“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” Book Summary & Reviews | Written by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde book summary

“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic novella that delves into the dark depths of human nature and the duality of the human psyche. The story revolves around the respectable Dr. Henry Jekyll, a renowned scientist, and his sinister alter ego, Mr. Edward Hyde.

The novella is set in Victorian London and begins with Mr. Utterson, a lawyer and close friend of Dr. Jekyll, becoming increasingly disturbed by the mysterious and wicked Mr. Hyde, who seems to have an uncanny connection to his friend. As the narrative unfolds, it is revealed that Dr. Jekyll has developed a potion that allows him to transform into the evil Mr. Hyde, indulging in his darkest desires without consequence.

Dr. Jekyll’s experiment is an exploration of the human psyche, representing the internal struggle between good and evil. Initially, Dr. Jekyll sees the transformation as a way to separate his virtuous self from his darker impulses. However, he soon realizes that the transformation becomes increasingly difficult to control, leading to tragic consequences for those around him.

The narrative of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is propelled by suspense and a sense of impending doom. As Mr. Utterson delves deeper into the mystery, he unravels the true nature of the relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, culminating in a shocking revelation that exposes the devastating consequences of the dual nature of humanity.


Here are some powerful quotes from “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”:

“I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man.”

  • This quote reflects the central theme of the novella, highlighting the inherent duality within human nature.

“Man is not truly one, but truly two.”

  • Stevenson emphasizes the notion that human beings possess both good and evil within themselves.

“With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.”

  • This quote exemplifies Dr. Jekyll’s realization of his dual nature and the tragic consequences that ensue.


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“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is a must-read for its exploration of the human psyche and the themes of duality and morality. It serves as a cautionary tale, reminding readers of the inherent capacity for evil that lies within all individuals. The novella raises profound questions about the nature of identity, the struggle between good and evil, and the consequences of suppressing one’s dark desires.


Analyzing the writing style of Robert Louis Stevenson in “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” it is notable for its concise yet evocative prose.

Stevenson’s language is rich with vivid descriptions, creating a haunting and atmospheric setting that captures the dark underbelly of Victorian society. The narrative is structured in a way that slowly builds tension and suspense, keeping readers engaged until the shocking revelation at the end. Stevenson’s ability to convey complex psychological themes in a concise and accessible manner showcases his mastery of storytelling.


Reader Reviews:

  1. “Stevenson’s ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ is a gripping and thought-provoking tale that delves into the depths of the human psyche. The exploration of duality and the consequences of suppressing one’s inner desires is both chilling and profound. It’s a short but powerful read that lingers in your mind long after you finish it.” 
  2. “I was captivated by the suspense and mystery of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.’ Stevenson’s ability to create a sense of unease and the looming presence of evil is truly remarkable. The exploration of the darker aspects of human nature is deeply unsettling and makes you question the nature of humanity itself.” 
  3. “This classic novella is a brilliant study of the human condition. Stevenson’s storytelling is masterful, and the transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde is both horrifying and fascinating. The psychological depth and moral implications make it a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of human nature.”


In conclusion, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is a captivating and thought-provoking novella that delves into the duality of human nature and the consequences of suppressing one’s dark desires. Robert Louis Stevenson’s writing style, characterized by vivid descriptions and a skillful build-up of tension, enhances the haunting atmosphere of the story. It is a must-read for those intrigued by psychological exploration, moral dilemmas, and the complexities of the human psyche.

About the author

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was a Scottish writer and novelist known for his adventure and Gothic fiction. He is best known for works such as “Treasure Island,” “Kidnapped,” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Stevenson’s literary contributions have made a lasting impact on the genres of adventure and suspense, and his ability to delve into the depths of the human psyche continues to captivate readers to this day.

Books by Robert Louis Stevenson