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Chapter 5-10 Summaries of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Chapter 5

After hearing about the horrendous crime, Mr Utterson goes to Dr Jekyll’s home, and for the first time, is admitted into Jekyll’s laboratory. The laboratory is dimly lit and cluttered. He finds Jekyll looking extremely unwell, making him more concerned about his friend’s involvement with Mr Hyde.

Jekyll assures Utterson he has severed all ties with Hyde and has no knowledge of his whereabouts. He insists that he doesn’t want to be associated with him anymore. However, Jekyll shares a letter from Hyde with Utterson, mentioning that he (Hyde) can escape and is not in danger. Jekyll is unsure whether to involve the police and leaves the decision to Utterson, who notices the handwriting in the letter somewhat resembles Jekyll’s.

Utterson and his clerk, Mr Guest, further investigate this similarity in handwriting between Jekyll and Hyde. This confirms a disturbing resemblance between the two, intensifying the suspicion around Jekyll’s relationship with Hyde. Utterson, contemplating the implications of this discovery, is left in a deep state of concern and dilemma over his friend Jekyll’s possible involvement in Hyde’s crimes.

Chapter 6

Despite the large rewards offered, Hyde seems to have vanished without a trace after Sir Danvers’ murder, leaving a trail of sinister tales but no clue about his current whereabouts. Dr Jekyll appears to be freed from Hyde’s dark influence, returning to his usual self and rekindling his old friendships. He even indulges in philanthropy and religion. However, this peace is disrupted when Jekyll abruptly returns to isolation, shutting his doors even to Utterson.

Utterson visits Dr Lanyon, another old friend, who is critically ill and visibly shaken from a mysterious, undisclosed encounter. Soon after, Lanyon dies, leaving behind a letter for Utterson to be opened after Jekyll’s death or disappearance. Jekyll’s sudden and total isolation, combined with Lanyon’s mysterious death, amplify Utterson’s concerns about Jekyll’s mental state, suspecting a deeper and darker secret.

The increasing tension and uncertainty in the story are emphasised by reports from Jekyll’s servant, Poole. They detail the doctor’s growing isolation and changed behaviour. Due to this, Utterson begins to visit less frequently.

Chapter 7

Utterson and Enfield find themselves again in the street where they previously discussed the sinister door. Enfield states that they’ll never see Hyde again, with Utterson expressing his hopes for the same. They express mutual unease about Jekyll, deciding to check on him. They find Jekyll sitting by an open window, appearing very sad.

Jekyll, appearing low-spirited, admits to feeling unwell but expresses his happiness in seeing Utterson and Enfield. However, he refuses to go outside or invite them in, claiming he can’t and that the place isn’t fit for visitors. The friends offer to talk with him from where they are. Jekyll is about to happily accept when suddenly his demeanour shifts to one of complete terror and despair, startling Utterson and Enfield.

After this brief glimpse of his terror-stricken face, the window is swiftly closed. Both gentlemen, deeply disturbed and pale, leave in silence, walking the once-discussed street. They share a silent, mutual horror over the event they witnessed, with Utterson muttering, “God forgive us, God forgive us.” Enfield, seriously disturbed, continues walking in silence.

Chapter 8

Utterson receives an unexpected visit from Poole, Jekyll’s butler, who is visibly agitated. Poole suggests that something is wrong with his master. He reveals that he has been hearing a strange voice, unlike Jekyll’s, from the laboratory for a week, and it has become increasingly fearful. The voice has been requesting a particular drug and is dissatisfied with the delivered samples.

Encouraged by Poole’s concern, they venture out on a windy night to Jekyll’s house. Inside, the atmosphere is tense with the entire household staff huddled together in fear. Poole and Utterson decide to break into the laboratory. When they enter, they find the body of Hyde, dead by apparent suicide. He is wearing Jekyll’s clothes, which are too large for him, and there is no sign of Jekyll.

Utterson discovers a package addressed to him on Jekyll’s desk. It contains a changed will leaving everything to Utterson, instead of Hyde, and a letter explaining that if Utterson is reading it, Jekyll has either disappeared or died. A separate sealed packet is also given to Utterson for later reading. The lawyer decides to head home, review the documents in solitude, and then take the necessary next steps.

Chapter 9

Lanyon receives a mysterious letter from his old friend, Jekyll, instructing him to undertake a series of specific actions. It was strange because they usually didn’t write to each other.

Jekyll’s letter requests Lanyon to retrieve a drawer from his home with the help of Jekyll’s butler and a locksmith. Jekyll urgently instructs him to bring it back to his own house and hand it over to a man who will visit him at midnight, presenting himself in Jekyll’s name. The instructions were precise and seemed important to Jekyll’s wellbeing, as he wrote:

“Lanyon, my life, my honour, my reason, are all at your mercy; if you fail me to-night I am lost.”

Lanyon follows these directions, despite his initial disbelief and suspicion of Jekyll’s sanity. He retrieves a drawer containing various substances and a notebook filled with experiment records from Jekyll’s residence.

At midnight, a small, disfigured man arrives, presenting himself as sent by Jekyll. His appearance is unsettling, his clothes are ill-fitting, and there is a distinct disturbing aura about him. This invokes a “disgustful curiosity” in Lanyon. The mysterious man is impatient to get his hands on the drawer and its contents.

Upon receiving the drawer, the man mixes some of the substances and consumes the concoction. In front of Lanyon’s eyes, he undergoes a horrifying transformation; the man known as Hyde morphs into his friend, Dr. Jekyll. This revelation is not only shocking and terrifying but also challenges every rational belief Lanyon held about the nature of existence and about Jekyll.

Jekyll confesses his experiments and his dual existence as Hyde, revealing the decay of ethical values and the freedom he experienced as his alter ego. The horrifying revelation leaves Lanyon shaken to his core, altering his perception of reality and morality. This ultimately leads to his disillusionment and death. He is particularly haunted by the idea that the man who had intruded into his house, the murderer known as Hyde, was none other than his old colleague, Jekyll.

Chapter 10

Jekyll writes a full account of his experimentations. He details his initial ability to change between his original self and Mr Hyde at will, using a special potion. He explains how he initially enjoyed the freedoms that his alter ego, Hyde, afforded him. It allowed him to indulge in “undignified” pleasures without compromising his social standing as Jekyll.

As time progresses, the transformations into Hyde begin to occur more frequently and without the use of the potion. This highlights Jekyll’s diminishing control over his alter ego. He describes his experiences as Hyde being “inhuman” and “monstrous,” revealing his growing disgust and horror towards his other self. He even describes a transformation that occurs in broad daylight, which terrifies him due to the danger of being caught as Hyde, a wanted man after committing murder.

Jekyll’s attempt to live as his moral and well-respected self becomes harder as the immoral and monstrous Hyde starts to dominate. This forces Jekyll to constantly medicate himself with the potion to retain his original self. Eventually, a crisis emerges when his potion becomes ineffective, due to impurities in the original salt he used to make it, and he is unable to find a suitable replacement. He struggles to maintain his Jekyll persona as he writes the letter, fearing that he will soon permanently become Hyde, bringing the life of Henry Jekyll to a tragic end.

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