Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dueling Monsters: Jekyll and Hyde Kickoff

Welcome to Dueling Monsters: Round Two, and the home of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde portion of the read-a-long. [Looking for The Portrait of Dorian Gray portion of the read-a-long? Visit Fizzy Thoughts.]


Here's a list of everyone who is reading along.  There's still time to sign up if you haven't already! 

Participants:

Below are some questions to consider as you read the book this month. You can choose to answer some/all of the questions in a post on your blog or in the comment section here (if you answer on your blog be sure to leave a link to that post in the comments here), you can include some of the answers in your review of the book, or you can ignore the questions altogether.

On Oct. 15 I’ll check in with you again to see how your reading is progressing, then on Oct. 31 (Halloween!) I’ll do the final post and link to everyone’s reviews.

And now, the questions …

From Shmoop*:
  1. Part of the implication of "Dr. Jekyll’s Account" is that Man Cannot Always Be Good. No matter how hard Dr. Jekyll tries to live a good, upstanding, sober life, he can’t resist the temptation of transforming into Mr. Hyde. Is this true of mankind? Can we never build a good society?
  2. Having read Dr. Jekyll's version of events (and assuming we believe him), how much blame can we assign him? Should we blame his oppressive society or his lack of moral character? Another way of asking this: is Dr. Jekyll a sympathetic character?
  3. Does the novel suffer due to its lack of female characters? How would it have been different with, say, a female narrator?
  4. Evaluate the book’s psychological accuracy. Do these characters think the way people do?
  5. What do you think about the way in which the book is told, with multiple viewpoints with a dry lawyer at the center? Does it work?
  6. What is the effect of the two narratives at the end? Does this dual explanation have anything to do with the dual nature of Jekyll/Hyde? Or is it just to provide an eyewitness account?

    My Questions:
  7. Based on #2 above, do you think Dr. Jekyll is a reliable narrator? Why or why not?
  8. If you have read any other book by Robert Louis Stevenson, how does this compare?

    From a college class’s website:
  9. In what sense might the Victorian period’s rigid moral standards be responsible for Dr. Jekyll’s tragic transformation into the evil Hyde? In other words, according to Stevenson’s story, what makes a man like Jekyll--a good Victorian, really--become the criminal Hyde?
  10. In an earlier short story called “Markheim” (1874) Stevenson wrote that “evil consists not in action but in character.” How is that statement applicable to the various characters’ interest in discovering the facts behind “the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”?

*If you are not familiar with Shmoop, definitely check it out! They have some excellent resources for a wide variety of books.

11 comments:

Amanda said...

This is one of my favorite books ever and I'm so glad to be looking into it again!

Heather J. said...

I started the audio book this morning - I can't believe it is only about 2 hours long!

Valerie said...

I'm already planning on doing Dorian Gray, but yesterday found a used copy of J and H. If I have time to read it also, I'll join your side, too!

softdrink said...

I read J&H in less than a day. Dorian is turning out to be much slower going, though!

Dreamybee said...

Oooh, I totally want to read Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde! I think I might actually be able to follow through on this one. :)

Bev Hankins said...

Have finished up Jekyll/Hyde. Here are my thoughts: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2010/10/dr-jekyll-mr-hyde-revisited.html

Coming soon: Jekyll/Hyde vs. Dorian Gray--who I think is the bigger baddie.

Miri said...

I'm a little late to the party but I would love to participate.

Great questions!

Heather J. said...

Valerie - I hope you can too! I've added you to the list, just in case.

softdrink - hmm, but is it good?

Dreamybee - Excellent! I've added you to the list.

Bev - Wow, you're fast! I don't want to read your review until I'm finished with the book myself, but that should only be a few more days. :)

Miri - You are definitely not too late - welcome!

Bev Hankins said...

I've got my Hyde vs. Dorian Gray finale ready...whenever you are. It's at http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2010/10/deuling-monsters-hyde-vs-dorian-gray.html

Trisha said...

I have my finale post up at http://www.eclectic-eccentric.com/2010/10/dueling-monsters-dr-jekyll-and-dorian.html. I ended up reading both books!

Heather J. said...

Bev & Trisha - Thanks for participating! I've added your posts to my recap, and it will go up tomorrow.

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