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Activity Overview


Allegories rely on extensive symbolic meaning to convey their messages. For students to decipher and understand these extended metaphors, it is helpful to track parallels between the text and the larger issues it is representing. Check out our lesson on Allegory!

The Victorian era was fraught with people caught between two worlds: maintaining their social reputation and respectability, and hiding their true desires for things that were fun and sometimes dark. While morality and virtue were supreme, many things became "sinful", and people had to hide their pursuits of pleasure in order to avoid damaging their reputations. The following aspects of the novel are allegorical in nature with regard to Robert Louis Stevenson’s criticism of the Victorian "sensibilities".


Example of Jekyll and Hyde Allegory


Book Allegorical Meaning
The Door The strange door that leads out of the back of Dr. Jekyll’s house juts out at a strange angle. It is dark and there is no bell or knocker. The building itself looks neglected and sordid. It looks out of place in the upscale neighborhood, because it looks like it was once a place where sketchy people used to hang around. The door is a means for Hyde to enter and leave the Jekyll residence unhindered. It gives Jekyll the ultimate freedom to embrace his inner evil and freedom. For people of the Victorian era, this door (and its key) represents the freedom they themselves would be able to have if they were able to don another identity. They wouldn’t have to be held accountable to anyone, and they would be able to experience the "sins" of life free from guilt.
Edward Hyde Edward Hyde is a small man with corded, hairy hands, and an almost deformed look about his face, even without an obvious deformity. He strikes both horror and hatred into the hearts and deepest depths of people’s souls when they see him. He makes people want to murder him because he is so repulsive. In the Victorian era, Edward Hyde is the ultimate freedom. He is able to experience the taboo, and to throw aside reputation. For modern day readers, Hyde is the id, as explained by Freud: the instinct that is always being repressed by the super-ego. Hyde is the dark side of human nature that we work every day to control, and sometimes wonder what it would be like to let loose. Some have also posited Jekyll’s inability to control his desire to become Hyde reflects the struggles of addiction.
Dr. Henry Jekyll Dr. Jekyll is a well-respected man in London: very rich and very brilliant. His work in the sciences for many years was heralded, until he began to delve into experiments of human transience. His desire to maintain his reputation and his fear of punishment for his deeds prompts him to try to keep Hyde under control. He enjoys the life of being a cherished friend and doctor, but ultimately, is bored by his obligations. The temptations of ultimate abandon become too great. Dr. Jekyll is the Victorian man: well-meaning, dedicated to his work, following his obligations, well-respected in his community. He is the man that many aspire to in order to live a good life with relatively few major interruptions. However, he is also a conflicted man, who regularly struggles with the other side he knows lies within. For modern readers, he is a person we aspire to be like, but we can also empathize with his conflict with boredom.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Allegory

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/9-10/4] Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/9-10/5] Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows examples of allegory in Jekyll and Hyde.


  1. Identify instances of allegory in the text.
  2. Depict and describe the example of allegory from the text on the left side.
  3. Depict and describe the reference to the larger issue or event on the right side.


Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)



Allegory
Allegories rely on extensive symbolic meaning to convey their messages. Create a storyboard that tracks the allegorical references in the text and links them to their real-world examples. For each allegory, create a scene that depicts the original example of how it appears in the text, along with a quote and some background information. Then, create a scene that depicts the real-world example of that allegory. In a short analysis, discuss the impact of the allegory on the deeper meaning of the work as a whole.
Proficient
20 Points
Emerging
17 Points
Beginning
13 Points
Try Again
10 Points
Allegory Identification and Completion
The allegories identified are correct, and all major/important allegories in the text have been addressed. There is a quote or summary provided with each allegory.
Most of the allegories identified are correct, and all major/important allegories in the text have been addressed. There is a quote or summary provided with each allegory.
Most of the allegories identified are incorrect, or some of the major/important allegories in the text are not addressed. Quotes or summaries may not be provided for all of the identified allegories.
Most of the allegories identified are incorrect, or the major/important allegories may be missing, or the allegories provided are too limited to score. Quotes or summaries may be missing or too limited to score.
Real-World Examples Identification and Completion
The real-world examples connected to each allegory are correct, showing a thoughtful correlation between the two.
Most of the real-world examples connected to each allegory are correct, and show a correlation between the two.
Most of the real-world examples connected to each allegory are incorrect.
Most of the real-world examples connected to the allegories are missing or too limited to score.
Analysis of Allegory and Real-World Example
Analysis of allegories and real-world examples explores a connection between the two that adds insight to the understanding of the text as a whole.
Analysis of allegories and real-world examples shows a connection between the two. There is a basic discussion of how the allegory adds to the understanding of the text as a whole.
Some analysis of allegories and the real-world examples is minimal, unclear, or incorrect. There is an attempt of discussion of how the allegory adds to the understanding of the text as a whole.
Most of the analysis of the allegories and the real-world examples is minimal, unclear, incorrect, or too limited to score. There is no attempt of discussion of how the allegory adds to the understanding of the text as a whole.
Artistic Depictions
The art chosen to depict the allegories and the real-world examples are historically appropriate to both the allegory, the work of literature, and the real-world example. It is evident that the student spent a lot of time, creativity, and effort into carefully crafting each artistic depiction.
The art chosen to depict the allegories and the real-world examples should be historically appropriate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. It is evident that the student stayed on task and put time and effort into crafting each artistic depiction.
Most of the art chosen to depict the scenes are historically appropriate, but there are serious deviations that cause confusion or inaccuracies. The student may not have paid much attention to detail in crafting each depiction, and there may be evidence of rushing or limited effort.
Most of the art chosen to depict the scenes are historically inappropriate, missing, or too limited to score. It is evident that the student did not put a lot of time, effort, and creativity into crafting each artistic depiction.
English Conventions
Ideas are organized. Displays control of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Shows careful proofreading.
Ideas are organized. Contains few errors in grammar, usage and mechanics. Shows some proofreading.
Ideas are organized. Contains errors in grammar, usage and mechanics which interfere with communication. Shows a lack of proofreading.
Contains too many errors in grammar, usage and mechanics; (and/or) errors seriously interfere with communication. Shows a lack of proofreading.




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Image Attributions
  • New Blue Door • Andrew Beeston • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)


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