Prose Narrative Criticism
In a well-developed essay of four to five pages, select a specific critical approach to reading literature. Choose a short story from our assigned readings (or from our textbook) and compare and contrast the work with our central Victorian novella, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Consider the differences in historical context. Isolate the themes for each and compare and contrast them. Imagine contextual issues, such as feminism, Freudian psychology, and cultural notions about society, the individual, and morality, and apply these to your readings in the narrative.
1. How does a modern aesthetic impact our reading of historical literature?
2. What meanings underlie literature that are not evident at the surface of the text?
3. What is the value of being able to decipher meanings unintended by authors, yet applicable to modern readers?
4. What is your takeaway from this tale?
5. What connections can you create from your own experiences that make Jekyll and Hyde’s characters relevant to you?
6. Do you ever feel as if you are part Jekyll, part Hyde?
7. What was Jekyll’s outcome? What do you expect yours to be?
8. Is Hyde evil? Why or why not?
9. Use these questions OR devise your own to guide you as you compose, revise, reshape, and edit your papers for final submission.