About the author
Herbert George Wells was born in a working class family in 1866. He came from a poor background, which was unusual for a writer at that time. He won a scholarship to study science at university. With a first-class degree in biology, he briefly became a teacher. His career in the classroom was ended by a sharp kick in the kidneys from an unhappy pupil, which left him too unwell to continue teaching. He then lived on a small income from journalism and short stories, until his literary career took off with his first science fiction novel, The Time Machine, in 1895.
Wells wrote with tremendous energy throughout his life, producing many science fiction stories, short stories, sociological and political books, autobiographical novels and histories. He became very successful as a writer, perhaps because his work was both popular and intellectual, and he lived in some style. He married twice and had a reputation as a womaniser. He moved in socialist circles and used fiction to explore his political ideas. Wells died in 1946.
The Invisible Man is the story of a gifted young university student who invented a new formula to become invisible. He became invisible but made two mistakes. He did not inform anyone about the formula and without inventing the reverse process, he applied on himself.
He had to face many problems in London as it became difficult for him to get food, clothing and shelter. He came to Iping as he wanted to do research to find out the reverse formula. But his strange appearance and odd behavior made the people of Iping suspicious. As his money came to an end, he stole from the house of the Vicars.
He was cornered many times but he managed to escape by taking off his clothes. He met his fellow scientist Dr. Kemp at Burdock who betrayed him. He called Dr. Kemp a traitor and tried to kill him. Finally, he was killed by the people on the road.
- England in the 1890’s.
- Iping and the surrounding area
- Much of the action initially occurs around or in a couple of pubs and an inn, thus taking advantage of the natural opportunity for people to spread rumors, speculate on mysterious issues, and expand on each other’s stories.
Griffin: The Invisible Man
Mr. & Mrs. Hall: Owner of the inn ‘Coach & Horses’
Teddy Henfrey: a clock jobber
The Rev. Mr. Bunting: a vicar in the town of Iping
Marvel: a local tramp
Dr. Kemp: a scientist and a former associate of Griffin
Dr. Cuss: a physician
Mr. Bobby Jaffers: the village constable
Colonel Adye: the chief of Burdock Police
On a cold wintery day, a stranger came through the snowfall carrying a black portmanteau in his hand and put up at the inn, ‘Coach & Horses’. The stranger was wrapped from head to foot and no one could see his face. Mrs. Hall, the owner of the inn thought that the stranger had either met with an accident or had an operation on the face. His bags and baggage contained only bottles and three note books. The stranger kept to himself in his room and conducted experiments. He wanted to be alone and undisturbed as he hated being disturbed while at work. His rude and strange behavior made him unpopular with the villagers and they suspected him to be a criminal. There was a theft in the house of Buntings at a time when the stranger was not in his room. Mrs. and Mr. Hall went inside his empty room and were surprised to see the bed sheets dancing. The terrified owners chased him out of the inn with the help of Mr. Jaffers, the village constable.
Griffin then met Mr. Marvel, a local tramp to whom he confessed that he was invisible. He threatened to kill him if he betrayed. He returned to Iping with Mr. Marvel to take his three note books and other belongings. Since he had no clothes on, he could not be seen by anybody.
After travelling a long distance, they came to Burdock where Mr. Marvel tried to give him a slip by hiding in the inn, ‘Jolly Cricketers’. By this time, the story of the Invisible Man was in the newspaper and the whole country knew about it. A scuffle ensued in the inn and the Invisible Man was hurt. Unknowingly, an injured and bleeding Invisible Man took shelter in the house of Dr. Kemp, who happened to be his associate in college.
Griffin told his story to Dr. Kemp. Being a student of medicine, he was suddenly attracted towards Physics and function of light. He invented a chemical by which he made a piece of wool invisible. He then tried it on a cat and then on himself. He did not inform anyone about his invention as he feared that somebody else would take the credit of his invention. At first, he thought only of the advantages of being invisible but gradually he found the disadvantages too. He needed food, clothing and shelter as the weather was changing and snow would settle on his body. He came to Iping to do research and find out the reverse process which he had not invented. His body was like a thin sheet of glass. The food that he ate could be seen going down his throat until it was digested. Only the dogs could sense him. He wanted his three note books from Mr. Marvel. He told Dr. Kemp that together they could unleash the Reign of Terror in that small town.
Dr. Kemp did not keep his promise to maintain secrecy. He had informed Colonel Adye about the presence of the Invisible Man in his house. Seeing the police, Griffin ran out of house calling Kemp a traitor. A siege was laid in the whole town of Burdock to catch the Invisible Man under the guidance of Dr. Kemp. The Invisible Man attacked the house of Dr. Kemp as he had realized that Dr. Kemp had betrayed him.
In the final chase, the Invisible Man was caught by the road workers with the help of Dr. Kemp and beaten to death. After death, Griffin’s body became visible. Mr. Marvel opened an inn with the money that Griffin had kept with him and named it ‘The Invisible Man’. He also preserved the note books from Dr. Kemp and the outside world as he hoped that this would fetch him fortune someday.
Theme: Corruption of Morals in the Absence of Social Restriction
- The narrator uses the Invisible Man to experiment with the depth to which a person can sink when there are no social restrictions to suppress his behavior. When Griffin first kills his father, he excuses it away by saying that the man was a “sentimental fool.” When he takes the potion himself, he endures such pain that he “understands” why the cat howled so much in the process of becoming invisible. Nevertheless he has no compassion for the cat, for his father or for any of the people he takes advantage of in the course of trying to survive invisibility. On the contrary, he descends from committing atrocities because they are necessary to his survival to committing them simply because he enjoys doing so.
- This theme of corruption in the absence of social law has become a motif that is explored in other literary works. H. G. Well created his story with very little psychological elaboration or character development. Other writers, however, have taken the idea much farther; we are thus blessed with novels such as Lord of the Flies, and Heart of Darkness, along with short stories by Poe and Melville.
Questions based on the plot, theme and character
Q1. Why did the people of Iping turn hostile towards the stranger?
Ans. Griffin aroused the curiosity of the people of Iping from the very first day. He did not talk to anyone. He confined himself in the room and talked to none. His bags contained only bottles. His rude and unusual behaviour aroused the curiosity of the people.
Tedd Henfrey who had come to mend the clock was rudely asked to leave. He warned Mr. Hall that the stranger could be a criminal in disguise as he had a suspicious nature. When his bags arrived the dog came and tore off his bandage. He rushed to his room to change followed by Mr. Hall who offered to help but he was pushed out of the room. Suspicion arose when Dr. Cuss saw his empty sleeve in the place of an arm and the people started disliking him. The Vicar and his wife saw the candlelight in the middle of the night in their room and their money and gold vanished away. When Mr. and Mrs. Hall found his room empty they were attacked by an invisible person and saw the furniture dancing. This infuriated Mrs. Hall as it was her mother’s furniture. She thought that the stranger was a spirit. Mr. Hall brought the police to catch the stranger but the invisible man pushed everybody and escaped.
Q2. Describe the meeting between Marvel and the Invisible Man.
Ans. Mr. Marvel was a local tramp. He was sitting alone and trying his boots. Suddenly, a voice talked to him. He answered the voice but when he looked around, he found no one. He thought probably he was drunk, so could not see anyone. The Invisible Man then started throwing flints at him to show that he was an ordinary man but invisible who needed food, clothing and shelter like any other man. Marvel felt his hand, face, and chest and was convinced. The Invisible Man told Marvel that he had chosen him as he wanted his help and would be rewarded. He also warned him against betrayal. A terrorized Marvel promised to help. Marvel had to do things according to the wishes of the Invisible Man. He went to Iping, entered Griffin’s room and stole the three note books. As Mr. Huxter chased him, Marvel had to run for his life.
The story of the Invisible Man was in the papers. Marvel tried to tell the mariner about the Invisible Man but was stopped by him. Tired and exhausted, he ran for his life with the books of Griffin and the money that Griffin had stolen.
At Burdock, Marvel entered the Jolly Cricketer and hid himself in the kitchen but was pulled out. A fight ensued between Griffin and the police. Marvel escaped and landed in the police station.
After the death of Griffin, we see Marvel open an inn called The Invisible Man. The owner of the money stolen by Griffin could not be found, so it remained with Marvel. He is no more a tramp but rich man. He has preserved the note book of Griffin away from the outside world. He hoped that someday it would fetch him a fortune.
Chapter wise Summary
CHAPTER 1. The Strange Man’s Arrival
A stranger arrives in Bramble Hurst railway station. He is bundled from head to foot with only the tip of his nose showing. He enters the Coach & Horses Inn and demands a room and a fire. Mrs. Hall, the owner prepares a supper for him and offers to take his coat and hat, but he refuses to take them off. When he finally removes the hat, his entire head is swathed in a bandage. Mrs. Hall thinks he has endured some accident. She tries to get him to talk about himself, but he is taciturn with her, although not particularly rude.
CHAPTER 2. Mr. Teddy Henfrey’s First Impressions
Teddy Henfrey, a clock repairman, comes to the inn for tea. Mrs. Hall asks him to “repair the clock” in the stranger’s room. Teddy deliberately takes as long as he can with the clock, taking it apart and reassembling it for no reason. The stranger finally gets him to hurry up and leave. Offended, Teddy talks himself into believing that the stranger is someone of a suspicious nature, perhaps even wanted by the police and is wrapped up to conceal his identity. Teddy runs into Mr. Hall and warns him about the stranger, informing him that a “lot of luggage” will be coming. It would seem that the stranger intends to stay awhile. Mr. Hall goes home intending to investigate the stranger, but is put off by the short-tempered demeanor of his wife.
CHAPTER 3.THE THOUSAND AND ONE BOTTLES
- The stranger’s luggage arrives at the inn. Numerous crates fill the deliveryman’s cart, some of them containing bottles packaged in straw. Fearenside, the cartman, owns a dog that starts to growl when the stranger comes down the steps to help with the boxes. The dog jumps for the stranger’s hand, but misses and sinks his teeth in a pant leg. The dog tears open the trouser leg, whereupon the stranger goes quickly back into the inn and to his room.
- Concerned about the possibility of injury, Mr. Hall goes to the stranger’s room. He gets a glimpse of what seems like a white mottled face before he is shoved by an unseen force back through the door. The stranger soon reappears at the door, his trousers changed, and gives orders for the rest of his luggage. The stranger unpacks 6 crates of bottles, which he arranges across the windowsill and all the available table and shelf space in the inn’s parlor-a space he seems to have commandeered for himself.
- Mrs. Hall enters later to tend to his needs and catches a quick glimpse of him without his glasses. His eyes seem hollow; he quickly puts his glasses on. She starts to complain about the straw on the floor, but he tells her to put it on the bill and to knock before entering his rooms. She points out that he could lock his door if he doesn’t want to be bothered, advice that he takes. He then works behind the locked door all afternoon. At one point, Mrs. Hall hears him raving about not being able to “go on.” She hears a sound like a bottle being broken. Later she takes him tea and notes the broken glass and a stain on the floor. He again tells her to “put it on the bill.”
- Meanwhile Fearenside talks in the beer shop of Iping Hangar. Fearenside says that the stranger is a “black man,” an assumption derived from the absence of “pink flesh” when the trouser leg was ripped open. When reminded of the pink nose, Fearenside claims that the man must therefore be a “piebald,” or a part white, part black creature.
CHAPTER 4. Mr. Cuss Interviews the Stranger
1.The stranger works diligently in his room until the end of April with only occasional skirmishes with Mrs. Hall. Whenever she disapproves of anything he does, he quiets her with additional payment. He rarely goes out during the day, but goes out nearly every night, muffled up regardless of the weather.
2.His identity becomes a topic of speculation in the town. Mrs. Hall defends him, repeating his own words that he is an “experimental investigator.” The view of the town is that he is a criminal trying to escape justice. Mr. Gould, the probationary assistant imagines that the man must be an “anarchist” who is preparing explosives.
3.Another group of people believe he is a piebald and could make a lot of money if he chose to show himself at the fairs. All agree, however, that due to his habits of secrecy, they dislike him. The young men begin to mock his bearing; a song called “Bogey Man” becomes popular and children follow at a distance calling out “Bogey Man.”
4.The curiosity of a general practitioner named Cuss is aroused, and he contrives for an interview. During the interview the stranger accidentally removes his hand from his pocket. Cuss is able to see down the empty sleeve to the elbow. Cuss questions him about “moving an empty sleeve.” The stranger laughs, then extends the empty sleeve toward Cuss’s face and pinches his nose. Cuss leaves in terror and tells his story to Bunting, the vicar.
CHAPTER 5. The Burglary and the Vicarage
Mrs. Bunting, the vicar’s wife, wakes up at the sound of bare feet walking through her house. She wakes her husband and the two watch and listen as a candle is lit and papers are rustled in the study. When they hear the telltale clink of money, Rev. Bunting rushes into the study with a raised poker, but the room appears to be empty. Their money disappears and at one point they hear a sneeze in the hallway but are unable to locate or see the intruder.
CHAPTER 6. The Furniture that Went Mad
1.The Halls arise very early in the morning on Whit-Monday in order to take care of some private business having something to do with their wine cellar. In passing by the guest’s room, Mr. Hall notices that the door is ajar. A few minutes later, he sees that the bolts on the front door of the house are unlocked although he remembers shutting them on the previous night. The guest is not in his room, but his clothes, shoes, and even his hat are scattered about. As the Halls are investigating, the bed-clothes suddenly gather themselves into a bundle and toss themselves over the bottom rail. Then a chair flies toward Mrs. Hall. The legs of the chair are brought to rest against her back, propelling her out of the room. The door slams and is locked behind them. The Halls decide that the stranger is a spirit.
2.They send for Sandy Wadgers, the blacksmith who is also supposed to be an exorcist. Wadgers is joined by Huxter, and together they ponder the likelihood of witchcraft and contemplate the propriety of breaking through the door in order to examine the situation more closely. However, before they can carry out any such action, the door opens and the stranger emerges, wrapped and bundled as usual. He distracts them long enough to enter the parlor and slam the door against them. When Mr. Hall raps on the door and demands an explanation, the stranger tells him to “go to the devil” and “shut the door after you.”
CHAPTER 7. The Unveiling of the Stranger
1.The stranger remains locked in the parlor all morning. He rings his bell for Mrs. Hall several times, but she does not answer it. About noon, he emerges and demands to know why his meals have not been brought to him. Mrs. Hall tells him that his bill has not been paid in five days. She refuses to accept the excuse that he is waiting for a remittance. When he produces some money, she refuses it, saying she first wants to know why he doesn’t enter by doorways and move about like normal people.
2.For his answer, the stranger removes all his head wrappings, including his nose and moustache. He thus looks like a person with a missing head. At the sound of screams a crowd of people run toward the inn. “Eye-witnesses” suddenly babble hysterical stories of the man attacking the servant girl, and brandishing a knife. Bobby Jaffers, the village constable, appears with a warrant.
3.The stranger slaps Jaffers with his glove, but then says he will surrender. He will not accept handcuffs, however. As the constable, Halls and others watch, the man removes the rest of his clothes, becoming invisible before them. He tells them that he is invisible. Jaffers wants to take him in for questioning on suspicion of robbing the Bunting home. A scuffle ensues, and the stranger, now known as the “Invisible Man,” escapes.
CHAPTER 8. In Transit
An amateur naturalist named Gibbins is relaxing out on the downs and hears someone coughing, sneezing and swearing. Frightened, Gibbins gets up and runs home.
CHAPTER 9. Mr. Thomas Marvel
1.Marvel is an eccentric bachelor and local tramp who likes to be comfortable and take his time about things. He has come across a pair of boots in a ditch. He has tried them on and found them too big, and is occupied in contemplating the boots when he hears a voice nearby. Marvel talks about boots with the voice for several minutes before turning to see his visitor and finding no one there.
2.First Marvel tells himself that he has had too much to drink, then that his imagination has played some sort of trick on him. The Invisible Man begins throwing things at Marvel to convince him that he is not just imagining the presence. Eventually the Man convinces Marvel that he is real and is in need of an accomplice who will first give him food, water and shelter. He delivers an unfinished threat of what he will do if Marvel betrays him.
CHAPTER 10. Mr. Marvel’s Visit to Iping
1.Iping has nearly recovered its earlier holiday atmosphere. As only a few people had actually made contact with the Invisible Man, the general population is soon able to reason him away as some trick of an overactive, holiday imagination.
2.Around 4:00, Mr. Marvel enters town and is observed by Huxter to behave rather strangely. He makes his way down the street almost reluctantly. He stops at the foot of the steps to the Coach & Horses and seems to undergo a great struggle before finally entering. A few minutes later, he re-emerges, apparently having had a drink, and walks as if he is trying to act nonchalant. Soon he disappears into the yard and re-emerges with a bundle wrapped in a tablecloth. Huxter thinks some robbery has taken place and tries to follow Marvel when he is tripped in a mysterious fashion and sent sprawling.
CHAPTER 11. In the Coach & Horses
1.The narrator backtracks to explain what happened inside the Coach & Horses. Mr. Cuss and Mr. Bunting were in the parlor going through the belongings of the Invisible Man. Three large books labeled “Diary” are written in a cipher or code they do not understand.
2.Suddenly the inn door opens and Mr. Marvel enters. They disregard him and begin studying the books again when an unseen force grabs each of them by the neck and begins pounding their heads on the table between questions about what they are doing with his things. The man demands his belongings, saying he wants his books and some clothes.
CHAPTER 12. The Invisible Man Loses His Temper
1.Mr. Hall and Teddy Henfrey are involved in a discussion behind the hotel bar when they hear a thump on the parlor door. They hear strange sounds as of things being thrown against the door and some bizarre conversation. Doors open and shut and they see Marvel taking off with Huxter trying to follow him. Suddenly Huxter executes a complicated leap in the air. Seconds later, Hall lands on the ground as if he had been attacked by a football player.
2.Several other individuals are shoved aside or sent sprawling in the streets. Mr. Cuss calls for help, telling people that the “Man” has all of the vicar’s clothes. After breaking all the windows in the Coach & Horses and thrusting a chair through the parlor window of another citizen’s house, the Invisible Man disappears from Iping.
CHAPTER 13. Mr. Marvel discusses His Resignation
Mr. Marvel, propelled by the unrelenting shoulder grip and vocal threats of the Invisible Man, arrives in Bramblehurst. Marvel tries to reason his way out of the situation to no avail. The Invisible man needs a normal person to carry his books and is determined to make use of the fat, red-faced little man.
CHAPTER 14. At Port Stowe
1.Marvel arrives in Port Stowe and is seen resting on a bench outside of town. He has the books with him, but the bundle of clothing has been abandoned in the woods. As he sits there, an elderly mariner, carrying a newspaper, sits down beside him. Citing the paper, the mariner brings up the topic of an Invisible man.
2.According to the newspaper, the man afflicted injuries on the constable at Iping. Certain evidence indicates that he took the road to Port Stowe. The mariner ponders the strange things such a man might be able to do-trespass, rob or even slip through a cordon of policeman.
- Marvel begins to confide in the mariner, saying he knows some things about this Invisible Man. Suddenly Marvel is interrupted by an attack of some kind of pain. He says it is a toothache, then goes on to say that the Invisible Man is a hoax. Marvel begins to move off, walking sideways with violent forward jerks.
4.Later the mariner hears another fantastic story-that of money floating along a wall in butterfly fashion. The story is true, however. All about the neighborhood, money has been making off by the handful and depositing itself in the pockets of Mr. Marvel.
CHAPTER 15. The Man Who Was Running
Dr. Kemp happens to be day-dreaming out his window when he spots a short, fat man running down the hill as fast as he can go. The doctor notices that the man is running “heavy” as if his pockets are “full of lead.” Kemp’s reaction is one of contempt, but the people on the street who see him approaching react a bit differently. The running man is Marvel; his expression is one of terror. A short distance behind him, people hear the sound of panting and a pad like hurrying bare feet. Soon cries of “The Invisible Man is coming” are heard in the streets along with the slamming of doors as people bolt into their houses.
CHAPTER 16. In the Jolly Cricketers
1.The Jolly Cricketers is a tavern. The barkeep, a cabman, an American and an off duty policeman are engaged in idle chat when marvel bursts through the door. Marvel begs for help, claiming the Invisible Man is after him.
2.A pounding begins at the door and then a window is broken in. The Invisible Man doesn’t come in immediately, however. The barman checks the other doors, but by the time he realizes the yard door is open, the Invisible Man is already inside. Marvel, who is hiding behind the bar, is caught and dragged into the kitchen. The policeman rushes in and grips the invisible wrist of the hand that holds onto Marvel, but is abruptly hit in the face.
3.People stumble over and into each other as all try to catch the Invisible Man. He yelps when the policeman steps on his foot, then flails wildly about with his Invisible fists and finally gives them the slip. The American fires five cartridges from his gun, sweeping his gun in a circular pattern as he fires. The chapter ends with the men feeling around for an invisible body.
CHAPTER 17. Doctor Kemp’s Visitor
1.Doctor Kemp is still working in his study when he hears the shots fired in the Cricketers. He opens his window and watches the crowd at the bottom of the hill for a few minutes, then returns to his writing desk. A few minutes later, he hears his doorbell ring, but his housekeeper says it was only a “runaway” ring.
2.The doctor is at his work until 2 AM when he decides to go downstairs for a drink. On the way he notices a spot of drying blood on his linoleum floor. Then he finds more blood on the doorknob of his own bedroom. In his room, his bedspread is smeared with blood, his sheet is torn, and bedclothes are depressed as if someone has been sitting there.
3.The Invisible Man introduces himself to Kemp. He is Griffin, of University College. He explains that he made himself Invisible, but is wounded and desperately in need of shelter, clothes and food.
4.Kemp loans him a dressing gown along with some drawers, socks and slippers. Griffin eats everything Kemp can rustle up and finally asks for a cigar. He promises to tell Kemp the story of his bizarre situation but insists that he must sleep first as he has had no sleep in nearly three days.
CHAPTER 18. The Invisible man Sleeps
1.Griffin examines the windows of the room, then exacts a promise from Kemp that he will not be betrayed in his sleep and finally locks the door, barring Kemp from his own room.
2.Kemp retires to his dining room to speculate upon the strange events. There he sees the day’s newspaper, which he had ignored earlier. He reads it eagerly, but assigns the more terrifying elements of the stores to “fabrication.” In the morning he sends his housekeeper for all available papers and reads those as well. The papers contain
3.stories of the previous evening’s events at the Cricketers along with a rather badly written account of Marvel’s experience. Marvel doesn’t tell how he came upon the money in his pockets, nor does he mention the location of the three books. Kemp becomes alarmed at the possibilities of what Griffin could do and writes a note to Colonel Adye at Port Burdock.
CHAPTER 19. Certain First Principles
Griffin explains how he became invisible. He had been a medical student, but had dropped medicine and taken up physics. He discovered a formula of pigments that lowers the refractive index of a substance, allowing light to pass through it rather than being reflected or refracted. After experimenting with pigments for three years, he came upon the secret whereby animal tissue could be rendered transparent. He was continuously trying to hide his work from another professor. He was finally brought to a halt in his experimenting by a lack of funds, a problem he solved by robbing his own father. Because the money did not belong to him, his father shot himself.
CHAPTER 20. At the House in Great Portland Street
1.Griffin explains how he had found lodging in a boarding house on Great Portland Street. After his father’s funeral, he went to his apartment to continue with his experiments. He successfully made a piece of cloth disappear, then he tried his process on a stray cat. The cat was not entirely successful, as the animal’s eyes and claws never completely disappeared.
2.Later the next day he had a minor altercation with the landlord who brought reports of Griffin tormenting a cat in the night. The landlord wanted to know what Griffin was doing in the room and what all the paraphernalia was for. The two argued and Griffin shoved the landlord out of the room. Griffin knew he would have to act quickly, so he made arrangements to have his belongings stored, then he drank some of his own potion. In the evening the landlord returned with an ejection notice, but was too terrified at the stone white face of Griffin to serve it. In spite of extreme illness and pain, Griffin finished his treatment and watched himself gradually disappear.
3.In the morning, the landlord, his stepsons and the elderly neighbor lady who had complained about the cat enter Griffin’s apartment and are astonished to see no one. A day later, afraid, lest his equipment reveal too much information, Griffin smashes the items and sets fire to the house. Believing that he has covered his tracks with impunity, he begins to imagine all sorts of “wild and wonderful” things he will be able to do under the cover of invisibility.
CHAPTER 21. In Oxford Street
1.Griffin continues to explain his experiences with invisibility. He soon discovered that being invisible had as many drawbacks as advantages. People ran into him and stepped on him. He had to be continually on guard as to the movements and positions of others in order to avoid accidental contact. To make matters worse, although people could not see him, dogs could detect him with their keen sense of smell. As he had to remain naked, he was soon uncomfortable. Also, he could not eat, as food was visible until it was fully assimilated into his system.
2.At one point, he had run up the steps of a house in order to avoid a unit of a marching Salvation Army band. While he waited, two youngsters spotted the prints of his bare feet in the mud. Soon a crowd of people had gathered to look at the “ghost prints.” He leapt over the railing and ran through a bunch of back roads to avoid the press. Fortunately for him, his escape at that time was aided with the distraction created by conflagration engulfing his former dwelling.
CHAPTER 22. In the Emporium
1.Griffin explains his first attempts to get clothing and render his situation more tolerable. He had gone into the Omniums, a large apartment type store where one could buy everything from groceries to clothing. He made his way to an area of bedsteads and mattresses, hoping that once the store closed for the night, he would be able to sleep on the mattresses and steal some clothes with which to mask his condition.
2.In the night he procured a complete set of clothes for himself, helped himself to food in a refreshment department, and then slept in a pile of down quilts. He failed to awaken before the morning crew had entered, however, and was unable to escape as long as they could see him. Thus he was forced to shed the clothing and run, naked, back out into the cold.
CHAPTER 23. In Drury Lane
1.Griffin’s peril increased daily. He had no clothes or shelter and dared not eat. Also, he soon realized that walking through the streets of London was going to result in an accumulation of dirt on his skin- which would make him visible in a grotesque way.
2.He made his way into a costume shop, hoping to make way with some clothes and dark glasses after the proprietor had gone to bed. In the shopkeeper’s room, he had to stand and watch the man eat his breakfast. Furthermore, the man had exceptionally acute hearing and nearly discovered Griffin several times. When evening came, he was finally able to explore the house and found a pile of old clothes. In his excitement, he forgot about the noise he was making and was nearly caught when the shopkeeper investigated the noise. Unable to see the source, but positive someone was in the house, the proprietor went about locking all the doors in the house and pocketing the keys. In desperation, Griffin struck the old man on the head, then gagged and tied him with a sheet. Then he put together a costume of old clothes, stole all the money he could find and went out into the street.
3.Believing his troubles were over, Griffin went into a restaurant and ordered a meal, but soon realized he couldn’t eat it without exposing his invisible face. He ordered the lunch and left, telling the proprietor that he would be back in ten minutes.
4.Griffin went to “another place” (which happens to be the Coach & Horses Inn) and demanded a private room, explaining that he was “badly disfigured.” Thus he had set himself up at Iping, hoping to find a way to reverse the process of invisibility. Here he was finally discovered.
CHAPTER 24. The Plan that Failed
1.Griffin tells how his original plan, after being discovered by the people of Iping, had been to get his books and get out of the country, but that plan had changed upon meeting Kemp. He thinks that Kemp can work with him. Together they can set up a “reign of terror” to take full advantage of the Invisibility. Griffin does not realize that Kemp has already betrayed him and is only trying to keep him talking until the police arrive. Kemp stands in front of the window to keep Griffin from seeing the police, but Griffin soon hears them on the stairs and realizes he has been deceived.
2.Griffin quickly begins to disrobe even as Kemp springs to the door and attempts to lock him in. A dropped key spoils the effort as the now invisible Griffin shoves him aside, then hurls his weight at Colonel Adye, the chief of the Burdock Police who is approaching on the stairs. Griffin escapes past two more policemen in the hall; they hear the front door of the house slam violently.
CHAPTER 25. The Hunting of the Invisible man
Kemp explains the situation to the police, informing them of Griffin’s intentions to cause general mayhem. They talk of using dogs to sniff him out and of putting powdered glass in the streets.
CHAPTER 26. The Wicksteed Murder
By 2:00 in the afternoon, the entire countryside around Burdock has been mobilized. Men set out with guns, clubs and dogs, and the police warn the village people to lock their doors and stay inside. Griffin manages to evade his pursuers for a 24-hour period except for one encounter with a middle-aged man who had apparently cornered him. Griffin kills the man by beating him with an iron rod.
CHAPTER 27. The Siege of Kemp’s House
1.Kemp receives a letter telling him that the Reign of Terror is beginning and that Kemp himself will be the first execution for the sake of an example. Kemp decides that he himself will be the bait and that Griffin will be caught because he will have gone too far. A knock at the door turns out to be Adye with news that Kemp’s housekeeper-who was carrying notes for the police-had been attacked and the notes taken from her.
2.Griffin makes his presence known by smashing windows in Kemp’s house. During the battle that follows, Adye is shot. Griffin gets inside the house and tries to tell the police to “stand away” as he is after only Kemp. He swings an ax at them, but one of them manages to strike him with an iron poker. By this time Kemp has followed his housekeeper through a window and is nowhere to be found.
CHAPTER 28. The Hunter Hunted
Griffin chases Kemp through the town. People begin to join in the chase. When Kemp realizes that the people are chasing Griffin, he stops running, which allows the Invisible Man to catch him. Even though people cannot see him, they are able to grab hold of him and keep him down. The effort is not needed for long as Griffin has been fatally injured and seems to have lost a lot of blood. As the town people watch, the effect of invisibility is gradually reversed, and soon, Griffin, now dead, is visible.
- He is an albino college student who had changed his area of study from medicine to physics and had become interested in refractive indexes of tissue. During his studies he stumbled across formulas that would render tissue invisible. Eventually he tries the formula on himself, thinking of all the things he could do if he were invisible. Unfortunately, the conveniences are far outweighed by the disadvantages; Griffin turns to crime as a means of survival.
- Griffin is the model of science without humanity. He becomes so obsessed with his experiments that he hides his work lest anyone else should receive credit. When he runs out of money, he kills his own father – a crime that makes the rest of his crimes pale in comparison. He goes from scientist to fanatic when he begins to focus all of his attention merely on the concept of invisibility and neglects to think about the consequences of such a condition.
- He may not have had any intention initially of trying the potion on himself, but the interference of his landlord and prying neighbor lady motivate him to cover his work and remove himself from further confrontation. The evil that he could commit does not occur to him until after he has swallowed the potion and seen the reaction of the landlord and others.
- The irony is, that his invisibility is good only for approaching unseen and for getting away. Any gains from his crimes are useless to him. He cannot enjoy any of the normal comforts of life-such as food, clothes, and money. He cannot eat without hiding the action, as the food in his system will render him visible. Clothes, when he is able to wear them, must be used to cover him from head to foot in order to conceal his real “concealment”–hardly a comfortable state in the heat of the summer. He can steal money, but cannot spend it on his own accord. Thus the condition that would make him invulnerable also renders him helpless.
- In spite of his predicament, Griffin at no time expresses any remorse for his behavior or for the crimes, which he merely describes as “necessary.” His only regret is frustration over not having thought about the drawbacks of invisibility. For nearly a year, he works on trying to perfect an antidote; when time runs out for that activity, he first tries to leave the country, and then, that plan failing, tries to find an accomplice for himself so he can enjoy his invisibility and have all the comforts of life as well. He goes from obsession to fanaticism to insanity.
Mr. Marvel is the local tramp. He is harmless, eccentric, fat, but not nearly as stupid as Griffin thinks he is. He is smart enough to know when a good thing has happened to him; the stories he tells to the press bring him much attention and sympathy. In the end, he gets to keep all the money Griffin stole, and he contrives on his own to keep the books of Griffin’s experiments. He becomes the owner of an inn as well as the village bard, as it is to him that people come when they want to know the stories of the Invisible Man. In spite of his earlier torment, he is the only one who actually benefits from Griffin’s presence.
A former associate of Griffin’s in his college days. Griffin had been a student and knew Kemp to be interested in bizarre, and idiosyncratic aspects of science. Kemp is referred to as “the doctor,” but his degree seems to be an academic one rather than a medical one. He continues his own study in hopes of being admitted to “the Royal Fellows.” His own experiments and fascination with science enable him to listen sensibly to Griffin, but in spite of being rather contemptuous of his fellow citizens, his common sense and decency prevent him from being a part of Griffin’s schemes. Kemp is also the only “cool headed” person in the town once the final attack begins. He runs to escape Griffin, but as soon as Griffin catches him, he has the presence of mind to turn the capture around. He is also the first to realize that even though Griffin is invisible, he is injured, and, ultimately, dead.
Janny Hall is the wife of Mr. Hall and the owner of the Coach and Horses Inn. A very friendly, down-to-earth woman who enjoys socializing with her guests, Mrs. Hall is continually frustrated by the mysterious Griffin’s refusal to talk with her, and his repeated temper tantrums.
George Hall is the husband of Mrs. Hall and helps her run the Coach and Horses Inn. He is the first person in Iping to suspect that the mysterious Griffin is invisible: when a dog bites him and tears his glove, Griffin retreats to his room and Hall follows to see if he is all right, only to see Griffin without his glove and handless (or so it appears to Hall).
A clock repairman who happens to visit the inn for a cup of tea. Mrs. Hall takes advantage of him to try to find out about her strange guest. Because the stranger will not talk, Teddy convinces himself that the man is someone of a “suspicious” nature. Teddy begins the rumors about the man being wanted by the police and merely wrapping himself up to conceal his identity.
A cartman who delivers luggage from the station whenever he is needed. He notices darkness through a torn pant leg where there should be pink flesh and starts the stories of Griffin being either a black man or a piebald.
A general practitioner who attempts to get an interview with Griffin. He is the first to realize he actually see emptiness where there should be flesh and bone. He also tells an outrageous story to his companions in town after Griffin terrifies him by pinching his nose with an invisible hand.
Col. Adye is the chief of Police in the town of Port Burdock. He is called upon by Dr. Kemp when the Invisible Man turns up in Kemp’s house. Adye saves Kemp from the Invisible Man’s first attempt on his life and leads the hunt for the unseen fugitive. He mostly follows Kemp’s suggestions in planning the campaign against the Invisible Man. He is eventually shot by the Invisible Man. Upon being shot, Adye is described as falling down and not getting back up. However, he is mentioned in the epilogue as being one of those who had questioned Thomas Marvel about the whereabouts of the Invisible Man’s notebooks, and is never made clear whether this occurred prior to his being shot, or if it occurred afterwards and Adye survived.
J.A. Jaffers is a constable or “bobby” in the town of Iping. He is called upon by Mr. Hall and Mrs. Hall to arrest Griffin after they suspect him of robbing the Reverend Bunting. He overcomes his shock at the discovery that Griffin was invisible quickly, determined to arrest him in spite of this. The Invisible Man knocks him unconscious in his flight from Iping.
Mr. And Mrs. Bunting
Bunting is the vicar. Cuss takes his story to Bunting. The next evening Bunting and his wife hear noise in their house after they have gone to bed. They are able to hear someone sneeze, and their money disappears right before their eyes.Other Chapter Summary