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The novel takes place in Victorian England and the main characters are all male members of the British upper class. Enfield, Utterson, Lanyon and Jekyll are all acutely aware of social expectations and the importance of appearance. Even in the first chapter, Enfield is wary of sharing his story of the mysterious door because he abhors gossip, as it destroys reputations. In kind, Utterson refrains from informing the police that Jekyll is a close friend of Hyde's following the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. Rather, to maintain his friend's reputation and protect his public image, Utterson goes to Jekyll directly to discuss the matter.