Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Theme of Friendship
Friendship in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde serves to drive the plot forward. Aside from human curiosity, Mr. Utterson is compelled to uncover the mystery of the evil man because of his friendship with Dr. Jekyll. In trying to unravel the secret, his many friendships deliver crucial pieces of information. In this sense, friendship acts as both a motivator and an enabler. As for the friendship between Dr. Lanyon and Dr. Jekyll, it’s certainly not as unconditional as the loyalty Mr. Utterson bears for Dr. Jekyll. Instead, it’s fraught with competition, anger, and eventually an irreconcilable quarrel. We see that friendships can be ruined by differences of opinion.
Questions About Friendship
- What role does friendship play in this novel? We said it "drives the plot forward"…how?
- How strong are these friendships, really? Dr. Lanyon and Dr. Jekyll quarrel over science, and Mr. Utterson has a difficult time believing Dr. Jekyll to be capable of evil. Are they friends, or non-hostile acquaintances?
- Keeping in mind that all the men in this novel seem to be confirmed bachelors, what role does friendship play in their lives?
Chew on This
Mr. Utterson’s friendships play the most critical role in driving the novel forward.