English Literature

Jekyll and Hyde Notes 

Of Mice and Men Notes 

Poetry Notes 

Conflict and Clashes 


Dr jekyll and Mr hyde

full title  ·  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

author  · Robert Louis Stevenson

type of work  · Novel

genre  · Gothic mystery story

language  · English

time and place written  ·  1885, Bournemouth, England

date of first publication  · January 1886

publisher · Longmans, Green and Co.

narrator  · The narrator is anonymous and speaks in the third person. Dr. Lanyon and Dr. Jekyll each narrate one chapter of the novel via a confessional letter.

point of view  · For most of the novel, the narrative follows Utterson’s point of view; in the last two chapters, Lanyon and Jekyll report their experiences from their own perspectives.

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Dr jekyll and Mr hyde

tone  · Mysterious; serious

tense  · Past

setting (time)  · The late nineteenth century

setting (place)  · London

protagonist  · Henry Jekyll

major conflict  · Jekyll attempts to keep his dark half, Edward Hyde, under control and then to prevent himself from becoming Hyde permanently.

rising action  · Utterson attempts to discover the truth about the Jekyll-Hyde relationship.

climax  · One could argue for two different climaxes. The moment when Utterson breaks down the door to Jekyll’s laboratory and finds Hyde’s corpse constitutes a climax in that Utterson finally admits and accepts that something terribly wrong has taken place. But one might also see the novel’s climax as arising within Lanyon’s letter, at the moment that he witnesses Hyde’s transformation into Jekyll and the mysterious connection 

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Dr jekyll and Mr hyde

between the personas is finally explained.

falling action  · Utterson leaves Jekyll’s laboratory, goes home, and reads the letters from Lanyon and Jekyll, which explain all.

themes  · The duality of human nature; the importance of reputation

motifs  · Violence against innocents; silence; urban terror

symbols  · Jekyll’s house and laboratory; Hyde’s physical appearance

foreshadowing  · While a general mood of impending disaster pervades the novel, there are few instances of explicit foreshadowing.

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Of mice and Men

full title  ·  Of Mice and Men

author  · John Steinbeck

type of work  · Novella

genre  · Fiction; tragedy

language · English

time and place written  · Mid-1930s; Pacific Grove and Los Gatos ranch, California

date of first publication  ·  1937

publisher  · Covici, Friede, Inc.

narrator  · Third-person omniscient

climax  · Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife in the barn

protagonists  · George and Lennie

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Of mice and Men

antagonists  · Curley; society; the cruel, predatory nature of human life

setting (time)  ·  1930s

setting (place)  · South of Soledad, California

point of view  · The story is told from the point of view of a third-person omniscient narrator, who can access the point of view of any character as required by the narrative.

falling action  · Lennie runs away from the barn; the men return and find Curley’s wife dead; Curley leads a mob of men to search for and kill Lennie; George finds Lennie in the clearing and, while retelling the story of life on their farm, shoots him in the back of the head.

tense  · Past

foreshadowing  · Lennie petting the dead mouse, Lennie being run out of Weed for the incident involving the girl in the red dress, and Lennie killing his puppy—all of which anticipate Lennie accidentally killing Curley’s wife; the death of Candy’s dog, which anticipates the death of Lennie; Candy’s regret that he didn’t kill his old dog himself, which anticipates George’s decision to shoot Lennie

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Of mice and Men

tone · Sentimental, tragic, doomed, fatalistic, rustic, moralistic, comic

themes  · The predatory nature of human existence; the importance of fraternity and idealized relationships between men; the impossibility of the American Dream; the destructive imbalance of social power structures in American society

motifs  · The corrupting power of female sexuality; strength and weakness; loneliness and companionship

symbols  · The clearing in the woods; Lennie and George’s farm; mice; Candy’s dog; the heron that plucks water snakes from the stream; Curley’s boots; Lennie’s puppy

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