Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Theme of Appearances
Appearances figure in the novel both figuratively and literally. Dr. Jekyll definitely wants to keep up a façade of respectability, even though he has a lot of unsavory tendencies. In a literal sense, the appearances of buildings in the novel reflect the characters of the inhabitants. Dr. Jekyll has a comfortable and well-appointed house, but Mr. Hyde spends most of his time in the "dingy windowless structure" of the doctor’s laboratory. Other disreputable quarters of London are described as well; this is the stomping ground of Mr. Hyde.
Questions About Appearances
- What is the relationship between physical buildings and the events that take place in or near them?
- Why is Dr. Jekyll so concerned with keeping up appearances? And what appearance is he trying to keep?
- Where in the novel do events seem to point in a particular direction when the opposite is in fact true?
Chew on This
Because he feels intense shame at his frowned-upon desires, Dr. Jekyll does everything he can to maintain a façade of respectability.