2008 BM1 Assignment 3: Jekyll and Hyde

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Robert Louis Stevenson. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [1886] New York/ London, 2003, p.7-8:

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove. "I incline to Cain's heresy," he used to say quaintly: "I let my brother go to the devil in his own way." In this character, it was frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the last good influence in the lives of down-going men. And to such as these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a shade of change in his demeanour.
No doubt the feat was easy to Mr. Utterson; for he was undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendships seemed to be founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature. It is the mark of a modest man to accept his friendly circle ready-made from the hands of opportunity; and that was the lawyer's way. His friends were those of his own blood or those whom he had known the longest; his affections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no aptness in the object. Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to Mr. Richard Enfield, his distant kinsman, the well-known man about town. It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in each other, or what subject they could find in common. It was reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with obvious relief the appearance of a friend. For all that, the two men put the greatest store by these excursions, counted them the chief jewel of each week, and not only set aside occasions of pleasure, but even resisted the calls of business, that they might enjoy them uninterrupted.

  1. Identify the different modes of characterisation employed in these two paragraphs, and substantiate your statements to the appropriate passages.
  2. Comment on focalisation and narration in the two paragraphs, and substantiate your statements to the appropriate passages.
  3. What are the chief features of Utterson's character that emerge from your analysis? Do you see any enigmatic points in Utterson's character as it is presented here? Are there signs that the information presented might not be complete or not wholly reliable?
  4. How does the narrative mode in this passage relate to the narrative structure of the entire text?
  5. Discuss one aspect or topic in this passage that gains a wider significance in the story as a whole.

Format your text according to the directions given on the style sheet!

You may write up to three pages of text, using complete sentences only. Any text beyond the third page will be disregarded!

In each question you may earn a maximum of 20 points.


  • 81 – 100 = 1
  • 71 – 80 = 2
  • 61 – 70 = 3
  • 50 – 60 = 4
  • 35 – 49 = 5
  • 0 – 35 = 6 (i.e.: re-do the assignment in order to gain a 5, which will allow you to continue in the module)