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Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

10. Chapter 4 – To Hyde’s House (pp. 23-25)

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In this module, we read through the second half of the fourth chapter of the novel, in which Mr. Utterson and Inspector Newcomen make their way to Hyde’s house. In particular, we think about: (i) the symbolism of the weather (“A great chocolate-coloured pall lowered over heaven”); (ii) Hyde’s enormous wealth and the novel’s exploration of money-making more generally; (iii) the ‘doubleness’ of Hyde’s servant (“She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy; but her manners were excellent”); (iv) the significance of Utterson’s mistaken assumption that Hyde is motivated by money (“Why, money’s life to the man”); (v) the strangely modern detail that Hyde has “never been photographed”; and (vi) the tension (once again) between things been said and things not being said, the unspoken and the unspeakable – “unexpressed deformity… which impressed the beholders”.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. In the first two modules, we provide a broad introduction to the social, historical, cultural context of the novel, focusing in particular on Stevenson’s life and career, his literary and cultural influences, and his own influence on later writers. In the seventeen modules that follow, we read through the novel chapter-by-chapter, providing close reading and analysis, including commentary on themes and motifs, the structure of the novel, its multiple narrators and narratives, significant objects (keys, doors, hands, mirrors, etc.), literary influences (Shakespeare, Marlowe, James Hogg, etc.), intellectual influences (Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud), important elements from Stevenson’s own life – and much, much more.

Note: Page numbers in these lectures refers to the Penguin Classics edition of the novel (‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror’, ed. Robert Mighall). Students using a different version of the novel may encounter slight differences in page numbering.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

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APA style

McRae, J. (2020, October 22). Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Chapter 4 – To Hyde’s House (pp. 23-25) [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Chapter 4 – To Hyde’s House (pp. 23-25)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Oct 2020,

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