde…I shall be Mr. Seek,” Utterson declares). Utterson dreams of Hyde as a “juggernaut” flitting through the streets of the city, trampling children.

In fact, Utterson has no direct knowledge of Hyde at all; he decides to “stake out” the dissection room entrance to Jekyll’s house Hyde is known to use. When Utterson does catch him as Hyde is attempting to enter, he asks to see his face: Hyde complies, but tellingly Stevenson provides no real description (“Mr. Hyde appeared to hesitate, and then, as if upon some sudden reflection, fronted about with an air of defiance; and the pair stared at each other pretty fixedly for a few seconds. "'Now I shall know you again,' said Mr. Utterson. 'It may be useful.'")

But it not clear what Utterson "knows" even now. Hyde seems to defy being “known”; he has no fixed identity, and even his physical appearance is noteworthy less for how he looks than how he makes Utterson feel – “disgust, loathing, fear.” Ultimately, Utterson’s quest to find the facts about Hyde only lead to more connotations: “'There must be something else,' said the perplexed gentleman. 'There is something more, if I could find a name for it. God bless me, the man seems hardly human!'”

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The name Hyde can represent how Dr. Jekyll's dark side is hidden in Mr. Hyde.  Hide means "to conceal," so Dr. Jekyll's darker, evil side is hidden in Mr. Hyde.  Now that Mr. Hyde has actually murdered someone, an even more evil side of Mr. Hyde (Dr. Jekyll) has emerged, which is disturbing for Dr. Jekyll.  Later, Dr. Jekyll finds himself unable to really control when Mr. Hyde emerges.  He no longer needs the chemicals to make Mr. Hyde come "out."  At the end, he becomes Mr. Hyde once again in order to commit suicide and to not have to go to prison.

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