This is the second of two extract questions for Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It takes place towards the very end of the novella, just before Dr Jekyll’s own personal account. Before this point, the reader has not been told that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person. Because the story is now so well-known, it is possible to read this passage without experiencing the shock which its first audiences are likely to have had. The passage presents a wonderful contrast between Mr Hyde’s manic questioning and Dr Lanyon’s unsuspecting, reasonable manner.
Always read the passage through more than once before you begin writing your answer.
This habit gives you the opportunity to notice different details and aspects of the passage. On the first reading, try to gain a general understanding of the extract, especially thinking of ways in which its details relate to the question you will be answering. When reading for the second time, make detailed notes and annotations, remembering to sketch out a rough plan. Once you’ve done this, you can then being to plan exactly how you will use the passage to answer the question.
Consider the possible reasons behind the choice of specific passage. How does it relate to the rest of the text? Try to pinpoint the themes which appear and consider which significant characters are present. How does the passage relate to all that follows in the text? Are later events foreshadowed? Also, how does the passage relate to earlier events? Is a turning point evident? Consider the extract’s ending: can you think of a reason why the passage ends where it does? How is the final line significant?
Pay careful attention to the specific wording of the question you have chosen to answer. What does the question ask you to discuss? There are many possibilities here, including mood and atmosphere, character or theme. You might be asked to give a personal response to the passage or to a character. Dialogue, or the behaviour or feelings of a character, might be the focus. Different question types require different sorts of answers. Begin by explaining the passage’s immediate context: note the events preceding the extract and draw attention to their relevance. Always ensure that you refer to the detail of the passage, rather than discussing it very generally, which can make your answer appear vague. Analyse and discuss the relationship between the passage and text’s themes. Grouping related ideas together will give your answer some structure. Always plan carefully, in order to have enough time to discuss the entire passage.
Read the extract below carefully before answering the questions.