Detailed questions and answers on “Search for Mr Hyde”

Comprehension questions

Why is Utterson so upset about Jekyll’s will?

Why does Utterson visit Lanyon? Why has Lanyon lost interest in Jekyll as a scientist?

What is Utterson worried about and what does he dream about?

What steps does Utterson take to find Mr Hyde?

Why does Hyde accuse Utterson of lying to him?

Why does Utterson visit Jekyll immediately after seeing Hyde?

Why is Utterson even more worried about Jekyll at the end of the chapter?

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson generate suspense in this chapter?

How does Stevenson create a Gothic atmosphere in his description of the streets of London and Utterson’s dreams?

Evaluative questions

How successful is Stevenson in creating a mood of mystery in this chapter?

Creative response tasks

Write Utterson’s diary entry for this chapter, detailing his encounters with Lanyon, with Mr Hyde, and his worries for Henry Jekyll.

Write a story or poem about a nightmare that comes true, calling it “Nightmare”.

 

You can watch a YouTube video I made about this section of the book here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD8w12CIJQc

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS  in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

 

 

Why is Utterson so upset about Jekyll’s will? Because he has left all his estate (money and property) to Hyde if he dies or disappears for more than three months.

Why does Utterson visit Lanyon? Why has Lanyon lost interest in Jekyll as a scientist? Utterson wants to find out why Lanyon has fallen out with Jekyll, and wants to know if it has anything to do with him knowing something unpleasant about Jekyll. However, he finds out, to his relief, that they have fallen out over a difference of opinion about science; Lanyon believes Jekyll is involved in “unscientific balderdash”.

What is Utterson worried about and what does he dream about? He is very worried about his good friend Jekyll being blackmailed by Hyde, and possibly being harmed by him.

What steps does Utterson take to find Mr Hyde? Utterson waits by Hyde’s door day and night.

Why does Hyde accuse Utterson of lying to him? Utterson says that Jekyll has told him about Hyde. Hyde knows this is a lie because of course Hyde is Jekyll, and Jekyll has, of course, said nothing about Hyde to Utterson.

Why does Utterson visit Jekyll immediately after seeing Hyde?  First because Hyde’s apartment is actually part of Jekyll’s house: it is the back of Jekyll’s very large house. This means it is easy for him to see Jekyll. Second because he is very worried about his friend being in trouble in some way.

Why is Utterson even more worried about Jekyll at the end of the chapter? He is extremely worried that Jekyll will come to harm; that Hyde will hurt Jekyll in some terrible way. Both his dream and his meeting with Hyde have persuaded him of this. Hyde’s apparent interest in Utterson knowing where he lives has made Utterson think that Hyde knows about the will; since he now knows where Hyde lives, he will be more easily able to give the will to Hyde. He can see Hyde thinking this.

 

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson generate suspense in this chapter? Stevenson generates suspense by making Utterson look in such a determined way for Hyde: there is an element of a “hunt” here — and a mystery. We really want to know what will happen when Utterson meets Hyde. When he does, the meeting is very tense: Hyde seems very anti-social except when he appears to be thinking about the will. This leads the reader to think that Hyde may well be planning for Jekyll to die soon so that he can inherit his money. The reader thinks that maybe Hyde is planning Jekyll’s murder. The dialogue between Utterson and Hyde is brief and tense. Stevenson’s descriptions in the chapter are highly suspenseful: the description of the dreams Utterson has of the faceless figures are genuinely horrific and based on Stevenson’s own dreams.

How does Stevenson create a Gothic atmosphere in his description of the streets of London and Utterson’s dreams? The London that Stevenson describes is a “Gothic” London full of darkness and fog, which appears to be both literal and metaphorical. The characters in the novel are immersed in darkness or evil, and the fog could suggest their moral confusion as well.

 

Evaluative questions

How successful is Stevenson in creating a mood of mystery in this chapter? Stevenson’s ability to tell a fascinating, fast-paced mystery story as well as his facility to describe London and Utterson’s nightmares make this a highly successful chapter. Above all, it is his characterisation of Hyde which makes the story so gripping: Hyde is only shown in “little bursts” but what we do see is very disturbing. This is a man who appears capable of murder and even worse.

 For more on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde please read my book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: The Study Guide Edition available in paperback and e-Book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1494767910

My play-script version of the novel enables students to read the book in groups and understand it as well as the context of the times: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1495975010

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