Category Archives: Evaluative questions

Detailed questions and answers on “Henry Jekyll’s full statement of the case”

Comprehension questions

What was Jekyll’s upbringing like? Why were the seeds of him becoming “Jekyll and Hyde” sown then?

What experiments did Jekyll pursue and why did other scientists like Lanyon regard him as misguided for doing them?

What are Jekyll’s emotions when he tramples on the girl talked about in the first chapter?

What were the circumstances that led up to the murder of Carew?

What does Jekyll decide to do after the murder of Carew?

What evidence is there that Jekyll is being taken over by Hyde?

What happens in Regent’s Park that shocks Jekyll so much?

What does Jekyll feel towards Hyde and what does Hyde feel towards Jekyll?

Analytical questions

What evidence is there that Jekyll is an “unreliable narrator”?

Why do you think Stevenson wrote this last section of the novel when the reader already knows the answer to the mystery?

How does Stevenson build up a sense of drama and horror in this section?

How does Stevenson build up sympathy for Jekyll and, to a lesser extent, Hyde?

Evaluative questions

How successful is this last section of the novel?

Creative response tasks

Write Hyde’s diary for the events described in this novel, describing his feelings when he tramples upon the girl, when he has to pay compensation, when he meets Utterson, when he murders Carew, when he goes on his nightly adventures, and when he returns in Regent’s Park and visits Lanyon. Describe his feelings towards Jekyll.

 

You can watch YouTube videos I made about this section here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G842fM-0xuU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm9zkeIq-fE

 

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

What was Jekyll’s upbringing like? Why were the seeds of him becoming “Jekyll and Hyde” sown then? He always had two sides to his nature: he had a “gaiety of disposition”, which meant in those days that he wanted to be sexually promiscuous with the opposite sex, but he always wanted to be respectable and an important, high status member of society. The two things were only possible if he hid his reckless, wild side from the general public. Thus we can see that he had a “duality” of nature: two sides, a side that wanted to “appear good”, and a side that wanted to commit what was regarded then as “sinful” or “bad” acts.

What experiments did Jekyll pursue and why did other scientists like Lanyon regard him as misguided for doing them? He pursued “transcendental” or “mystical” experiments which attempted to separate the different sides of the human soul. He was regarded as being unscientific because what he was searching for was not viewed as a valid topic for scientific study.

What are Jekyll’s emotions when he tramples on the girl talked about in the first chapter? He doesn’t appear to really care about the girl at all and views the matter as a problem only because he was nearly lynched for being violent to her.

What were the circumstances that led up to the murder of Carew? Jekyll had not taken the drug from some time, vowing to give it up altogether, but when he did “give in” and take it again its strength was greatly increased because he hadn’t taken it in a long while. This meant that its effect was much stronger and this, in turn, led to him murdering Carew without any reason at all.

What does Jekyll decide to do after the murder of Carew? He decides to give up taking the drug altogether

What evidence is there that Jekyll is being taken over by Hyde? Sometimes he would go to sleep as Henry Jekyll but then wake up as Mr Hyde.

What happens in Regent’s Park that shocks Jekyll so much? He turns into Hyde suddenly during the day. He had not taken the drug. Hyde is wanted for murder and therefore is terrified of being caught and hung for the crime.

What does Jekyll feel towards Hyde and what does Hyde feel towards Jekyll? Jekyll feels “paternal” towards Hyde: he wants to indulge Hyde like a kind father might indulge a spoilt son. Hyde has nothing but contempt for Jekyll and would get rid of him if he weren’t killing himself as well.

 

Analytical questions

What evidence is there that Jekyll is an “unreliable narrator”? Jekyll is a narrator who does not fully describe things that might make him uncomfortable. For example, he only makes very short references to incidents that occupy a large part of the first part of the book: the trampling of the child, the murder of Carew and Lanyon’s response to seeing Hyde turn into Jekyll are only briefly described.  He appears to “skim” over these details because he doesn’t want to think about the implications of what he is done. He comes across as a very selfish and self-obsessed man who cares much more about not being caught and his own enjoyment than other people: he never expresses guilt for what he has done, only regret that things have turned out badly for him.

Why do you think Stevenson wrote this last section of the novel when the reader already knows the answer to the mystery? Stevenson aimed to write much more than a horror story: he wanted to write a story which was a “psychological fable about the human condition”. This section attempts to show the workings of Jekyll’s mind and reveals that far from being the opposite of Hyde, Jekyll always had “Hyde” hidden inside him. Behind the veneer of respectability lurked a monster.

How does Stevenson build up a sense of drama and horror in this section? The horror in this section is largely psychological. We feel horrified by the way in which Jekyll seems to love and care for Hyde, by the way in which he dismisses his crimes as unimportant and indeed at one point talks about how happy he felt when he was murdering Carew. Jekyll’s self-pitying words are nauseating to read and make the reader angry that a man who had so much could enjoy becoming a psycho-path.

How does Stevenson build up sympathy for Jekyll and, to a lesser extent, Hyde? We feel sympathy for the way in which Jekyll becomes “corrupted” by the drug and the opportunities it offers to him. Even though he has confessed to enjoying murdering Carew, we can’t help but feel a degree of sympathy for him when he talks about how degraded and humiliated he has become by his experiment. While we may hate Jekyll, we still see and, to a certain extent, feel his pain.

 

Evaluative questions

How successful is this last section of the novel? While the first half of the novel relied upon the classic tropes of the horror/mystery story to keep the reader interested, this last section maintains the reader’s interest by getting us to think very carefully about Jekyll’s state of mind and his perspective upon events we have already read about. Furthermore, this narrative “fills in the holes” of the narrative: we still don’t quite know why Hyde had to demand Lanyon fetched the drugs from Jekyll’s house. We realise now that Jekyll had turned into Hyde in Regent’s Park and was desperate to change back to Jekyll but had no safe way of getting home. One of the chief pleasures in re-reading the novel is thinking again and again about Jekyll’s predicament, which is possibly a predicament of many of us: how can we do what we want and yet be accepted in the eyes of society? Often our desires are in conflict with what society expects from us. This last part of the narrative explores this issue and reveals that we are all in a tragic situation like Jekyll: our inner-most desires will, in the end, kill us.

 

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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Detailed questions and answers on “Dr Lanyon’s narrative”

Comprehension questions

What does Jekyll’s letter to Lanyon order him to do?

What is Lanyon’s reaction to Jekyll’s letter and the contents of Jekyll’s drawer?

What does Lanyon think of Hyde?

Why does Hyde warn Lanyon about if he watches him taking the potion?

What happens to Hyde and why is Lanyon so shocked? Why does the sight of Hyde’s transformation cause his death?

Analytical questions

Why is this chapter written in the first person with Lanyon narrating?

How does Stevenson create a sense of drama when Hyde turns into Jekyll? How and why have many writers and film-makers imitated and borrowed from this scene?

Evaluative questions

We learn the answer to the mystery in this chapter. Do you think it is a good solution?

Creative response tasks

Write a story or poem called “The Transformation”.

Write Utterson’s diary in response to reading this account, discussing his feelings when he learns that Hyde is Jekyll. Is he as shocked as Lanyon?

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

What does Jekyll’s letter to Lanyon order him to do? He orders Lanyon to go to his room, or “cabinet”, and collect some drugs from a specific drawer, and then return to his house where a man at midnight will collect the drugs for Jekyll.

What is Lanyon’s reaction to Jekyll’s letter and the contents of Jekyll’s drawer? Lanyon thinks that Jekyll has probably lost his mind, that he has a “cerebral” or “brain” disease. He decides to arm himself with a revolver to defend himself. He assumes that Jekyll must have lost his mind because of some experiment that has gone wrong: Lanyon is not surprised by this because he has always been suspicious of Jekyll’s scientific methods.

What does Lanyon think of Hyde? Lanyon finds Hyde unpleasant but also ridiculous because he is dressed in clothes that are far too big for him. He notices that Hyde has a physical effect upon him, making him feel revolted.

Why does Hyde warn Lanyon about watching him take the potion? Because what Lanyon will see will “stagger the unbelief of Satan”, in other words even the Devil himself would be amazed to see what he is going to see.

What happens to Hyde and why is Lanyon so shocked? Why does the sight of Hyde’s transformation cause his death? Hyde turns into Jekyll. Lanyon is shocked for two reasons. First, because the transformation proves that Jekyll is a good scientist: he had called what Jekyll did previously “unscientific balderdash”. Second, his faith in human nature is shaken: how could someone as respectable as Jekyll change into someone as evil as Hyde?

 

Analytical questions

Why is this chapter written in the first person with Lanyon narrating? Stevenson uses a number of different styles of writing in the book. The first half of the book is largely written in the third person, and is mainly a description of Utterson’s quest to help his friend, Jekyll, and discover what his problems really are. The third person narrative style suits the “detective” genre of the writing. However, by having Lanyon tell his story in his own words makes the story all the more believable and emotional. We, the reader, become Lanyon himself as he watches Hyde transform into Jekyll: the first person narration allows us to feel his shock and pain at seeing his friend turn from the monster Hyde into his friend Henry Jekyll.

How does Stevenson create a sense of drama when Hyde turns into Jekyll? How and why have many writers and film-makers imitated and borrowed from this scene? Stevenson uses a great deal of “visual imagery” at key points in the book. Certain important scenes are described in so much detail that we can clearly visualise exactly what is happening. This is particularly the case with the transformation from Hyde to Jekyll.

 

He put the glass to his lips and drank at one gulp. A cry followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I looked there came, I thought, a change—he seemed to swell—his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and alter—and the next moment, I had sprung to my feet and leaped back against the wall, my arms raised to shield me from that prodigy, my mind submerged (covered) in terror.

“O God!” I screamed, and “O God!” again and again; for there before my eyes—pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death—there stood Henry Jekyll!

 

We see here how Stevenson uses some very powerful verbs to describe the way in which Hyde is affected by drinking the potion: he “reels”, “staggers”, “clutches”, “stares”, “gasps”. The effect of these verbs is to give the prose a real sense of action: each verb generates a visual image which suggests the pain of Jekyll. We see Hyde “staggering” around like someone who is drunk and has lost his faculty to stand properly; the verb “gasp” suggests that he is suffocating. In the next part, the verbs acquire a psychedelic, magical quality, Hyde’s face “melts” and “alters”: this is very sinister and possibly horrific to see someone’s face melt like wax. Lanyon’s reaction adds to the terror: he screams out “O God!” because he has no other response than this. What he is seeing is almost beyond words to convey.

 

Evaluative questions

We learn the answer to the mystery in this chapter. Do you think it is a good solution? Some critics believe that the genius of the book is the solution to the mystery, which is both unexpected but obvious. Even when the novel is re-read again and again, it is this solution which intrigues, teases and attracts the reader: this horror story becomes a study of the human condition because of this solution. If Hyde had been another person or a ghost or ghoul, it would have been an ordinary ghost story about an evil person or thing who is the “shadow” of a good man. However, by making Jekyll and Hyde one and the same person, we begin to examine ourselves: do we not too have a “Hyde” within us? What would we do if we could have a Hyde who could do whatever he/she wanted without ever being caught? The novel thus moves from being a mystery story to a psychological fable which makes the reader ask questions of him or herself. Thus we could say the true horror of the story is that Stevenson has a point which is still true today: all of us have a “Hyde” within us. It comes as no surprise that the phrase a “Jekyll/Hyde character” has entered the language meaning a person who can suddenly switch from being very nice to committing evil.

 

Detailed questions and answers on “Incident at the Window”

Comprehension questions

What does Enfield discover about Hyde’s rooms that he didn’t know? Why do you think Utterson hadn’t already told him this information?

What are Jekyll’s mood and emotions like in this chapter?

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson use description and dialogue to create a sense of drama and impending doom in this chapter?

Evaluative questions

How successful is this chapter in provoking the reader’s curiosity?

Creative response tasks

Write a poem or short story about a brief but chilling meeting with a friend who is in a bad way, calling it “My Sad Friend”.

Write Enfield’s diary for this chapter in which he talks about his friendship with Utterson and his thoughts on Jekyll and Hyde.

 

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDO-vorkfUc

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

What does Enfield discover about Hyde’s rooms that he didn’t know? He realises that Hyde’s living quarters are actually the back part of Dr Jekyll’s house.

Why do you think Utterson hadn’t already told him this information? Utterson is a very “discreet” person: he does not reveal his friend’s secrets or troubles to anyone. Thus we see him as someone who can be trusted and doesn’t gossip.

What are Jekyll’s mood and emotions like in this chapter? Jekyll is revealed as being in a state of “abject terror” when he finishes talking to Enfield and Utterson: he is terrified in the most extreme fashion.

 

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson use description and dialogue to create a sense of drama and impending doom in this chapter? The description of Jekyll sitting in such a dejected way at the window creates a sense of impending doom because we see that hhe feels that he has no future prospects. He appears to be without hope: he can’t even go out for a walk with his friends. Then when his mood shifts from one of depression to “abject terror” we have a sense that something terrible is going to happen to Jekyll.

 Evaluative questions

How successful is this chapter in provoking the reader’s curiosity? Stevenson’s manages to carry on creating a deep and profound of mystery in this chapter because, on first reading, we don’t know what is troubling Jekyll or what is making his mood swing so sharply. As far as we are concerned, Hyde has disappeared and therefore Jekyll possibly doesn’t need to worry about him. The shift from depression to “abject terror” is particularly perplexing. Why has he suddenly shut the window on his friends? What has happened to him to make him suddenly feel this way? The chapter, like the previous one, provokes many questions in the reader’s mind.

Detailed questions and answer on “Remarkable Incident of Dr Lanyon”

Comprehension questions

Dr Jekyll enters a new phase of life at the beginning of the chapter: what does he do that was different from before?

Then he refuses to see Utterson: why do you think – look at “Henry Jekyll’s full statement of the case” for the answer?

How has Lanyon changed when Utterson visits him?

What letter does Utterson receive from Lanyon and what instructions come with it?

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson develop Lanyon’s character in this chapter?

Evaluative questions

How successfully does Stevenson arouse the reader’s curiosity in this chapter?

Creative response tasks

Write Utterson’s diary for this chapter, explaining what he thinks and feels at Jekyll and Lanyon’s behaviour.

Stevenson writes of Hyde at the beginning of the chapter: “Much of his past was unearthed, indeed, and all disreputable (disgraceful/creating a poor reputation): tales came out of the man’s cruelty, at once so callous and violent; of his vile life, of his strange associates (people he knew), of the hatred that seemed to have surrounded his career”. Write a series of newspaper articles about what Hyde has done.

Write a poem or story called “The Shock”.

 

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDO-vorkfUc

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

Dr Jekyll enters a new phase of life at the beginning of the chapter: what does he do that was different from before? He does “good”, i.e. charitable works. He also socialises like he used to, inviting  Utterson and Lanyon to dinner.

Then he refuses to see Utterson: why do you think – look at “Henry Jekyll’s full statement of the case” for the answer? We learn in Jekyll’s narrative that he has been turning into Hyde without wishing to: this is the reason that he won’t see anyone.

How has Lanyon changed when Utterson visits him? He has his “death warrant” written on his face, in other words, he is going to die.

What letter does Utterson receive from Lanyon and what instructions come with it? He receives a letter addressed to him but he is told that he must not open it until Jekyll has disappeared or died.

 

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson develop Lanyon’s character in this chapter? Stevenson has been very careful to “develop” his characterisation of Lanyon in this chapter because he reveals him to be a very different man from the beginning of the book, where Lanyon was presented as a smug person who was utterly confident that Jekyll was pursuing “unscientific balderdash” and would have nothing to do with him and his projects. He was certain of himself and his views. In this chapter, we see a man who has had all of his views about life shattered and changed: he has lost his confidence and is about to die. He has changed very dramatically.

 

Evaluative questions

How successfully does Stevenson arouse the reader’s curiosity in this chapter? The change in Lanyon provokes the reader’s curiosity because it is so extreme. We, as readers, wonder: how can such a confident and successful man change so dramatically? What has happened to cause his death?

 

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

Detailed question and answers on “Incident of the letter”

 

Comprehension questions

What does the state of Jekyll’s laboratory tell us about his state of mind?

What does the letter to Jekyll from Hyde say?

Why does Utterson believe Jekyll forged the letter?

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson reveal Jekyll’s state of mind in this chapter? Think about his use of dialogue, the descriptions of the laboratory, and the plot twist that the letter is a forgery.

Evaluative questions

How successful is Stevenson in generating mystery and suspense in the chapter?

Creative response tasks

Write a story or poem called “The Forgery”.

Write Utterson’s diary for this chapter, discussing his feelings about seeing his friend Henry Jekyll and his concern when he finds out the letter is a forgery.

 

You can watch a YouTube video I made about this section here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS7-NztA0Tk

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

What does the state of Jekyll’s laboratory tell us about his state of mind? That he is neglectful of his previous interests: all of his scientific equipment is unused. This suggests he is probably depressed because he is not pursuing his favourite past-time: science.

What does the letter to Jekyll from Hyde say? Hyde says that he has escaped and can’t be caught, and that he will not return.

Why does Utterson believe Jekyll forged the letter? First, he learns from a servant that no one delivered the letter. Second, his friend Mr Guest, who is a hand-writing expert, notices that Hyde’s handwriting in the letter is identical to Jekyll’s, except that it is differently sloped.

 

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson reveal Jekyll’s state of mind in this chapter? Think about his use of dialogue, the descriptions of the laboratory, and the plot twist that the letter is a forgery.  Through his description of the abandoned and disused laboratory, he reveals that Jekyll is no longer pursing his passion, science, this suggests that Jekyll is depressed. When he talks to Jekyll, it is obvious that he is in a state of shock, but convinced that Hyde won’t trouble him again. Stevenson’s use of dialogue is effective in conveying Jekyll’s sense of shock. However, the revelation that Jekyll has possibly forged the letter suggests that Jekyll is deceitful for some reason. This narrative “twist” is very effective in making the reader think that Jekyll is hiding some terrible secret, and is not to be trusted.

 

Evaluative questions

How successful is Stevenson in generating mystery and suspense in the chapter? Stevenson’s characterisation of Jekyll as a cunning but shocked person is highly effective for a number of reasons. First, it creates mystery: we, as readers, are desperate to know the solution to the mystery. Second, it is highly successful in constructing a picture of a highly complex personality: Jekyll is not a “straight-forward” person at all, and this provokes our interest in the story further.

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

Detailed questions and answers on “The Carew Murder Case”

Comprehension questions

What were the circumstances of the murder of Sir Danvers Carew? How was he killed?

Why was Utterson contacted?

What incriminating evidence was found in Hyde’s rooms?

Why is Hyde now a hunted man?
    Analytical questions

How does Stevenson convey a sense of horror and mystery in this chapter?

Look at Stevenson’s descriptions of London and Hyde’s flat: how does he generate a Gothic atmosphere here?

Evaluative questions

How successful is Stevenson in making Hyde seem genuinely evil?

Creative response tasks

Write the newspaper article about the murder of Carew.

Continue Utterson’s diary for this chapter of the novel, detailing his thoughts on the murder and his discovery of the incriminating evidence in Jekyll’s flat.

Write a story or poem called “The Murder”.

 

You can watch a YouTube video I made about the chapter here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk5jBmSVn_8

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

What were the circumstances of the murder of Sir Danvers Carew? How was he killed? He was killed in October on a night which was cloudless and there was a full moon. Mr Hyde approached Sir Danvers Carew, exchanged a few words, which did not seem very important, and then lost his temper, clubbing the kind old man to death. He hit him so hard that the maid who witnessed the attack heard the old man’s bones shatter. After witnessing the attack, the maid fainted and woke up at 2am, when she saw Hyde’s broken stick lying near the old man. It was then that she contacted the police.

Why was Utterson contacted? Utterson was approached because when Sir Danver’s clothes were searched, a letter addressed to him was found: Utterson was Sir Danver’s lawyer.

What incriminating evidence was found in Hyde’s rooms? The other half of the broken stick.

Why is Hyde now a hunted man? Because he murdered a very important politician, Sir Danvers Carew. Notice how people were less bothered about finding him after the attack on the girl, possibly because she was of a lower class than Sir Danvers.

 

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson convey a sense of horror and mystery in this chapter? Stevenson takes great care in describing the murder of Sir Danvers in a number of different ways. First, it is important that a maid witnesses the murder: she is an innocent by-stander and this gives her description more poignancy. Second, she knows Hyde: we never learn why, but this adds to a sense of mystery and menace about Hyde: maybe he has been attacking maids? Third, the maid’s description is genuinely horrific: it appears that Hyde has attacked a man who described as being very “kindly” and “beautiful” with “white hair” for what appears to be no reason at all. The metaphor used to describe his anger is effective; the maid describes how he broke out in a “great flame of anger”. This suggests both the power and horror of Hyde: he is a man who burns with anger. He is genuinely psychotic. Then Sir Danvers’ bones are described as “audibly” shattering: in other words, the maid heard his bones crunch as he was smashed by Hyde’s stick, which breaks from the violence of the attack.

Look at Stevenson’s descriptions of London and Hyde’s flat: how does he generate a Gothic atmosphere here? Stevenson creates a very Gothic atmosphere firstly by his descriptions of the fog and the darkness. Even though it is the morning, there is still darkness which is created by the fog: “a great chocolate-coloured pall” covers the whole of the city. This metaphor is particularly effective because a “pall” is a cloth spread over a coffin. In other words, it feels like the city itself is a coffin, which contains the dead body of the people. The daylight is described as “haggard”: tired, wearied and ugly. Women who have their own “keys” wander about the area where Hyde lives: in Stevenson’s day, women who had their own keys were probably prostitutes. The area has a “gin palace”: this was a place to get very cheap, strong alcohol. “Ragged” children, who are probably homeless, “huddle in the doorways”. This is a city of your worst nightmares: full of vice, of poverty, of unfairness, soaked in fog and a feeling of death.

 

Evaluative questions

How successful is Stevenson in making Hyde seem genuinely evil?

Hyde’s evil is evoked by the way he murders Carew. He appears to have murdered him for absolutely no reason at all. He is a man consumed by evil, which burns like a “great flame” within him. He seems to enjoy “trampling” upon people: this is a particularly cowardly method of attack. He only seems to pick upon people weaker than himself and seems to enjoy murdering Carew. He is a sadist: he enjoys seeing people suffer. Thus we can see that Stevenson is extremely successful in evoking Hyde’s evil nature: we see him doing very evil things, and what is more we see him enjoying his evil deeds. He appears totally out of control. For me, his real evil comes from the fact that he only picks on weak people: he is a psychotic bully.

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

Detailed questions and answers on “Dr Jekyll was quite at ease”

Comprehension questions

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?

Analytical questions

How does Stevenson present Jekyll in this chapter? How does he create a sense of mystery around the character?

Evaluative questions

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

 

Comprehension questions

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.

                     

Analytical questions

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?

 

 

Evaluative questions

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