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

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Why do you think Stevenson chose to tell the story from Utterson's point of view rather than using Jekyll and Hyde from the beginning? How does this choice increase the suspense of the novel?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Utterson is a respectable Victorian gentleman. In fact, he's the very epitome of Victorian respectability. He's just the kind of man that people would instinctively trust, despite the fact that he's a lawyer and no matter how strange a story he has to tell.

As an upstanding member of the legal profession, Utterson has a reputation to maintain. And that reputation would be seriously damaged were he to spin us some kind of shaggy-dog story about the weird, sensational events associated with his friend, Dr. Jekyll.

Stevenson understands that the tale he tells has so many bizarre, fantastical elements in it that his readers may well conclude that his is yet another tiresome entry in the Gothic genre. But as Stevenson is uninterested in reviving a worn-out literary genre , and as he wants to say something about contemporary society, he chooses to make his narrator someone to whom his audience can relate, someone who finds the unfolding action every bit as weird, disturbing, and grotesque as...

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