The Strange Tweets of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The Masterpost

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(Yeah, that’s the best I could do for a title.  Sue me.)

The latest installment in this Gothic fiction livetweeting series is Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Here, without further ado, are my tweets on it.

  • I bet Mr. Utterson’s so much fun at raves.
  • So basically Utterson’s a “love the sinner, hate the sin” type. Charming. We’ll see how he deals with Jekyll/Hyde.
  • “Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to Mr.” page break.
    Me: Jekyll Jekyll Jekyll please
    turn page: “Richard Enfield”
    Me: COME ON
  • Seriously, we can get to Jekyll any time now.
  • Utterson and Enfield right now
    >making my way around London
    >walking fast
    >see a creepy house
    >walking faster
  • This weirdo house is sticking out like Count Olaf’s, or Gru’s.
  • Nah, kids, it’s okay, I’m sure a very nice man lives in that creeptastic ol’ house.
  • I know this would flout all conventions of the genre, but just once, I want a Gothic tale set in, like, Belgravia or Chelsea or something.
  • Actually, a modern-day reinterpretation of a Gothic something set in Soho would work SO WELL.
  • Anyway. Moving on.
  • Aaahhhhh, so it looks like Utterson and Enfield are the framing story. Okay.
  • Ironically, it doesn’t seem to be the otherwise-aptly-named Utterson who’s actually telling the story.
  • Or… maybe not?
  • Okay, Enfield, Hyde really does sounds like a jerk. I’ll give you that much.
  • Stepping on a prone child. I ask you.
  • Enfield refers to this doctor as Sawbones. Is that where Dr. McCoy’s nickname came from?
  • Oh man, so at this stage, Jekyll and Hyde have already separated into two beings. Holy god, this is going to be one heck of a tale.
  • Enfield’s all like “ooh yeah, there was a name on these checks the evil dude signed BUT I WON’T TELL YOU NYAH NA NA NA NA”
  • Oh, so Enfield doesn’t actually know everything that’s up. He just happens to have been privy to some super-damning financial info.
  • Good grief. Enfield’s harping on about how he’s too virtuous to be prying or whatever, and I’m just like COME ON, BRO, GIVE US THE SCOOP
  • “The more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask.” – excuse me while I laugh my head off at this line
  • Yes, I know “queer” meant a different thing back then, let me have my moment of levity
  • The Richard Enfield school of investigating: don’t ask questions, just stare at people’s houses for hours on end.
  • “‘Enfield,’ said Mr. Utterson, ‘that’s a good rule of yours.'” Regarding the Queer Street rule. I had just stopped laughing…
  • Hyde is, according to Enfield, so ugly he can’t even figure out why the dude’s so ugly.
  • It’s like Hyde just shot right past the critical point on a phase diagram of ugly.
  • Whoa, wait, has Utterson known what’s been up this whole time, or is he just having some sort of improbable Sherlock moment?
  • “The fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is because I know it already.” Utterson is QUICK.
  • Enfield: “oh god I’m gonna shut up about this I swear” Utterson: “lol suuuuure”
  • Chapter 2: “Search for Mr. Hyde” oh come ON, RLS, you missed such a great pun opportunity
  • Wait, why the heck are we still focused on Utterson?
  • Oh. Utterson is Jekyll’s executor. That explains so much.
  • Our pal Jekyll has more degrees than a circle, apparently, and I’m over here like “how are you PAYING for that?!”
  • Seriously, if anyone at all can shed some light on what titles “D.C.L.”, “L.L.D.”, and “F.R.S.” might have conferred, feel free.
  • (though FRS could stand for Fellow of the Royal Society? I don’t know)
  • “‘friend and benefactor Edward Hyde'” L O FREAKIN L
  • with that said, though, I really hope we get to see more of the Jekyll/Hyde relationship, like a lot more.
  • Jekyll is literally providing in his will for a disappearance exceeding three months. Has Utterson just not gotten suspicious before now?
  • I don’t know, man, if I were a lawyer I’d get pretty dang suspicious at something like that.
  • Mr. Utterson just seems like the slightly less offensive version of Robert Audley.
  • “‘I thought it was madness… and now I begin to fear it is disgrace.'” ahahahaha oh, Utterson, YOU HAVE NO IDEA
  • “hahaha oh man that Jekyll dude went cuckoo like ten years ago” – Utterson’s friend Dr. Lanyon, basically.
  • I’m seeing a disturbing trend in this book of people not actually caring enough about others to check up on them.
  • Like, I get that Lanyon’s probably busy, but he hasn’t actually spent any quality time with Jekyll in TEN YEARS? What the crap is this?
  • “‘Such unscientific balderdash… would have estranged Damon and Pythias.'” ooh, Lady Audley’s Secret made a ref to D&P too.
  • Back to the Wikipedia article with me!
  • Well. The Wikipedia article actually quoted a chunk from Jekyll and Hyde. Thanks, Wikipedia!
  • Yeah, Lanyon (is that his name? All these old white guys blend together in my head after a while) is definitely super-duper ticked off.
  • Oh hey, his name actually is Lanyon. I’ll probably mess up his name at some other point, though.
  • What is the Gothic deal with lawyers being the point-of-view characters? Is it a thing beyond Lady Audley’s Secret and Jekyll and Hyde?
  • Side note: AFI is somehow the perfect mood music for this?
  • Utterson has a night chock-full of creepy dreams. Yeah, I’m okay with this being from his POV now.
  • Utterson’s suddenly, acutely obsessed with seeing Hyde’s face for himself. I really hope Hyde looks like Jekyll b/c parallelism and stuff.
  • I’ve actually been planning to reread A Wizard of Earthsea. It’ll be so interesting to do that with this story in mind.
  • “‘If he be Mr. Hyde,’ [Utterson] had thought, ‘I shall be Mr. Seek.'” YES THANK YOU OH MY GOD ABOUT TIME YOU MADE THAT PUN
  • Funny how Utterson’s “patience is rewarded” on a night when not much about the scene is creepy at all.
  • “streets as clean as a ballroom floor” – not exactly the sort of simile I’d use to describe an uber-Gothic setting
  • Point is, though, a wild Hyde has appeared!
  • Hyde’s been on the scene for like two seconds, and already he’s jaywalking.
  • “Mr. Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of the breath.” I’m half expecting him to glow blue like the swords of the Wee Free Men
  • “LAWYERSSSSSSSSS”
  • …ahem. Anyway.
  • Mr. Utterson is “of Gaunt Street.” O-kay then.
  • Hyde’s refusing to look at Utterson. Maybe it’s just his eyes that are glowing blue.
  • In fairness to Hyde, “let me see your face” is kind of a weird request in most situations.
  • Hey, RLS, if we could actually get a description of what Hyde looks like, posthaste, that would be amazing.
  • Hyde lives in Soho, because of course the theater district is full of evil twins or whatever.
  • So I guess I was kind of on the mark with that Soho tweet earlier.
  • Hyde: “How did you know me?”
    Utterson: “By description.”
    That’s a pretty loose application of the word “description,” if you ask me.
  • Utterson literally just asked about Jekyll, and Hyde still can’t figure out who their mutual friends are. Just check Facebook, bro.
  • okay wHY DO I KEEP FINDING ANTS CRAWLING ON ME THIS IS THE THIRD ONE TONIGHT
  • Alright, folks, we’ll have a small commercial break while I get my butt the heck away from this particular chair.
  • For your commercial break entertainment, here’s what’s currently playing over here:
  • Alright, end commercial break. (I’m still shooting glares over my shoulder at our living room chair, but it’s whatever.)
  • *advertisement voice* Guess who’s buying Target out of Terro(TM) Ant Killer tomorrow? 😀 😀 😀 😀 8D
  • Great, now every time my skin crawls I swear it’s an ant. Which actually puts me in exactly the right mood for this.
  • Hyde’s like “dude, Jekyll wasn’t supposed to tell people I existed!” Just generally freaking out.
  • Bro, I guarantee that if you step on little children in broad daylight, you’re going to get yourself a reputation.
  • Aaaand Hyde practically Apparated into the house. Who wants to bet he’s heading straight for the liquor cabinet?
  • At least Utterson does a better job of articulating what the heck’s wrong with Hyde.
  • “The man seems hardly human!” Hm, now that actually brings up all sorts of interesting ideas about human nature and stuff.
  • I’ll have to think about all that when it isn’t super-late.
  • Now Utterson’s going to see about Jekyll himself, which would have been a super-good thing to do, oh I don’t know, A WHILE AGO
  • For Pete’s sake, not even Poole the servant really knows where Jekyll is.
  • Utterson’s chilling in Jekyll’s living room while Poole goes and does his thing. It’s a swanky place. Nbd or anything, I mean.
  • Although I do appreciate the fact that Utterson’s unease makes even this luxuriant setting seem creeptastic. Nice lampshading.
  • “‘We have all orders to obey [Hyde.]'” – Poole. Because clearly that’s going to turn out so well.
  • A wild Dr. Jekyll appears! Seriously, where the heck did this guy come from?
  • Hm, now this is interesting. Jekyll is “a large, well-made, smooth-faced man.” Contrast that with Hyde’s simultaneous shortness and ugliness
  • Hyde is perhaps the less physically imposing of the two, but Jekyll (if that was indeed him we saw with the child) is still scared of him.  [note after the fact:  I misinterpreted, that doctor was just a random doctor and not Jekyll, whoops]
  • Um, Jekyll? I’m pretty sure most people would be at least somewhat chagrined if their lawyer wanted to talk about their will.
  • If you’re trying to pass everything off as completely normal, it’s definitely not working.
  • Ooh, and Jekyll’s definitely feeling the sting re: Lanyon. TELL ME MORE PLZ
  • One mention of Hyde on Utterson’s part made Jekyll go from verbose to don’t-freaking-touch-me in less than a second. Dang.
  • “‘This is a matter I thought we had agreed to drop.'” – Jekyll to Utterson
  • Now I really want to know what the heck their previous conversations about Hyde entailed.
  • “‘my position is a very strange – a very strange one.'” – Jekyll just now. I see what you did there with the repetition.
  • “‘The moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde.'” – also Jekyll. YEAH SURE I BET
  • “I have really a great interest in poor Hyde” – of course you do, given that he’s literally you
  • Jekyll also refers to Hyde as “that young man,” which makes the earlier reference to Hyde as his “benefactor” really weird.
  • I don’t know, was it possible for younger men to be benefactors to older men? Would a doctor like Jekyll have actually needed a benefactor?
  • “I only ask you to help him for my sake, when I am no longer here.” oh my GOD, Jekyll, what the heck did you DO?!
  • Like… he basically gave birth to the Joffrey version of himself, and now that thing’s going to outlive him? That’s massively not good
  • I am definitely still creeped out by this story
  • We’ve jumped forward a year. Good heavens.
  • Man, even this maid knows who Hyde is.
  • Ooh man, the murder victim had papers addressed to Mr. Utterson on him. The plot thickens
  • So Hyde killed Carew with Jekyll’s staff. Ouch.
  • The woman at Hyde’s house has “an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy.” I’m getting goosebumps just from that line.
  • The disorder of Hyde’s rooms is reminding me a little bit of the luxuriant chaos of Lady Audley’s bedchamber.
  • This part of Jekyll’s house is “indifferently known as the laboratory or dissecting rooms.” Indifferently.
  • The place is a “dingy, windowless structure.” Now we’re finally getting some of that trademark Gothic architecture.
  • Oh man, Jekyll isn’t in a good way. Sounds like someone partied too hard last night.
  • “I’m so done with Hyde” – Jekyll, basically. SURE YOU ARE.
  • How convenient that Mr. Guest happens to be good at analyzing handwriting.
  • And in news that certainly doesn’t surprise me, Jekyll and Hyde have approximately the same handwriting.
  • This chapter is titled “Incident of Dr. Lanyon.” Oh boy.
  • Jekyll fell off the Hyde-wagon after two months. Come on, man, you were doing so well.
  • Good grief. Jekyll looks terrible even for him.
  • Oh wait, it’s actually Lanyon who looks like ish warmed over. Never mind.
  • But still, dang. I wonder if Jekyll gave him some of his multiple-personality drugs?
  • RIP Lanyon.
  • Lanyon left Utterson an envelope… that had another envelope inside. Oohhh.
  • “Not to be opened till the death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll.” FOR GOD’S SAKE, UTTERSON, OPEN IT
  • “…professional honour and faith to his dead friend were stringent obligations” – DARN IT
  • Hi again, Enfield. Haven’t seen you for a few pages.
  • A wild Jekyll appears!… except he’s actually pretty lethargic, and he’s only sitting by an open window, moping or whatever.
  • Whoa. Talk about a mood swing.
  • Calling it now – Utterson and Enfield totally saw Hyde at the window before it was shut so abruptly.
  • On to the penultimate chapter (not counting Jekyll’s narration of the events).
  • A wild Poole appears! Oh man, and it looks like ish is super real.
  • “‘I think there’s been foul play,’ said Poole, hoarsely.” You don’t say.
  • Why did they go in through the front door instead of the back door? Isn’t Jekyll locked up in his lab? Or am I misinterpreting things?
  • Poole: “I want you to hear, and I don’t want you to be heard.”
  • “…if by any chance he was to ask you in, don’t go.” UM YOU DEFINITELY DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT NO SIR
  • So whoever the heck is in the lab definitely isn’t Jekyll. Or at least, not the Jekyll Utterson knows.
  • What, did he get stuck mid-transformation?
  • “whatever it is that lives in that cabinet, has been crying night and day for some sort of medicine” #withdrawal
  • Oh, so Poole’s actually seen the Jekyll-thing since all this stuff started going down, and he just didn’t think to mention it till now.
  • “Sir, if that was my master, why had he a mask upon his face?” – *loudly hums Phantom of the Opera*
  • Utterson insists that Jekyll is “seized with one of those maladies that both torture and deform the sufferer.” Keep telling yourself that…
  • And NOW Poole thinks to mention that the Jekyll thing is short. You could’ve mentioned that, like, five pages ago.
  • Utterson and Poole are about to break down a door, y’all. This is going to be good. *crunches popcorn*
  • Aaaaand now Poole says he thinks the Jekyll-thing is actually Hyde. Again, you’d have saved us a lot of ink if you’d mentioned that earlier.
  • …seriously, you two, just break down the freakin’ door already
  • So is Jekyll’s part of the soul trapped in Hyde’s body?
  • And the door is down!
  • …and would you look at that, Jekyll/Hyde seems to have offed himself.
  • “…it only remains for us to find the body of your master.” lololol good luck with that
  • Ooh, they found Jekyll’s will, and – holy crap, he left everything to Utterson.
  • Finally Utterson’s about to read Dr. Lanyon’s story.
  • Man, Jekyll concocted a super-elaborate plan to have Lanyon give him his drugs.
  • Really, Jekyll, you couldn’t have just left Lanyon’s house before morphing back into yourself?
  • I’d say it’s high time to read what Dr. Jekyll has to say for himself. 🙂
  • “lolz I’m so perfect my only flaw is that I’m too happy” – Jekyll in the very beginning. Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
  • Jekyll: “when will my reflection show who I am inside”
    Jekyll: “hOLY CRAP NEVER MIND”
  • “my scientific studies, which led wholly towards the mystic and the transcendental” –
  • um. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
  • Oh god, Jekyll was visited by the Divine Light of Terrible Ideas. Because when a random light shines on you, that’s such a good sign.
  • Jekyll, you’re trippin’.
  • Seriously, Jekyll’s on some intense stuff. I’m half expecting him to talk about all the pretty colors next.
  • Everything he’s saying right now sounds right out of TFLN.
  • So basically Jekyll figured out how to make a Polyjuice Potion.
  • This whole thing is like some sort of effed-up supervillain origin story.
  • …no, brain. Don’t go there.
  • “by sloping my hand backwards, I had supplied my double with a signature” because that clearly threw so many people off
  • Hyde’s getting stronger, because of course. That’s what happens when you mess around with drugs, kids.
  • “I had been obliged on more than one occasion to double” – no no no no no BAD IDEA
  • Jekyll is his “original and better self” – really? Because Jekyll was the one who wanted the ability to do evil with impunity.
  • On the one hand, I feel sorry for Jekyll, because drug addiction is a terrible thing.
  • But on the other hand, I really question his claims that he, Jekyll, is so much better than Hyde.
  • The entire reason Hyde came into being in the first place? Jekyll wanted to blow off all his evil steam without remorse or consequences.
  • So is it really any surprise that Jekyll is slowly, permanently transforming into Hyde? Definitely not.
  • “Jekyll would suffer smartingly in the fires of abstinence” – see, this is exactly the sort of crap I’m talking about
  • “I was now confined to the better part of my existence” – yeah sure you are
  • At least Jekyll’s finally admitting that he’s kind of a major SOB.
  • “it was in my own person that I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience” – it’s been in your own person this whole time, dude
  • this part tho: “comparing myself with other men, comparing my active good-will with the lazy cruelty of their neglect.”
  • Active goodwill, my foot. Bro, you are NO BETTER than those “other men” to whom you’re comparing yourself.
  • Whoa man, he just shapeshifted in broad daylight. (Perfectly symbolic, if you ask me.)
  • I feel like the alternate title for every Gothic story ever could be Terrible Life Decisions

There you have it!  I’ll be back with another livetweeting masterpost fairly soon, this time on The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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