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Forensic Science in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Trails of Utterson's Quest

Authors: Kyu-Jeoung Lee, Jae-Uk Choo


This paper focuses on investigating The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Utterson’s point of view, referring to: Gabriel John Utterson, a central character in the book. Utterson is no different from a forensic investigator, as he tries to collect evidence on the mysterious Mr. Hyde’s relationship to Dr. Jekyll. From Utterson's perspective, Jekyll is the 'victim' of a potential scandal and blackmail, and Hyde is the 'suspect' of a possible 'crime'. Utterson intends to figure out Hyde's identity, connect his motive with his actions, and gather witness accounts. During Utterson’s quest, the outside materials available to him along with the social backgrounds of Hyde and Jekyll will be analyzed. The archives left from Jekyll’s chamber will also play a part providing evidence. Utterson will investigate, based on what he already knows about Jekyll his whole life, and how Jekyll had acted in his eyes until he was gone, and finding out possible explanations for Jekyll's actions. The relationship between Jekyll and Hyde becomes the major question, as the social background offers clues pointing in the direction of illegitimacy and prostitution. There is still a possibility that Jekyll and Hyde were, in fact, completely different people. Utterson received a full statement and confession from Jekyll himself at the end of the story, which gives the reader the possible truth on what happened. Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde led readers, as it did Utterson, to find the connection between Hyde and Jekyll using methods of history, culture, and science. Utterson's quest to uncover Hyde shows an example of applying the various fields to in his act to see if Hyde's inheritance was legal. All of this taken together could technically be considered forensic investigation.

Keywords: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, forensic investigation, illegitimacy, prostitution, Robert Louis Stevenson.

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