Thursday, September 11, 2008

Breaking Out of the 'Prisonhouse'

The End of Jekyll and Hyde: An In-Class Essay Quest

During the last three weeks, we have gone into some depth picking out themes of Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

That said, I call to mind our lost friend, Dr. Jekyll (a.k.a. Mr. Hyde), suffering from an identity crisis that ultimately consumes his entire being. Keeping in mind all that we have read, all that we have discussed, and all that we have written in or out of class:

  • Construct a well-developed, five paragraph essay in which you consider the nature of some theme we’ve discussed—be it the psychology of addiction, adolescence, the Oedipus complex, identity confusion, etc.—and its application to the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
  • Make a thesis statement in which you form a general assumption that can branch into three specific ideas or examples from the novel that address or demonstrate the overall issue (be it addiction, adolescence, the Oedipus complex, etc.).
  • Make your claims regarding the theme by using whatever materials are appropriate as your guide.
  • You are more than free to paraphrase from the articles I administered and use them as your own.
  • Remember that with each claim you make regarding the theme and its application to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you should construct a respective paragraph that revolves around that claim.
  • Each of your body paragraphs should include a specific example from the novel that demonstrates the theme on which your thesis statement is based.
  • If you are quoting or paraphrasing an instance from the text, you can begin with a transitional phrase such as: For example, For instance when, etc.
  • Be sure to refer to all events from the novel in the present tense (i.e. Jekyll drinks the potion…, rather than, Jekyll drank the potion…).
  • Lastly, end with a conclusion—this can be your fifth paragraph—in which you consider your own adolescent experience and how your life ties in with Jekyll/Hyde struggle.

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