The story of the door from 'The Strange Case...' by R.L.Stevenson (1886)


This passage is set at night, in a side street in a busy neighbourhood of London. The Characters are Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield.
It starts with the description of Mr.Utterson.He's a typical Victorian man of rugged countenance, with a cold attitude, scanty, austere with himself, tolerant to the others and inclined to help. From a physical point of view, he is tall and good-looking.
The second section deals with Mr.Enfield's narration of what happened to him, one night, while he was walking back home in a side street in London.
Mr. Enfield is Mr.Utterson's distant relative and friend. They always walk together on Sunday but they rarely speak; their friendship is a matter of habit, they do not have many things in common and they know it but, to them, it is more difficult to make new friends than going on with the usual patterns of behaviour.
While Mr.Utterson and Mr. Enfield are walking together, they see a back door of a house along the side street mentioned above.
The house is 'two storey high', it has 'no windows' and one door.
Both the facade and the door show 'the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence'; the door is 'blistered and distained'; it has ' neither bell nor locker'; the panels have been spoi
lt because 'matches had been struck on them', the moulding has been used by school boys to try their knives on it.
When Mr.Enfield sees the door, he's reminded of something he saw the night mentioned above and he tells Mr.Utterson about it.
A little girl was running and she crashed into a 'little man' who was coming from the opposite direction, she fell and he trampled over her. He had a ferocious expression on his face. A crowd of people surrounded them and Mr. Enfield noticed how everybody felt repulsion for that man, he conveyed a sensation of repulsion even in the doctor, who, meanwhile had reached them to help the little girl. All the expressions about 'the little man' connote 'the horrid', he's described as a monster. Mr. Hyde stands for 'pure evil', the dark side of the human soul and this is the reason why people can't bear his presence.
This suggests to us one of the main themes of the novel: the dual nature of human consciousness.
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