Search Menu

Contents

Dr. Hastie Lanyon

Dr. Hastie Lanyon

Dr. Hastie Lanyon

Dr. Hastie Lanyon

Lanyon plays only a minor role in the novel’s plot, but his thematic significance extends beyond his brief appearances. When we first encounter him, he speaks dismissively of Jekyll’s experiments, referring to them as “unscientific balderdash.” His scientific skepticism renders him, to an even greater extent than Utterson, an embodiment of rationalism and a proponent of materialist explanations. As such, he functions as a kind of foil for Jekyll. Both men are doctors, well respected and successful, but they have chosen divergent paths. From Lanyon’s early remarks, we learn that Jekyll shared some of his research with Lanyon, and one may even imagine that they were partners at one point. But Lanyon chooses to engage in rational, materialist science, while Jekyll prefers to pursue what might be called mystical or metaphysical science.

It is appropriate, then, that Lanyon is the first person to see Jekyll enact his transformations—the great advocate of material causes is witness to undeniable proof of a metaphysical, physically impossible phenomenon. Having spent his life as a rationalist and a skeptic, Lanyon cannot deal with the world that Jekyll’s experiments have revealed. Deep within himself, Lanyon prefers to die rather than go on living in a universe that, from his point of view, has been turned upside down. After his cataclysmic experience, Lanyon, who has spent his life pursuing knowledge, explicitly rejects the latest knowledge he has gained. “I sometimes think if we knew all,” he tells Utterson, “we should be more glad to get away.” With these words, Lanyon departs from the novel, his uncompromising rationalism ceding to the inexplicable reality of Jekyll.

Test Your Understanding with the Dr. Hastie Lanyon Quiz

Take a quiz on this section
Test Your Understanding with the Dr. Hastie Lanyon Quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ
+
#

DR. HASTIE LANYON QUIZ

Although Mr. Hyde fully embodies evil, Dr. Jekyll does not fully embody ___?
Kindness
Virtue
Test Your Understanding with the Dr. Hastie Lanyon Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

Dr. Hastie Lanyon QUIZ

+
Test Your Understanding with the Dr. Hastie Lanyon Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

More Help

Previous Next
Agreed

by BigMemesIAW, June 16, 2014

It is fun to spoil the ending for others trust me.

5 Comments

65 out of 138 people found this helpful

Inspector Newcomen

by JoshBerreth, September 21, 2014

Who is inspector Newcomen??

3 Comments

34 out of 68 people found this helpful

?

by sizzar, September 24, 2014

That book is far more nosense than a Conan's case

3 Comments

24 out of 56 people found this helpful

See all 22 readers' notes   →