1. What effect is created on the reader by the opening description of Mr. Utterson? Is anything added by the knowledge that he is a lawyer? How will his character and presence affect the story?
2. What circumstances are associated with the sinister building Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield note on their walk? What is unusual about the man who seems to enter and exit from it, and the incident of the signed check? About the reaction of Utterson and Enfield to what they have uncovered?
3. What are some features of Stevenson's style, narrative control and mode of building interest? Is the story artfully told?
4. How does the story deal with issues of respectability, concealment and hypocrisy? Why might these be important for persons living in Stevenson's time period?
5. In the context of the story, what types of misdeeds seem likely to have been the topic of concealed interest?
6. What social groups and classes seem represented by the characters and concerns of the story? What function seems served by the descriptions of interiors and the presence of a butler?
7. What is the significance of the fact that Hyde cannot be described, through extraordinary in his appearance? By the comparisons between Hyde and the devil?
8. What influence do descriptions of weather and ambience have on the tale?
9. What is added to the story by Utterson's deep interest in the situation of his friend? By his preoccupation with uncovering the secret of Hyde?
10. What do we learn from the scene in "Dr. Jekyll Was Quite at Ease" in which Utterson and Jekyll discuss his will? How is Jekyll self-deluded? What ominous promise does he extract from Utterson?
11. What added information is revealed in investigations into the murder of Sir Danvers Carew? What do the investigators learn from visiting Mr. Hyde's house in Soho? What elements seem added to the tale by the presence of the police?
12. What are ways in which this story seems to be an allegory? Which features add to this impression?
13. How do you interpret the fact that Stevenson destroyed a first draft in anger, then started anew?
14. What do you consider the central motif of this story?
15. What other literary works does this story call to your mind? What aspects of the story are added by its social and psychological setting?
Specifically, what psychological aspects of the tale are suggested by the descriptions of the London streets, and by the dwelings and chambers of Jekyll/Hyde and Hyde? Do the names have possible meanings?
16. What is the effect of telling the story from the point of view of Mr. Utterson? What do you make of his friendships with Enfield? With Dr. Lanyon? With Dr. Jekyll? What are features of his social network?
17. What may be some contemporary resonances or meanings associated with Jekyll's scientific pursuits? With his use of chemical drugs? How do his scientific pursuits differ from those of his predecessors?
18. What mysterious effect does Hyde have on others? How is his character related to the state of sleep?
19. What significant use does the tale make of wills, letters, and sealed documents? How do they add to the story's effect?
20. What do we learn from Lanyon's account? From Jekyll's document? How had his self-divisions originated? What had caused him to take pleasure in a divided self?
21. What had made the first draft more effective? Is there symbolism to this? What final horror has overtaken Jekyll?
22. Does the reader feel the purgation of tragedy at the end? (catharsis through pity and terror) Does the story or its resolution suggest a usable moral to the reader?
23. Do any features of the story or its ending suggest preoccupations of other Scottish tales or aspects of culture?
24. Why do you think this gloomy tale of fear and self-distaste has been widely popular for more than a century?