Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Theme of Religion
God and Satan figure prominently in this text, as well as many general references to religion and works of charity. As part of their intellectual lives, the men in the novel discuss various religious works. One sign of Mr. Hyde’s wickedness, for example, is his defacing Dr. Jekyll’s favorite religious work. Mr. Hyde is also frequently likened to Satan.
Questions About Religion
- In Chapter Seven, Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield converse briefly with Dr. Jekyll (sitting at a window) before Dr. Jekyll essentially freaks out and shuts the window. What they witness inspires a good deal of horror in both of them. Mr. Utterson says, "God forgive us! God forgive us!" and is answered with a nod from Mr. Enfield. What does this mean? What is God supposed to forgive them for?
- Mr. Utterson says that he "[inclines] to Cain’s heresy." Cain was a guy who killed his brother in the Bible. What could this possibly be saying about Mr. Utterson? About the novel as a whole?
- How does religion function in this novel? What purpose might it serve, or what questions might it raise?
Chew on This
In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, religion functions as a lens through which to view good and evil. It gives the characters rules with which to separate good from evil into distinct and clear-cut categories.