Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

| July 17, 2015
You will write a five to six page (double-spaced) essay with a clear, specific thesis about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Your thesis will be your reading of the novel. In this context, a reading means an interpretation that is coherently and persuasively argued and supported with adequate evidence. You support your reading of the novel with analysis of specific passages of the text, the kind of work you did in the previous assignments. To help you develop a reading of the novel, you have a set of secondary readingsPreview the documentView in a new window in Canvas that you will work with. These secondary readings (“Criminal Man,” “Degeneration,” “The Town Dweller,” “In Darkest England”) come from the same time as the novel and will give you some context for ideas about crime, class, and race during the late Victorian period. You can compare those ideas with the novel, and your thesis will form a connection between the ideas and a theme in the novel. You might see connections between a few of these readings, and you are welcome to use more than one, but you must cite at least one of these readings in your essay. If you are looking for ways to develop your thesis, it is always a good idea to think about problems you can identify in the text. These might be key questions the novel raises, even if—especially if—they are not resolved in the story. You might find problems in what characters do or don’t do, and you can ask questions about that. Or the problem may come from elsewhere, from a secondary source, and you might find a way to apply that problem to the novel in a different way. You will find good advice about this stage of writing in the Writing Essays Preview the documentView in a new windowchapter “Choosing Topics” (pp 157-65). You will need to format your citations according to MLA style. That means that you will cite page numbers for your edition of the book in parentheses and have a complete Works Cited page (does not count toward the 5-6 page requirement) at the end of the essay. Your Works Cited will have, at a minimum, your edition of the novel and the bibliographic information for your secondary source. The PDF of each reading will have the requisite info printed on it, but it may not be formatted to MLA style—that’s your job.

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