A brief case study of a guy who turns into another guy…and stresses out his lawyer.
This is Dr. Jekyll.
He sometimes turns into Mr. Hyde.
Mr. Hyde does bad things like trample over little girls on dark London streets.
Dr. Jekyll does things like re-write his will so that all his property goes to Mr. Hyde. This piques the curiosity of his lawyer, Mr. Utterson, who’s heard of Hyde’s monstrous nature.
Utterson stops by to question Dr. Lanyon about their mutual friend, Jekyll, but Lanyon hasn’t heard much from Jekyll since their disagreement over Jekyll’s research. Utterson is undeterred.
He tracks down Hyde at a lab attached to Jekyll’s house, but despite his best efforts, Utterson still can’t seem to get ahold of Jekyll.
A year later Hyde beats one of Utterson’s clients to death.
Soon after, Jekyll tells Utterson he’s severed ties with Hyde.
Jekyll shows him a goodbye note from Hyde. Their handwriting is eerily similar.
Following this, Jekyll is very social for a little while, but then he starts refusing visitors.
Then Lanyon dies. Before his death, he gives Utterson a letter he can’t open until after Jekyll’s dead.
Jekyll shuts himself in his lab for weeks. When Utterson and Jekyll’s butler finally break in, they find Hyde’s body in Jekyll’s clothes.
At home, Utterson reads the letter from Lanyon and another from Jekyll that he finds next to Hyde. Turns out Lanyon’s death came from the shock of seeing Jekyll drink a potion and turn into Hyde.
Jekyll wanted to separate his good side from his bad, but found that he started turning into Hyde in his sleep—without even taking the potion. When it happened during his waking hours, he panicked.
Hyde needed Lanyon’s help to get the potions and become Jekyll again. But he ran out.
Before he becomes Hyde permanently, Dr. Jekyll pens what he knows what will be his last letter—the one Utterson eventually finds on Hyde’s body—and explains everything.
…And so ends the novel.