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Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Lies and Deceit Theme

In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the plot is frequently driven forward by secrecy and deception; Mr. Utterson doesn’t know the relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and he wants to find out. Also, by omitting the scenes of Mr. Hyde’s supposedly crazy debauchery, Stevenson allows our imaginations to run to wild and eerie places.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. All we really know of Mr. Hyde’s pleasures, aside from the two crimes we see through others’ eyes, is that they run absolutely counter to Victorian morality…which isn’t much to go on. He could be doing anything from drugs to sex for pleasure to alcohol abuse to public brawls. These were all considered bad news in Victorian times. Build an argument for any one of these, keeping in mind the necessity of extrapolation.
  2. Many omissions in the book are caused by the plurality of perspectives that Stevenson employs to craft the novel. Why did Stevenson choose to write from multiple points of view?
  3. One point of view is glaringly missing: that of Mr. Hyde’s. What is the effect of this?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

By choosing not to explicitly detail Mr. Hyde’s wickedness, Robert Louis Stevenson creates a spooky, supernatural, general character that encompasses "All Things Evil."

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