Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Preparing your answer

Before beginning an answer, it is important that you plan it properly so that it is crafted and structured to suit the question. You must also refer to the examiner's assessment objectives to ensure you have met the criteria.

Below is a structure that you could use for your answer.

  1. Introduction to the topic and character.
  2. The murder of Carew
  3. The trampling of the innocent girl.
  4. Mr Hyde taking over.
  5. Conclusion.

Sample answers

Consider these example answers based around Hyde's brutal attack on Carew.

Sample answer 1

Stevenson describes Mr Hyde to be evil when he murders Carew. This is an evil act because murder is a really bad thing and the religious Victorians will have known this and would have thought Hyde was a bad man for breaking the Ten Commandments. The murder is described as vicious and brutal. An example of this is 'clubbed him to the earth.' This is really bad and makes me scared of Mr Hyde because he is a bad man.

Feedback – not bad but room for improvement!

  • This answer shows a good understanding of the text and the main character of Mr Hyde. The candidate has engaged with the text and developed their opinion of the character, 'makes me scared'. However, this could be supported with further evidence from the text and developed more.
  • There is no language, structure or form analysis in this piece. To extend this further, the candidate could focus on the word 'clubbed' and what this shows.
  • The candidate discusses how religious the Victorians were and how this impacts on the character of Mr Hyde. To develop this further, the candidate could discuss the reader's thoughts and feelings.
  • The candidate writes accurately, using correct spelling and punctuation. Their phrasing could be more concise and clearer at points.

Sample answer 2

Stevenson presents Mr Hyde as an evil, ugly criminal who commits horrific acts and doesn't repent his ways or accept any responsibility for them. In the passage above, Hyde is brutally attacking a vulnerable, respectable old man, Carew. This results in his death, which would have shocked the Victorian audience as to murder a fellow human being meant breaking the Ten Commandments - something that a religious Victorian readership would have thought was unchristianly and evil. Thus, Stevenson presents Hyde as a brutal murderer to the Victorian audience. 'Mr Hyde broke out of all bounds, and clubbed him to the earth.' The use of the verb 'clubbed' indicates how brutal Mr Hyde was and the imagery presented to the reader is horrifying and vicious, indicating the true nature of Hyde's unforgiving nature.

Feedback – much better!

  • Understanding of the text and how Stevenson presents the character of Hyde is fantastic. There is a real sense of engagement with the text. Evidence is used to support the main points.
  • Language analysis with the verb 'clubbed' and the imagery Stevenson creates. However, there is still scope to focus more on the structure of this sentence?
  • Social and historical context is relevant to the answer and adds to the candidate's understanding and analysis of the character of Mr Hyde.
  • A well-written answer which uses correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Using the skills you have learned and revised, try to answer the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde question. Time yourself and make sure you are meeting the examiner's assessment objectives.