“Female character(istic)s exist in males”
The duality of human nature? Maybe this thought is what drove Stevenson to assign so-called female characteristics to his seemingly male characters, Hyde in particular.
For example, in literature and movies women have traditionally and unfortunately been the objects of men’s gazing. But with barely any women in the mix, the gaze is still there, just with a different object. In the original novella, ‘the reader is constantly drawn to Hyde’s physical appearance’ which is described in intricate detail. Being constantly gazed upon supports the idea that Hyde represents the feminine side of Jekyll.
Likewise, women’s societal role, as defined by men, has been to be subordinate to their counterparts and kept under control. Again, without any women to control, Hyde arguably has the role of Jekyll’s subordinate, the one who needs to be controlled.
Another interesting interpretation focuses on Gabriel Utterson, a dear friend to Jekyll. Utterson is eager to keep things in order and protect Jekyll’s reputation. Is he perhaps a ‘reminiscent of a bossy motherly figure’? This may even explain his unusual name: Udder (meaning breast) and son…