Study Help Essay Questions


1. What is the nature of the relationship between Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield?

2. How is Jekyll's house and laboratory physically situated so as to suggest a symbolic significance to the arrangement?

3. After reading the first Chapter, how do you account for the reader's intense interest in such an evil man as Edward Hyde?

4. Describe the basic physical appearance of Henry Jekyll, and then describe the physical appearance of Edward Hyde.

5. What qualities does Mr. Utterson possess that make him such an excellent narrator, or the "central intelligence," or "consciousness" through which most of the novel is presented?

6. Discuss the significance of the names of Utterson, Jekyll and Hyde.

7. Discuss Jekyll's and Lanyon's relationship with one another.

8. Justify Utterson's reluctance to read Lanyon's statement until after "the death or disappearance" of Jekyll.

9. What, in your opinion, did Utterson and Enfield see in Jekyll's face that so astounded or horrified them?

10. Could Dr. Jekyll's entire confession be written by Hyde? Explain.

11. At the beginning of the novel, Dr. Jekyll is in total control of Mr. Hyde, yet at the end of the novel, Mr. Hyde is in control of Dr. Jekyll. Show how this reversal came about.

12. Utterson as a narrator is objective and honest, and yet he often comes to the wrong conclusion about matters such as forgery, Hyde's existence, Jekyll's motives, and other matters. Discuss the character of Utterson and how he is so often misled in his opinions.

13. Contrast Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Lanyon in their basic responses to scientific medicine, to metaphysics, to the basic nature of evil itself, and to man's duality.

14. Discuss this novel as a "mystery story" and demonstrate how there are many clues that lead the reader to solve the "mystery" before the solution is revealed to us in the final Chapters.

15. Using this novel as your basis, discuss the nature of "good" and "evil," or "the double" and the duality of man's nature, as presented in this novel.

16. What qualities does Utterson possess that allow so many prominent men (Jekyll, Lanyon, Sir Danvers, etc.) to trust him so completely?

17. Why is the novel more effective by having all the main characters — Utterson, Jekyll, Lanyon (and maybe Enfield and Sir Danvers) — be prominent, well known, respected men?

18. There are many narrators — among them, Enfield, Utterson, Poole, Lanyon, and Jekyll — in this novel. Discuss what each narrator contributes to the novel.