illustration of a face with two separate halves, one good and one evil, located above the fumes of a potion

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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What is the character analysis of Sir Danvers Carew in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

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Though the reader never actually meets the murder victim, identified as Sir Danvers Carew, his characterization is significant to the analysis of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The reader learns that Sir Danvers is a well-known man, both for his role as a member of Parliament and for his excellent manners and kindly good looks.

Not much is revealed about Sir Danvers, but the limited amount of characterization accentuates his positive qualities. Without a deeper look at his person, the reader can remember Sir Danvers as primarily a good person who did not deserve such a horrible end to his life. The juxtaposition, or the placement of two contrasting events for effect, of such an undeserving and contributing member of society being murdered in such cold-blooded and public a fashion makes for a pivotal plot point.

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Sir Danvers Carew is an elderly gentleman with the highest kind of English manners and deportment. He is not only a person of public importance in his career but he is also a highly esteemed gentleman. The maid who witnessed the murder describes him physically as "an aged beautiful gentleman with white hair." His manners are courteous and polite: Carew bows to Hyde and politely initiates a "pretty manner" of conversation, possibly asking directions.

The moon shone on Carew's face while he spoke and the maid thought he looked so "innocent," with such kindness, that she was "pleased to watch it." This is the brief but remarkably vivid picture given of Sir Danvers Carew instants prior to his death, along with the fact that his public career was a "high position," which usually denotes a high government position such as his title ("Sir") would allow for.

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