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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Jekyll & Hyde

By Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)

A lawyer named Mr Utterson came to know that one night a man called Mr Hyde accidentally hurt a little girl while he was walking on the street. 

To avoid the police, Hyde paid her family with a cheque signed by Dr Henry Jekyll, a respected doctor and one of Utterson’s friends. 

Utterson thought that maybe Hyde was blackmailing Jekyll.  In fact, Utterson had Jekyll’s will in which, in case of his death, he wanted to leave all his possessions to Hyde.

Utterson decided to discover who Hyde was. He waited for him and was shocked when he saw Hyde’s deformity. 

So, he asked Jekyll about Hyde, and Jekyll answered that Hyde wasn’t a problem for him and that he could rid himself of Hyde if he wanted.

Almost a year passed without incident. One night, a servant saw Hyde killing a man with a walking stick: it was the stick that Utterson gave as a present to Jekyll. 

The attack was so ferocious that the stick broke in two. The police found the other half of the walking stick in Hyde’s room.

When Utterson asked Jekyll for information, his friend said that Hyde left London forever. He also gave Utterson a letter from Hyde saying that. But, when Utterson examined the letter, he saw that the writing was Jekyll’s.      

More time passed and there was no news about Hyde.

Suddenly, one day, Jekyll closed into his study at home and didn’t want to see anyone. Then, Jekyll’s butler, Poole, went to Utterson and asked him to come to Jekyll’s house. He said that Hyde killed Jekyll.

Poole said that Hyde was locked in Jekyll’s study – he could hear a different voice. Hyde ordered Poole to get supplies from chemists all over London. Utterson and Poole broke into the study and found Hyde’s body – he had committed suicide when he heard them.

Utterson and Poole looked around but they couldn’t find Jekyll. All they found was a letter from Jekyll and a new will in which Jekyll left his possessions to Utterson.

Utterson read the letter. It revealed that Jekyll was fascinated by the duality of man. He made experiments and he discovered a potion that turned him into evil Mr Hyde. Taking the same solution a second time, he could become good Dr Jekyll again.

At first, Jekyll liked becoming Hyde, but then he felt deep remorse. However, he had more and more difficulties to eliminate Hyde. 

At the end, Jekyll turned into Hyde even without the potion. Meanwhile, the supply of the special salt needed as a vital ingredient of the potion could not be found anywhere in London. 

So, Jekyll took the final dose and wrote the letter, saying that he hoped Hyde could kill himself.

1.      What was Jekyll’s and Utterson’s job?
2.      What happened between Hyde and a little girl?
3.      How did Utterson discover a link between Jekyll and Hyde?
4.      What did the first Jekyll’s will say?
5.      Why was Utterson shocked when he saw Hyde?
6.      What did Hyde do with a walking stick?
7.      What did the police discover?
8.      Why did Jekyll say that Hyde wasn’t in London anymore?
9.      What was strange in that letter?
10.  Why did Poole ask for Utterson’s help?
11.  What did Hyde want from Poole?
12.  What did Utterson and Poole see in Jekyll’s study?
13.  Where was Jekyll?
14.  How was the second will different from the first one?
15.  What was written in the final letter?
16.  How did the potion work?
17.  What was the main ingredient of the potion?
18.  What was Jekyll’s problem in his last days?
19.  What did Jekyll hope?
20.  What is your opinion on this story?