Tag Archives: creative response

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 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