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Introduction: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

2 Background The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson was interested in what made up a person’s character: How a person can be both bad and good

3 Theme Our study of Dr. Jekyll… will focus heavily on theme.
You will writing an essay on a theme What is a theme?

4 Theme

5 Theme is… the central or dominant idea behind the story; the most important aspect that emerges from how the book treats its subject. Sometimes theme is easy to see, but, at other times, it may be more difficult. Theme is usually expressed indirectly, as an element the reader must figure out. The author implies a theme while the readers infer its meaning

6 Theme continued It is a universal statement about humanity, rather than a simple statement dealing with plot or characters in the story. Themes are generally hinted at through different methods: a phrase or quotation that introduces the novel, a recurring element in the book, or an observation made that is reinforced through plot, dialogue, or characters.

7 Themes in Dr. Jekyll… Be aware for evidence of the following themes:
human ugliness originates in the soul people who succumb to the temptations of evil risk losing their capacity (ability) for good people who suppress, or restrain, their natural desires risk having them surface out of control.

8 Theme There are two ways to interpret the message in this novella
Novella- more complicated than a short story, but fewer conflicts than in a novel.

9 First Interpretation: Born Evil
RLS had a strict Christian and moral upbringing. The idea of good vs. evil was one that he was quite aware of. Adam/Eve and serpent, Cain and Abel Thomas Hobbes thought that humans were naturally bad and would be like animals in a “state of nature” In Christianity, original sin says that people are born inclined toward evil and struggle to be good

10 Second Interpretation: Society makes us evil
Context: Takes place in Victorian Era ( ) in London, England Members of the upper class in Victorian times were especially expected to behave virtuously. They, along with their homes, were expected to be proper and elegant at all times.

11 A Class Divided Victorian society was divided.
Social classes did not mix, and behavior, especially among members of the upper class, was expected to be exemplary at all times. The unrealistically rigid morality of upper class Londoners led many to live double lives.

12 2nd Interpretation: Tabula Rasa
The Enlightenment view was that people are born blank slates society shapes the person into good or evil Sigmund Freud, the father of psychotherapy, believed that human beings are powerfully influenced by impulses they are not aware of

13 Personality Freud said there were three parts to a person’s psychology
Ego- the conscious part of oneself (adult) Id- the unconscious part of oneself (childlike) Superego- as society, ethics, and morals. To many readers, Hyde represents Dr. Jekyll’s subconscious desire to be freed from society’s restrictions. People need to repress desires for society to work.

14 What do you think? Jot down some notes in prep for a 4 Corner Debate
Are good and evil innate (are they in us when we’re born)? OR Is it society who makes us who we are? Consider: Are people basically good or basically bad? Can “good” people do “bad” things? Is everyone capable of doing horrible things such as the crimes Jot down some notes in prep for a 4 Corner Debate

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