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Quotes

Quote #7

The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were, as I have said, undignified; I would scarce use a harder term. But in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn toward the monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was often plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity. This familiar that I called out of my own soul, and sent forth alone to do his good pleasure, was a being inherently malign and villainous; his every act and thought centered on self; drinking pleasure with bestial avidity from any degree of torture to another; relentless like a man of stone. Henry Jekyll stood at times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde; but the situation was apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp of conscience. (10.11)

Stevenson allows us to imagine Mr. Hyde participating in just about every act of evil cruelty there is. What our imaginations create is surely worse than any list the author could provide for us.

Quote #8

Not that I dreamed of resuscitating Hyde; the bare idea of that would startle me to frenzy: no, it was in my own person that I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience; and it was as an ordinary secret sinner that I at last fell before the assaults of temptation. (10.21)

Dr. Jekyll fails to enlighten us as to the exact nature of his sin.

Quote #9

I resolved in my future conduct to redeem the past; and I can say with honesty that my resolve was fruitful of some good. You know yourself how earnestly, in the last months of the last year, I laboured to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for others, and that the days passed quietly, almost happily for myself. (10.21)

Just as we are ignorant of the exact nature of Mr. Hyde’s evilness, we are ignorant of the exact nature of Dr. Jekyll’s good, allowing the two ideas to be kept abstract and universal.

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