Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Analysing the extract

The question

Starting with this extract, how does Stevenson present Mr Hyde to be an evil, unforgiving criminal?

For the first part of the essay question, you need to analyse how the passage shows Mr Hyde to be an evil, unforgiving criminal.

Look again at the extract below with some highlighted points that you could include in your answer. Think about what Stevenson is showing the reader – how is Hyde 'evil' in this passage?

Presently her eye wandered to the other, and she was surprised to recognise in him a certain Mr Hyde, who had once visited her master, and (1) for whom she had conceived a dislike. He had in his hand a heavy cane, with which he was trifling; (2) but he answered never a word, and seemed to (3) listen with an ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke out in a (4) great flame of anger, (5) stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) (6) like a madman. The very old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Mr (7) Hyde broke out of all bounds, and (8) clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, (9) with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot, and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were (10) audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted.

  • (1) 'for whom she had conceived a dislike' - this is a key feature of descriptions of Hyde. People dislike him on sight without really knowing why, which is the effect something 'evil' might have on a person.
  • (2) 'but he answered never a word' - Hyde's silence suggests that he is calculating and coming up with a plan. It also shows that his attack came from nowhere - there wasn't even an argument to begin his horrific attack, it was just pure evil.
  • (3) 'listen with an ill-contained impatience' - this shows Hyde's impatience at others. The fact that it is 'ill-contained' suggests that Hyde doesn't even try to hide his impatience. He isn't polite and he doesn't want Carew to be near him.
  • (4) ''great flame of anger' - the use of the word 'flame' symbolises that Hyde's anger was indestructible and a force of nature.
  • (5) 'stamping' - this verb shows the viciousness of Hyde's attack. It creates imagery in the reader's head of a vicious, vindictive attack.
  • (6) 'like a madman' - the simile indicates how Hyde's nature has suddenly changed and how his behaviour is like a violent, insane lunatic.
  • (7) 'Hyde broke out of all bounds' - this suggests that Hyde has broken out of the bounds of common civility and entered the realm of the evil.
  • (8) 'clubbed' - the verb indicates how vicious Hyde's attack was.
  • (9) 'with ape-like fury' - the use of the simile shows Hyde's animalistic inhumane behaviour.
  • (10) 'audibly shattered' - this is another example of onomatopoeia. From this the reader can imagine the sound of Carew's bones breaking.