Tag Archives: analytical 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

 

 

 

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 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 “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

Detailed questions and answers on “Story of the Door”

Comprehension questions

What type of person is Utterson? Why do “downgoing men” seek him out?

Why do Enfield and Utterson go for a walk together every Sunday?

What was of interest about the door that Enfield tells the story about? What did it look like?

What did Enfield witness regarding Hyde and the small girl?

Why and how did the crowd manage to get Hyde to write the girl’s family a cheque? What was odd about the cheque?

What is strange about Mr Hyde according to Enfield?

Analytical questions

Our first encounter with Hyde is an “eye-witness” account from Enfield. Why do you think Stevenson chose to introduce Hyde in this way?

What adjectives and imagery are used to describe Hyde?

Evaluative questions

How successful is this opening to the novel? Discuss the parts of the chapter that must have affected its first readers very deeply.

Creative response tasks

Imagine you are Utterson. Write his diary after this chapter has happened.

Write a story about a violent incident you have witnessed or have heard about that has affected you deeply.

 

You can watch some YouTube videos I made about this chapter of the book here:

Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpOXi8PSwVI

Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UuF8-BYbHk

Part Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuTG95q9rSk

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS in brief & bold

 

Comprehension questions

What type of person is Utterson? Why do “downgoing men” seek him out? Utterson is a lawyer, and a loyal friend who can be trusted by respectable men who are in trouble or facing a scandal.

Why do Enfield and Utterson go for a walk together every Sunday? They are related and enjoyed each other’s company even though they don’t talk much.

What was of interest about the door that Enfield tells the story about? What did it look like? The door is very scruffy and dirty and in a poor area. It was the door that a violent man opened.

What did Enfield witness regarding Hyde and the small girl? Hyde trampled on a small girl of eight at three in the morning.

Why and how did the crowd manage to get Hyde to write the girl’s family a cheque? What was odd about the cheque? The crowd told Hyde that they would make a “scandal” of the situation if he did not give the girl’s family some money. The cheque was odd because it was signed by a very respectable man – who we later learn is Dr Jekyll.

What is strange about Mr Hyde according to Enfield? Hyde appears deformed in some sort of way, but it is difficult express why he is so unpleasant in words.

 

Analytical questions

Our first encounter with Hyde is an “eye-witness” account from Enfield. Why do you think Stevenson chose to introduce Hyde in this way? Stevenson’s central aim at this section is to build up both a sense of mystery and horror regarding Hyde. The story is a very disturbing one because only a deeply unpleasant man would trample upon a girl of eight: this incident generates a real sense of horror regarding the character. The reader thinks if Hyde can trample upon a girl of eight, then what else can he do? Stevenson also makes Hyde deeply mysterious in a number of ways, which also contributes to the suspense. Lots of unanswered questions come into the reader’s mind: how and why is Hyde writing cheques signed by a respectable man? Why does he live in such a grotty place if he is wealthy? Why can no one describe him properly?

What adjectives and imagery are used to describe Hyde? Hyde is described as “cool” and “ugly”: both these adjectives have a disturbing effect upon the reader because of their context. Despite the fact that Hyde has just trampled on a small girl, he is “cool”: in other words, he is not emotional or remorseful in any fashion. His physical appearance also makes him seem very unpleasant: he is “ugly” and there is a “strong feeling of deformity” about him. It is interesting to note that no one can describe exactly what he looks like. Enfield talks of him being a “damned Juggernaut”: he seems to have superhuman powers and strength despite being so small.

 

Evaluative questions

How successful is this opening to the novel? Discuss the parts of the chapter that most have affected its first readers very deeply. The chapter is great at provoking the reader’s curiosity in Hyde and his relationship with Dr Jekyll. Stevenson uses the figure of Utterson to create this curiosity: it is Utterson, Jekyll’s friend, who guesses that there is a connection between the two men. Utterson’s caring nature gives the story a sympathetic character, which is important.

 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