Tag Archives: author’s techniques

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

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