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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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1 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

2 Chronology of Stevenson’s Life and Work
Born 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland 1875: admitted to Scottish Bar but soon abandons law to pursue writing 1883: published the novel Treasure Island 1885: has dream that leads to writing The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1886: publishes The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1894: dies of cerebral hemorrhage

3 Novella Longer and more complex than short stories but shorter and simpler than novels

4 Setting Victorian Era (1837-1901) 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. Victorian society was divided. Social classes did not mix. The strict morals of upper class Londoners led many to live double lives. Generally, people were uncomfortable and often unwelcome in parts of town that were not inhabited by their own social group.

5 London as Setting Cavendish Square, the area in which Jekyll, Utterson and Lanyon live, was the wealthiest part of London. Only a few blocks away one would find ghettos such as Soho where Hyde kept his residence.

6 Characters All of the major characters in Jekyll and Hyde are bachelors, who, contrary to Victorian norms, do not seek happiness in marriage or romantic union. Dr. Gabriel John Utterson Dr. Richard Enfield Dr. Henry (Harry) Jekyll Edward Hyde Dr. Hastie Lanyon Poole Bradshaw Mr. Guest Sir Danvers Carew Inspector Newcomen of Scotland Yard

7 Essential Questions How do social norms help define and restrain an individual? Have the forces of good and evil changed over time? Is humankind inherently good /evil or do we learn this behavior? How do individuals control their dark side and reconcile their dual nature? What could Dr. Jekyll’s potion represent in our society?

8 Themes Dual nature or split personality – A dual nature exists within all people. Reason vs. supernatural - Characters make decisions based on logic instead of supernatural occurrences or vice/versa Limits of scientific experimentation – How does one decide if the potential benefits override the risks? Effects of society on the individual – Society influences temptation and the suppression of desires.

9 Freudian Influence Sigmund Freud, the father of psychotherapy, lived at the same time Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published. Freud believed that human beings are powerfully influenced by impulses of which they are not aware and which are often expressed in dreams. Freud named the conscious part of oneself the ego. He named the unconscious part of oneself the id. He also labeled the superego as society, ethics, and morals. To many readers, Hyde represented Dr. Jekyll’s subconscious (id) desire to be freed from society’s restrictions.

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