Why does Jekyll think Lanyon is a pedant?
What does Jekyll make Utterson promise? Why is Utterson uneasy about the promise?
What is Jekyll’s state of mind at this point do you think?
How does Stevenson present Jekyll in this chapter? How does he create a sense of mystery around the character?
How successful is Stevenson in creating a sense of mystery in this chapter?
Creative response tasks
Write a story or poem about a friend who is a good person but befriends a bully who is a bad influence, calling the story “Bad Influence”.
Write Utterson’s diary for this chapter.
POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold
Why does Jekyll think Lanyon is a pedant? Jekyll thinks that Lanyon is “nit-picking” when he criticises Jekyll’s scientific experiments and ideas.
What does Jekyll make Utterson promise? Why is Utterson uneasy about the promise? He makes him promise that he will do his best for Hyde if he dies or disappears: in other words make sure Hyde enjoys the contents of the will. Utterson does not like Hyde and is worried that Jekyll may be murdered by Hyde in order to get the contents of the will.
What is Jekyll’s state of mind at this point do you think? On the surface, Jekyll appears to be “normal” in that he is socialising and seeing people. However, the moment that Utterson questions him about Hyde a “paleness comes to his lips and blackness about the eyes”. He is obviously very worried in some kind of way about Hyde, but won’t explain exactly what his worries are.
How does Stevenson present Jekyll in this chapter? How does he create a sense of mystery around the character? Stevenson presents Jekyll as someone who appears on the surface to be happy, but clearly is in a disturbed state of mind deep down. We see how unnerved he becomes when he is asked about Hyde: he becomes “pale” and there is“blackness about his eyes”. The description of the “blackness” is interesting because it suggests a much darker side to Jekyll. When we hear about Jekyll saying that he has a great interest in Hyde, we feel rather sickened because we know that Jekyll is friends with a man who trampled on a little girl. And we are fascinated too: what hold does Hyde have over Jekyll?
How successful is Stevenson in creating a sense of mystery in this chapter? The mystery is generated by the reader trying to guess the relationship between Hyde and Jekyll. Even when we know the solution to the mystery, the book is enjoyable to re-read because we see more clearly just how “conflicted” Jekyll is about Hyde. He is clearly pleased to have a friend who he can get rid of at any time, but he is also worried that Hyde may take over him: this is why he has written the will. The pleasure in reading the book for the first time is the pleasure in trying to find out the mystery; the pleasure on second reading is the pleasure of working out Jekyll’s complex psychological relationship with his “dark side”, with his Mr Hyde.
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