The strange case of dr jekyll and mr hyde
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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Author’s Background. Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) was born in 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland RLS was the only child from a wealthy family, his father being a famous engineer. RLS was ill as a child and spent a lot of time reading. Childhood.

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Author s background
Author’s Background

  • Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) was born in 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland

  • RLS was the only child from a wealthy family, his father being a famous engineer.

  • RLS was ill as a child and spent a lot of time reading.


  • RLS had a strict Christian and moral upbringing. The theme of good vs. evil was one that he was quite aware of as a child.

  • RLS wanted to explore what made up a person’s character (the bad and the good).

Composing dr jekyll and mr hyde
Composing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  • The idea for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came to RLS as a dream. He wrote the first version of the book in three days and then burned it due to criticism from his wife. He wrote the second version in three days as well. It became an overnight success and was published in 1886.


  • Takes place in 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 social class
Victorian Social Class

  • 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.

London as setting
London as Setting

This geographical and social division is an essential part of the setting of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which also relates to the psychological division of many of the characters.

London as setting1
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.

Character descriptions
Character Descriptions

  • Mr. Utterson: The narrator of the book, Utterson is a middle-aged lawyer, and a man in which all the characters confide throughout the novel.

  • Richard Enfield:Mr. Utterson's cousin, a younger man who is assumed to be slightly more wild than his respectable and sedate relative.

  • Dr. Lanyon:A former friend and colleague of Dr. Jekyll. Ten years before the events in the novel, he suspended his friendship with Dr. Jekyll because of a disagreement over scientific endeavors.

Character descriptions continued
Character Descriptions~Continued~

  • Dr. Henry Jekyll:A prominent middle-aged doctor described as both tall and handsome. He is also extremely wealthy with a fortune well over two million dollars. All that know him describe him as respected and proper.

  • Edward Hyde:A small, deformed, disgusting man somewhat younger than Dr. Jekyll who is apparently devoid of a profession.

Character descriptions continued1
Character Descriptions~Continued~

  • Sir Danvers Carew:A highly respected and prominent member of English society.

  • Mr. Guest:Mr. Utterson's law office clerk

  • Richard Poole:Dr. Jekyll's faithful butler.


  • Reason vs. the Supernatural

  • Limits of Scientific Experimentation

  • The Effects of Society on the Individual

Freudian influence
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.

Focal points 2 of each
Focal Points (2 of each)

  • Good vs. Evil-The presence of and struggle between good and evil in the human soul

  • Reason vs. Supernatural-Characters make decisions based on logic instead of supernatural occurrences or vice/versa

  • Duality-A dual nature exist within all people

  • Society’s Influence-Society has an influence on temptation and the suppression of desires

  • Literary devices (one of each)

    • Imagery (light and dark)

    • Allusions