Building characters: Activity

This extract is from later in the novel, where Mr. Hyde attacks a stranger in the street. Read it through, and think:


How does Stevenson use language to build up the character of Mr. Hyde here? What type of person do you think he is, and how do you know this? Try and use grammatical terminology in your thinking and discussions.



He had in his hand a heavy cane, with which he was trifling; but he answered never a word, and seemed to listen with an ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman. The old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Mr. Hyde broke out of all bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted.


Things to look out for include (but are not restriced to):

  • modifiers
  • noun phrases
  • clause structure, particularly subjects
  • adverbials
  • co-ordination
  • metaphor 

You could try annotating the text first, and then writing up a short analysis of your findings. Remember to use grammatical terminology where appropriate, and support your ideas with evidence from the text.


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