Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Sample exam question

The question

Starting with this extract, how does Stevenson present Mr Hyde to be an evil, unforgiving criminal?

Write about:

  • how Stevenson presents Mr Hyde in this extract
  • how Stevenson presents Mr Hyde as an evil, unforgiving criminal in the novel as a whole

The extract

Read the extract from Chapter 4 titled The Carew Murder Case.

Presently her eye wandered to the other, and she was surprised to recognise in him a certain Mr Hyde, who had once visited her master, and for whom she had conceived a dislike. He had in his hand a heavy cane, with which he was trifling; but he answered never a word, and seemed to listen with an ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman. The very old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Mr Hyde broke out of all bounds, and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot, and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted.

Before you go on to the next page, make some notes about what you might write.

Hints

  • Think about the key words in the question ('evil', 'unforgiving', 'criminal').
  • Think about this extract – how is Hyde evil in this section? Highlight some key points.
  • Think about the entire novel.