Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Literary Conflict

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Literary Conflict
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Jekyll and Hyde Lesson Plans

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Lesson Plans by Kristy Littlehale

In this Gothic novella, Robert Louis Stevenson combines the horrors of the human soul with a disgust for the Victorian importance of reputation. Stevenson delves into the darkest depths of humanity, and seems to discover what Sigmund Freud would not publish for another 15 years: the repression of the id, or the instinctive side of human nature, by the super-ego, or the part of us that holds on to the cultural ideals and rules we were raised with. Stevenson’s wife noted in her reading of his first draft of the novella that it read like an allegory, and indeed, it reflected the Victorian struggle of the "double self."


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Storyboard Description

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Literary Conflict - Have students identify and illustrate literary conflict in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!

Storyboard Text

  • MAN vs MAN
  • MAN vs SELF
  • MAN vs SOCIETY
  • O God! O God!
  • Dr. Jekyll is scared by the fact that Hyde appeared over the course of the night, without the need for the potion. He feels he needs to choose, and so he repressed Hyde. When he finally gives in and awakens him again, Hyde has become an uncontrollable monster. He is so angry at being held down for so long that he murders Sir Carew for being pleasant. Jekyll is horrified by Hyde, and indeed, sees him as a separate entity from himself.
  • Henry Jekyll was born into good fortune, was good and well-respected, and had a guarantee of an honorable and distinguished future. However, it was not enough for him. He craves “irregularities” that give him a “morbid sense of shame.” He seeks to find a way to experience both of these sides of his identity without harming his reputation, which leads him to unethical experiments that bring about Hyde.
  • Dr. Jekyll’s unethical experiments led him to a severing of his relationship with Dr. Lanyon many years before, because Lanyon does not approve. Jekyll’s dangerous road of unethical experimentation put him at odds with the entire scientific community. These experiments, once he changes into Hyde, also put him at odds with his friends, who must never know that he is going against the bounds of Victorian propriety and reputation in order to fulfill his needs for wickedness.
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