Why did Poole and the servants wait 8 days before telling Utterson about Jekyll’s weird behaviour?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , the servants and assistants are aware that the doctor is often reclusive and can be a strange individual, especially when working on his projects. As he became increasingly erratic from his frequent transformations into Mr. Hyde, Jekyll acted more...

Check Out
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the servants and assistants are aware that the doctor is often reclusive and can be a strange individual, especially when working on his projects. As he became increasingly erratic from his frequent transformations into Mr. Hyde, Jekyll acted more and more reclusive and reserved. Because of this, the servants thought he was either being blackmailed by Mr. Hyde (as evidenced by Hyde using checks signed by Jekyll), falling into ill health, or that some other issue may have arisen that they felt it would be imprudent to intervene upon.

Because of their negligence, Jekyll's transformations progressively became worse and more uncontrollable, leading to several people's deaths as well as Jekyll's eventual descent into full transformation without hope for reversal.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Poole comes to see Mr. Utterson and tells him he that thinks his master, Dr. Jekyll, has suffered from "foul play." He says to Utterson:

"I’ve been afraid for about a week," returned Poole, doggedly disregarding the question, "and I can bear it no more."

Poole and the other servants have not contacted Mr. Utterson because they have been confused about what is going on. They know their master often likes to be left by himself, and they haven't wanted to betray him or overstep their boundaries by going to see a third party about him. Now, however, they are all sufficiently worried and upset that they feel they have no choice but to contact someone.

Rather than try to describe what is happening, Poole urges Mr. Utterson to come and see for himself what is going on. When Mr. Utterson arrives, Poole calls out to his master, who answers in a voice that does not sound like himself. The fear that someone else is impersonating their master has frightened the servants.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team