Tag Archives: understanding

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

Comprehension questions on all the chapters

Comprehension questions on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, taken from:

A T E A C H E R ’ S G U I D E TO T H E S I G N E T C L A S S I C E D I T I O N O F ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON’S DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE By JEANNE M. McGLINN and JAMES E. McGLINN

CHAPTER 1 STORY OF THE DOOR
1. What is Mr. Utterson’s relationship to Mr. Enfield? How are the two men alike, different?
2. Compare and contrast the description of the building and door used by Mr. Hyde and Enfield’s description of him. How does Stevenson seem to be using setting to convey a sense of the man?
3. What is the story of Cain and Abel? What does it mean that Mr. Utterson says he inclines to Cain’s heresy in his dealings
with others? Explain why you agree or disagree with this way of dealing with your acquaintances. Do you feel you would
want to ignore or confront them with their failings or foolishness so they would improve their lives?
4. Although both Utterson and Enfield protest that they prefer to mind their own business, both men actively seek to help
others. Describe Enfield’s reaction to Hyde’s collision with the little girl. Do you think a citizen today would respond
similarly to a wrong doer? Why or why not? What does this say about basic assumptions of how a gentleman should act
in Victorian London?
CHAPTER 2 SEARCH FOR MR. HYDE
1. Describe the reason that Dr. Lanyon became estranged from Dr. Jekyll. What does this indicate about Lanyon’s character?
2. Why is Utterson so obsessed with images from Enfield’s story about Hyde that he cannot sleep?
3. Once Utterson confronts Hyde, how does he feel toward him? What reasons does Utterson give for his feelings about
Hyde? In Utterson’s response to Hyde, what does Stevenson tell us about Hyde?
4. Why doesn’t Stevenson ever tell us what Hyde’s face looks like?
5. Describe the appearance of the street and house in which Dr. Jekyll lives. What can we infer about Dr. Jekyll from this setting?
6. Utterson’s speculation on Jekyll’s connection to Hyde makes him reflect on his own vices and failings. What could
Stevenson be implying about human nature in Utterson’s reflection?
CHAPTER 3 DR. JEKYLL WAS QUITE AT EASE
1. How does Jekyll describe Lanyon? What does this suggest about Jekyll’s feelings about his own abilities?
2. What does Jekyll ask of Utterson at the end of the chapter? Why does Utterson have strong misgivings about this request?
CHAPTER 4 THE CAREW MURDER CASE
1. What is revealed about the levels of Victorian society in the first page of this chapter?
2. How is Hyde described as he kills Sir Danvers Carew? How does this image fit with the other physical descriptions
Stevenson has given of Hyde?
3. As Utterson takes the police officer to arrest Hyde, Stevenson gives a vivid description of “the dismal quarter of Soho” where Hyde lives. What is the effect of this description on our mood? What is the effect of this description on our understanding of Hyde?
4. Why do you think that Utterson feels “a terror of the law and the law’s officers”?
5. Is there any significance in the fact that although Hyde’s specific facial features cannot be recognized, everyone remembers
the sense of deformity he conveyed?
CHAPTER 5 INCIDENT OF THE LETTER
1. Dr. Jekyll is a changed man when Utterson greets him in this chapter compared to the last time Utterson saw him. What accounts for this change?
2. What lesson do you think Jekyll has learned?
CHAPTER 6 REMARKABLE INCIDENT OF DR. LANYON
What happens to Dr. Lanyon? Is there any suggestion about what has caused his illness?
CHAPTER 7 INCIDENT AT THE WINDOW
Why does Utterson mutter “God forgive us” after the incident at the window?
CHAPTER 8 THE LAST NIGHT
1. Why does Poole believe that his master has been murdered?
2. What is the evidence that a troubled person had lived in the room where Hyde was found dead?
CHAPTER 9 DR. LANYON’S NARRATIVE
1. What caused Lanyon to become mortally ill? How do we know that Lanyon was so vulnerable to shock? Has Stevenson sufficiently prepared us for the disastrous effect of Jekyll’s revelations? Why did Stevenson need to kill Lanyon off for
purposes of plot?
2. Why did Jekyll want to reveal his transformation to Dr. Lanyon?
CHAPTER 10 HENRY JEKYLL’S FULL STATEMENT OF THE CASE
1. What led to Dr. Jekyll’s “profound duplicity of life”?
2. What does Jekyll mean when he says that man is “truly two” and that “in the agonized womb of consciousness,
these polar twins should be continuously struggling?
3. Why did Jekyll enjoy being Hyde? In other words, what aspects of Hyde’s persona were attractive to Jekyll?
4. Was Jekyll ever able not to feel guilty for the sins of Hyde? Why or why not?
5. Jekyll describes his descent from the undignified to the monstrous. What caused this descent?
6. What are the main reasons that Jekyll tries to cast off his Hyde nature forever?
7. Why does Jekyll’s lower nature come to dominate him?
8. Why does Hyde commit suicide?
9. What morals or lessons can we draw from the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?