Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) | Written by: Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
What’s good y’all? This week, we doublin’ down wit The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Lawyer-man John Utterson swangin’ down da streets of London when his cous Enfield start givin him the DL on a CRAZY-a** story. Brutha like: “Yo- Back in da winter I peeped this shady cat named Hyde straight STOMP a b**** JUST CUZ she bumped into him. Soon as I saw dat mess, I told him he best throw a C-note her way or else me and this mob gonna turn this into a scandal.” Hyde like “Psh. fine” and oblige a brutha, but dat check is signed by an uptown gangsta with solid rep, which Enfield thinkin’ is hella strange.
Soon Utterson recognize that da name on the check is a client of his named Dr. Jekyll. So after grubbin at da crib, Utterson check his files and learn dat this Jekyll cat is leavin all his cheddar to Mr. Hyde. Hm. Dat don’t sound right. Utterson decide to drop in on one of Jekyll’s homeboys, Dr. Lanyon. But Lanyon say he ain’t seein Dr. J’s crazy a** since they had a beef about his bulls*** research ten years ago. Utterson start scopin’ out a spot dat Hyde been seen at. Boy creepin up on da house one night when Hyde rolls by. They conversate fo’ a sec befo’ Hyde ducks into a lab behind Jekyll’s pad. After a dinner party up at Jekyll’s, Utterson ask him what the deal is with Mr. Hyde. But Dr. J just shakes that load off and say “don’t trip bout dat, baby.”
Nearly a year later, Utterson get word that somebody in town got iced, so he pay a visit to the po-lice. Turns out, Mr. Hyde dun ghosted one of his old crusty clients. Utterson leads the fuzz to Hyde’s traphouse, but dude ain’t nowhere to be found. Utterson hit up Dr. J to get some answers, but Jekyll say “I don’t f*** with that dude no mo. He long gone.” and hands him a note from Hyde sayin he’s sorry for all his bulls***. Thang is, though, both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde got da same handwriting. Hmmm! Fo the next two months Doctor J back to his regular self, but dat don’t last long. Soon he don’t let anyone come to his crib no mo, and next thing you know- his bro Dr. Lanyon drops dead. Lanyon leave Utterson a letter. But he ain’t s’posed to open it til something raw happen to Jekyll. What?!
S*** gets real when Jekyll’s butler tell Utterson that Doc J dun locked his self in dat lab fo MONTHS! And the voice on the other side of the door sho as HELL ain’t Jekyll’s. Maybe he been merced! So the two of em’ break the door down, an’ find Mr. Hyde dead in Jekyll’s clothes. From da look of it, dude killed hisself by sippin on some poison juice. Utterson find an updated will, a note tellin him to read lanyon’s letter, and a confession from Hyde that gonna explain errything. Utterson head home to read Lanyon’s letter, which say he started losin his damn mind when he saw Mr. Hyde turn into Dr. Jekyll. Da shock ate at his mind til it eventually put him in the ground. Da second letter sayin how Dr. J been turning himslf into a nappy monster that bring out da dark side of his personality. Dat way, he can do cray s*** on the reg without no consequences. Doc Jekyll was havin a good ol time morphin into dat gnarly beast til he started transforming in his SLEEP. Knowin this s*** too cray to keep in line, the doc kicked da habit for a while, but when he startin jonezin fo dem dark deeds, he gave in, turned in to Hyde, and merced dat old geezer.
After a while, Jekyll lose so much control dat he start morphin’ into Hyde durin’ the DAY. So he hit up Dr. Lanyon fo some syrup to change him back. Sadly, Jekyll just kept transformin’. Eventually brutha couldn’ find da legit goods to make the amount of serum to keep Hyde in check. Knowin dat he gonna be Mr. Hyde fo’eva soon, he decide to off his-self. His letter end by sayin he got a new will leavin’ Utterson all his cheddar. So this ending ain’t ALL bad! Any literary OG’ll tell you Jekyll an’ Hyde is a primo example of gothic lit. It’s packin’ everythang you’d expect: night scenes, s****y weather, viscious deaths, TRANSFO’MATIONS, a creepy house wit scurry secrets, an’ a freaky lab wit more dark corners than a porno theater. God DAMN! But da darkest thing goin down in this novella ain’t even dat- it’s what Stevenson sayin’ bout human nature. See back in his day, scientists thought dat one half of yo brain reppin a certain kinda personality and desires, and da other half reppin da exact opposite.
Righteous balla Jekyll was smart, chill an civilized ‘cause that’s what doctors thought da left side of the brain was like. Whereas Mr. Hyde is always comin’ out HARD gettin all savage n’ s*** cuz homies thought the right half was mo’ primal and impulsive. Stevenson slangin images of animals to associate Hyde with dat beastly side. This nappy scrub growls like a dog and throws his limbs around like a damn monkey! Perhaps it ain’t even dat he look like an animal, but just dat Mr. Hyde’s soul is so evil, people just THINK he a fiend!
“There is something more, if I could find a name for it. God bless me, the man seems hardly human! Something troglodytic, shall we say?… or is it the mere radiance of a foul soul that thus transpires through, and transfigures, its clay continent?” (41)
Or maybe he s’posed to represent da OG beastie: dat hater-snake from the Garden of Eden. When he morphs back into Jekyll in front of Dr. Lanyon, he talk in hisses, an’ even try to f*** wit Lanyon’s head by appealing to his desire for dank-a** knowledge:
“A new province of knowledge and new avenues to fame and power shall be laid open to you, here, in this room, upon the instant; and your sight shall be blasted by a prodigy to stagger the unbelief of Satan.”
Dat boy might as well be the devil tempting Eve to grub on dat apple from the tree of knowledge! But Lanyon ain’t the only dude to see a lil Hell in Hyde. Jekyll talk bout his other half as “that child of hell,” and Utterson says he see “satan’s signature” on Hyde’s face. Dayum! Hyde’s mug is so janky, it’s like he’s straight up bible-level evil. Da real question we all gotz to ask ourselves is: Are we all on da same struggle as po’ Dr. Jekyll? Are we all one drink away from becoming MONSTERS? Maybe Stevenson’s jam is a warning about livin’ in denial. No one can keep their dark side hidden forever. So you should be be true to yo’self and recognize da good AND bad parts. Only then can a brutha truly find balance. You feel me?
Yo, thanks for checkin out Thug Notes. Peace yall!