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Discussion Questions for Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Instructor: Rachel Tustin

Dr. Rachel Tustin has a PhD in Education focusing on Educational Technology, a Masters in English, and a BS in Marine Science. She has taught in K-12 for more than 15 years, and higher education for ten years.

Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, is a classic gothic novel set in Victorian England. These discussion questions will help students explore various themes and Victorian beliefs that help define the text.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: More than Meets the Eye

Once you finish Robert Louis Stevenson's novel with your students, the outcome may seem painfully obvious. Even as you work through the novel in class, you will have students who come to realize the true nature of the relationship between Jekyll and Hyde early on in the story. However, even if students realize the plot twist in advance, Stevenson's work offers a rich text for students to study.

From reflections on science and religion in Victorian England to studying Stevenson's rich use of figurative language, discussion questions offer an opportunity to keep your students engaged in conversations about the novel.

Character Analysis

  1. Compare/contrast the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Lanyon. How are their views of science similar/different?
  2. Utterson serves as the narrator throughout the entire novel. How does his role in the story help build intrigue as the tale goes on?
  3. Throughout the novel, there is a notable lack of female characters. When they do appear in the story, they are victims or servants rather than more prominent roles. How is this a reflection of life in Victorian England?
  4. While no one realizes it initially, Jekyll and Hyde's homes are tied as closely as their relationship. How are the homes symbolic of the struggle that plays out between the two characters?
  5. Sir Danvers Carew's murder elevates the tension in the novel. Why is his murder so important in furthering the plot of the story?

Artwork for Chapter 5 by Charles Raymond Macauley for the 1904 edition of The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
dq jekyll image 1

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