Jekyll and Hyde Discussion Questions

Three ways to use these discussion points:

  • Discuss the following statements. Your aim is to establish your argument in relation to each discussion point and use analysis of the text to support your interpretation.
  • Create flash cards for each statement. Put the discussion point on one side and your ideas and key quotations on the other – then test yourself or a friend.
  • You could also use these statements as practice essay questions. Just ask yourself: how far do you agree that…

 

  1. Jekyll and Lanyon have completely opposing views on science.
  2. Stevenson presents humanity as whole as deeply flawed.
  3. The depiction of women in Jekyll and Hyde reflects gender roles in Victorian society.
  4. Jekyll’s and Hyde’s homes are symbolic of their characters and their relationship with one another.
  5. Stevenson presents the idea that hiding the true nature of humanity is dangerous.
  6. The murder of Carew is the most important event in the narrative.
  7. Utterson’s narrative voice helps to present the view that Victorian society is ignorant, hypocritical and naive in Jekyll and Hyde.
  8. Utterson is an embodiment of the Victorian mind: rational and sensible, but also blinded by ignorance and snobbery.
  9. It is Stevenson’s descriptions of London itself which are the most terrifying in Jekyll and Hyde.
  10. It is ultimately the Victorian preoccupation with propriety which is critiqued in Jekyll and Hyde. Stevenson presents it as hypocritical and a source of destruction for individuals and society as a whole.
  11. Stevenson suggests that repression of primitive human desire is both impossible and dangerous.
  12. It is impossible to feel any sympathy for Henry Jekyll.
  13. Jekyll’s statement of the case is used by Stevenson to create empathy between the character and the reader: it allows us to see that the actions and motivations of Jekyll may not be so far from our own.
  14. The true terror created in Jekyll and Hyde is that there lies a monster within all of us which has the potential to escape.
  15. Stevenson illustrates that it is impossible for humanity to create a good society: man will always succumb to temptation.
  16. Stevenson presents the futility of human relationships in Jekyll and Hyde.
  17. Hyde is presented as truly monstrous.
  18. Stevenson suggests that it is Science, not man, that presents the most potent danger to society.
  19. Stevenson presents religion as a powerful but ineffective presence in Victorian society.
  20. Hyde is evil because he takes pleasure in violent acts.
  21. Jekyll is ultimately deceitful; his expressions of regret are simply not true. He takes as much pleasure in sin as Hyde does.
  22. Gender is an issue in Jekyll and Hyde: Stevenson suggests that only men are capable of true evil.
  23. Utterson is presented as guilty in the text; this creates the suggestion that the whole of society is also.
  24. Stevenson uses a series of symbols to suggest that the true nature of man and society is concealed.
  25. Through his depiction of strong friendships, Stevenson suggests that even honourable human qualities can ultimately lead to destruction.