illustration of a face with two separate halves, one good and one evil, located above the fumes of a potion

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

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1. Are anger and hatred natural emotions? Are criminal behaviors necessary? Can people choose alternatives?

2. What benefits can scientific research bring to a scientist? To his or her community? To the world at large?

3. Is a scientist responsible for the consequences (positive and negative) of his or her research? To whom can he or she be held accountable? How does this motivate research?

4. What is the proper study of man? Are there some things that man was not intended to know? The cliches quoted in these two questions are assumed to include women as well—or are they? Why?

5. Compare Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. What are the scientists looking to discover? What faults are revealed in the scientists? What flaws are revealed in their research materials? What above all else is revealed by their studies?

6. In an era when the human genome is being studied for reasons of personal profits as well as benefits to humanity, what can be learned from studying Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
7. When human behaviors are evaluated as "good" or "bad," what are some of the consequences? Do behaviors have any value in and of themselves, or are circumstances a factor? Are there any moral absolutes?

8. What is tuberculosis? How is it transmitted? What treatments are now available to prevent or cure it? How many people contracted tuberculosis last year in your home country? In the world? Why does anyone suffer from TB nowadays?

9. Would Stevenson have bought health with his moderate wealth, if it had been possible then? Was it only because of his health that he traveled?

10. What changes could be made in the story if Poole had been an assertive and confidant assistant, rather than a servant who stayed in his subservient role? How would Samuel Beckett have written this story? Or perhaps your favorite author?

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