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The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Letters and Docu

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Terrance Lasenbery

on 25 April 2014

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Transcript of The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Letters and Docu

No letters or documents are specifically mentioned in this chapter, but there is foreshadowed knowledge of Jekyll and Hyde's coexistence.
" The letter was written in an odd, upright hand and signed, Edward Hyde." p. 34
"I only ask you to help him for my sake, when I am no longer here...". p. 25
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Five
Quotes from Letters:
- Foreshadows duality and suspense
- letters lock secrets of murder and dual personality
- the letters act like the disheveled doors of Hyde's home; to keep secrets in and not reveal the truth
.50 cents
Monday, April 21, 2014
Quotes and Explanations:
Chapters 1 through 3
Narrative Written by Lanyon
Chapter Nine
Letters & Documents
" The contents increased my wonder; for this is how the letter ran...". p. 58

The letter received by Dr. Lanyon revealed Jekyll's drug addiction
Foreshadows Hyde's existence as Jekyll
The letter reveals what Lanyon did for Jekyll
Lanyon's cause of death
The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Letters and Documents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 4
Chapter Three
Chapter Ten:
Chapter Six
- "The next thing was to get the money... whipped out a key, went in, and presently came out with the matter of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance on the Coutt's." p.9

-"...Signed with a name that I can't mention." p.9

Both quotes describe a prestigious or infamous man
The check displays wealth, while the signature prompts infamy
The signature foreshadows a later mystery that connects Hyde to Jekyll

Real Life Example:

Signatures are individualistic, meaning that they are unique to your hand. For example, a famous person's autograph could be connected to their infamy. Michael Vick's signature could associate him with either his famous football career or the time that he spent in jail for abusing animals.
Dr. Jekyll's Will:
".... as he placed the obnoxious paper in the safe... it had long been the lawyer's eyesore." p.14
The will explains that if anything were to happen to Jekyll, Mr. Hyde can have his belongings
detestable because Hyde is hated
This quote also contributes to secrecy, as seen throughout the novel

" ... Pile of gray ashes as though many papers had been burned... From these embers the inspector disinterred the butt end of a green cheque book...". p.30
- Proves suspicious behavior; as if Hyde were hiding something or burying evidence
- reappearance of "cheques" contrasts Hyde's status and only gives documentation of Hyde
- Hyde is secretive/ hiding something
"Private: for the hands of Utterson alone...". p. 41 (from the envelope)

"He had his death warrant written legibly upon his face." p.39 (metaphor for guilt or fear)

Utterson is quickly discovering the truth about Hyde and Jekyll through sealed documents
The letters conceal information of the murders and vicarious deeds of Hyde, yet once opened, the letters leak bits of information
The "death warrant" is a metaphor for Jekyll and Hyde's guilt, which ultimately, foreshadows their doom
"Poole felt in his pocket and handed out a crumpled note, which the lawyer... Dr. Jekyll: Find me some of the old." p. 49 (drug note)

"This is unquestionably the doctor's hand...". p.49 (drug note)
"... annotated in his own hand...". p.56 (Bible annotations)
Reveals Jekyll's drug addiction
leads to questioning of his character
The doctor's hand writing is questionable because it could be used to link Jekyll and Hyde
foreshadows the duality of their relationship
prompts the mystery of Jekyll's habits.
The annotations reveal that although Jekyll was not a holy man, he still looked to God for guidance and repentance from his bad actions
Jekyll's Narrative
Jekyll's narrative, in the form of a written document, reveals his links to fortune and wealth, displays duality of human nature, professes his experiments (not fully), links his addictions to his own instability, and provides a character analysis of Jekyll and how arrogant he was through the use of Biblical references.
Introduction and Thesis:
Real World Example:

When people write their wills, items are given to certain family members. Sometimes, the judgement of the person who wrote the will may not seem fair to some of the members who were given less of that person's estate or if there are conflicts within the family and someone is cut from the will. Yet, the person who wrote it had specific intentions for why they wrote the will in the way that they did.
Meaning: Jekyll is very cryptic in his words, as he foreshadows his death almost indefinitely. Jekyll is asking Utterson to get Hyde's rights because Jekyll knows that Hyde will eventually take over. Jekyll is in a sense, asking Utterson to care for him.
Real Life Example: When a mother asks her children to take care of another family member after she passes
Real Life Example: Handwriting is a safety mechanism because the more unique it is, the more likely someone will not be able to copy it. If a person tries to commit fraudulence of bank notes and their signature is not completely accurate and looks somewhat like their own, police may be able to use that to track them down.
Life Example:
The letters act like metal boxes to conceal information leading to the duality of Jekyll and Hyde and the murders. In this case, the secrets can be related to objects that give off radiation and are buried underground. The boxes are only able to trap the item's composition for so long before it starts to decay and leak radiation. As seen in the novella, the letters are only able to conceal information for as long as Jekyll is alive before the truth begins to leak out and reveal itself.
Real Life Examples:
Addiction can be a horrible consequence for falling into unhealthy habits. For example, drug users are more likely to become attached to a synthetic stimulant/ antibiotic/ etc. because the subconscious mind convinces the body that it has a dependency on the synthetic material to function. As the letters reveal Jekyll's drug dependency, they also reveal his subconscious guilt and weakness as he looks to the Bible for guidance, though his science tells him to do otherwise.

"Going out doesn't make you a bad person, just like going to Church doesn't make you a good person."
-Miley Cyrus
Real Life Example: If you have ever taken chemistry, Schrodinger's Cat Experiment can relate to Lanyon's narrative. Lanyon's curiosity literally killed him, as did curiosity kill the cat.

Letters and documents propel the story of Jekyll and Hyde. The letters and documents conceal information within the story, until Jekyll's disappearance and Hyde's death. The letters act like Hyde's disheveled door to keep information secretive, that is, until his death where information from the packet, the note, and the will reveal the mysteries behind Jekyll's dual personalities and the murders.

Thesis: The letters and documents found within the story of Jekyll and Hyde prompt secrecy and suspense throughout the novella and contribute to the enigmatic mood of the story, as they are very vague and do not reveal major incidents within the story line until the end of the book.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,
it can be seen that the letters and documents are used to both share and conceal information. The letters contribute to the novel's secretive, dark mood, while also propelling forth the plot of the story. The letters and documents are used to foreshadow events, relay information, provide suspense and characterize Jekyll and Hyde.
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