The Invisible Man by H G Wells is probably one of the best crime fictions. It has science, imagination, messages, adventure, murders, excitement and curiosity. In a line, this is the story of a scientist, Griffin, who invented a powerful chemical to change his own body invisible. How’s that! He hoped he could be a super-hero and dreamed of ruling the world with power and terror but what really happened to him was the opposite!
- Summary in Notes
- Character Sketches in Notes
- Chapter-wise Summary & Questions
Summary in Notes
Griffin in Iping – a peaceful village in England
- Boards at Coach and Horses
- Informed Mrs. Hall, the landlady not to trouble him.
- Dislikes Mrs. Hall for her over concern for him.
- Shouts at Teddy Henfrey
- Gets bitten by Fearenside’s dog
- Next day Griffin’s luggage arrived in a carriage
- The carriage driver was Mr. Fearenside
- Mr. Fearenside had a dog
- When Griffin came down to see the carriage, the dog bit him
- Slams the door on Mr. Hall
- Dr. Cuss
- Scares Dr. Cuss
- Enters Mr. Bunting’s home and robs
- Scares Mr. and Mrs. Hall
- Get locked up in his room
- Reveals his identity to the Iping people and escapes
- Gets Thomas Marvel to assist him
- Returns to Coach and Horses
- Gets into his room
- Strips Mr. Bunting and Dr. Cuss of their clothes
- Returns with his books and money with Marvel
- Rises against the people who tried to stop Marvel
- One man army fights the mob
Griffin and Marvel in Burdock
- At Jolly Cricketers
- Griffin is shot during his attempt to kill Marvel
- He runs away, leaving drops of blood on the way
- Griffin gets into Dr. Kemp’s house
- Griffin looks for shelter
- He reaches the door of Dr. Kemp
- He rings the door bell and enters invisible to the maid who opened the door
- Griffin walks into the doctor’s room
- Gets himself bangaged
- Dr. Kemp realizes that there is someone in his room
- Griffin introduces himself as Griffin who was his batch-mate at University College, London. (From this point, the story takes us to London)
Griffin in London
- University College
- Studying medicine
- Getting attracted to physics
- Thinks of inventing a medicine that can:
- Make himself invisible
- Make him a super power
- Make him terrorize the world
- Discussing the idea with Kemp (a friend)
- Kemp laughs at the idea
- Griffin leaves the Medical College
- Stays at the little town of Chesilstowe
- Studies under Professor Oliver (Physics)
- A thief of ideas
- Griffin being very careful about his secrets
- Earns a living by teaching
- Once ready to make the medicine:
- Griffin steals his father’s money
- Father shoots himself
- The money did not belong to him
- A rich man had given it to his keeping
- Griffin doesn’t regret
- At Portland Street
- Boards a house
- Starts experiments
- Medicine in making
- Tries on wool
- Test successful – wool disappeared
- Tries on a cat
- Cat doesn’t drink the medicine
- Test not successful
- Neighbours start suspecting Griffin
- Suspects of vivisection
- Complain to the landlord
- Fight with the landlord
- Landlord serves Griffin with an eviction notice
- Griffin consumes the medicine
- Test slowly successful
- Griffin becomes invisible
- Sends his books and chemicals away
- Landlord arrives
- Griffin burns the house
- Griffin removes all clothes and escapes
- Boards a house
Griffin – the Invisible man
- Excitement of being an invisible man
- Troubles of being an invisible man
- Could not eat without being seen
- Could not sleep
- Could not escape the rain
- Could not wear clothes
- Had to cover fully
- Decides to invent the reverse medicine
- To make himself visible
- To be able to be visible and invisible
- Decides to go to a village
- For quietness
- For loneliness
Back in Burdock
- Griffin eats and feels better.
- He tells Dr. Kemp (not complete. Move to further sections)
Character Sketches – Notes
- Irrational – He thought of ruling the world with terror
- Sadist – He enjoyed when people suffered.
- Inhuman – He killed people; he had no guilt for his father’s death
- Violent – He became violent with many people in the story; for example – Dr. Cuss.
- Short Tempered
- Supporter of a reign of terror
- Genius yet mad scientist
- Gold medallist in Chemistry
- Intrigued by the theory of light
- Apathetic – No sympathy
- Albino – Physical deformity
- Far sighted
Thomas Marvel – Griffin’s assistant who ended up the ultimate gainer
- Tramp behaviour
- Dishevelled and unshaven
- Practical minded
Mrs. Hall – Owner of Coach and Horses inn
- Easily snubbed
- Easily scared
- Dominating wife
- Intruding behaviour
- A good for nothing fellow
- Dominated by wife
Dr. Cuss – The general practitioner in Iping village
- Jealous of Griffin’s collection of chemicals
Teddy Henfrey – The clock jobber
- Intrigued by Griffin’s mysterious behaviour
- Persistent nagging
- Rumor monger
1 – Griffin Arrives in Iping
Iping, a little, peaceful town in England. In the heart of the town is Coach and Horse, an inn/lodge where travelers stayed back and the locals had drinks. It was a severe winter when Griffin came to this inn. He was covered from head to toe. No doubt, his look was strange so everyone began to look at him curiously. Why is he so covered, everyone asked to one another. Did he meet with an accident? Is he shy? Is he too dark to come to light? Is it his way of fighting the cold? Why does he cover even his nose? He wore spectacles with sidelights, which looked like goggles but why such a makeup?
It appeared to Mrs. Hall that the man was rich so she had no objection in giving him a room to stay. The guest was an unexpected money for her. Mrs. Hall got ready to serve her guest but the man’s appearance roused her suspicions. Hall assumes that this the man was through an accident so she decided to make him happy by talking to him. She tried to get him to talk about what had happened to him but he doesn’t want to talk about his “accident” with a gossipy innkeeper. Instead, he asks her about getting his luggage from the railroad station.
2 – Teddy Henfrey’s Impressions
In the second chapter, we meet a new character – Teddy Henfrey. Teddy was a watch mender (a clock mechanic) in the little town of Iping and he used to work for Mrs. Hall as well. This evening, Mrs. Hall asked Teddy to repair the clock in the guest’s room. Teddy goes in and notices the new guest (Griffin) and made an attempt to strike a conversation with him. Griffin didn’t like to talk to this little man of little importance so he ignored his questions. When Teddy felt a little hurt by the new guest’s behavior, he kept on asking more questions. Griffin had to shout at him. On his way out, Teddy doesn’t forget to speak ill of the new guest.
3 – A thousand and One Bottles
Today Griffin’s luggage arrived from the railway station. He had it sent from his previous house. The size of the luggage was so big that there was great crowd watching the arrival of the luggage in a cart. There were too many bottles and crates to count. The onlookers didn’t get an idea what these bottles and crates contained so they stood there, watching and discussing.
Griffin was so much excited on the arrival of his luggage that he came out of his room but was bitten by the coachman Fearenside’s dog. The bite tore Griffin’s trousers and many people noticed the hollowness in the torn part of the trousers. Griffin ran back to his room to change his torn trousers.
4 – Dr. Cuss Interviews the Stranger
The guest goes out very rarely but at night. People who met him unexpectedly noticed that he was a special kind of man and a few unfortunate people saw him passing like a ghost. Children and adults feared him and he became the only talk of the little town of Iping.
The general practitioner of Iping, Dr. Cuss, decided to meet this strange man. He went to the inn, talked to Mrs. Hall and then knocked the door and went in. The guest had not put on his gloves so he hid his invisible hands in his pocket and waited for Dr. Cuss to leave him.
Inside, Dr. Cuss talked to the guest, asked a number of questions and got very few answers. While interviewing the guest, a paper of prescription happened to fall into the fire and the guest made a careless attempt to get the prescription. Dr. Cuss noticed that the guest’s sleeve had no arms inside them. When he made a note of that, the guest grew angry and touched Dr. Cuss’ nose with his invisible fingers. Having escaped from the invisible man, Dr. Cuss met the vicar (the area’s resident priest) and told him what he had experienced.
5 – Burglary at the Vicarage
The guest enters the vicar’s residence. It was early morning and the best time to sleep and the worst time to wake up. The vicar’s wife, Mrs. Bunting, wakes to the noises and footsteps. She doesn’t arouse her husband at first.
- The guest enters Bunting’s bedroom. Evidently he was fully naked!
- He now moves to the adjoining room, the dressing room.
- At that point, Mrs. Bunting arouses her husband.
- The guest is moving away from the dressing room and walks to the staircase.
- Mr. Bunting is ready to get the intruder. However he puts his wife’s gown on and follows the footsteps from the staircase.
- The guest walks down the stairs and reaches Mr. Bunting’s study. Mr. Bunting hears sounds from his study.
- Quite accidentally a violent sneezing escapes Griffin. Mrs. And Mr. Bunting listen with a start. No doubt, there is a thief inside!
- 4 o’clock. Mr. Bunting steps back to his bedroom and returns with his poker stick to deal with the thief.
- Mr. Bunting descends the staircase as noiselessly as possible. Mrs. Bunting came out on the landing.
- Everything is silent except the faint creaking of the stairs under Mr. Bunting’s weight.
- Mr. Bunting’s study. Griffin opens a drawer and searches for papers. He curses loudly and strikes a match. The study is flooded with yellow light.
- The Hall. Mr. Bunting watches the study through the crack of the door. He sees the desk and the open drawer and a candle burning on the desk.
- Bunting wonders about the robber who was at work. He stands undecided.
- Bunting walks downstairs.
- The guest finds the place where the Buntings kept their money. Two pounds ten in half sovereigns altogether.
- Bunting acts at the thought of losing his savings. He grips the poker firmly and rushes into the room and finds no thief in the room!
They search every nook and corner of the study.
- Behind the screen
- Under the desk
- Behind the window-curtains
- Up the chimney
- In the waste-paper basket
- Inside the coal-scuttle.
Griffin leaves the study and moves to the passage and then to the kitchen.
- The Buntings enter the kitchen.
- The guest opens the back door of the kitchen and moves out of the kitchen.
- The Buntings look at each other and wonder what really had happened in their house.
6 – The Furniture that Went Mad
It was the day of Whit Monday, a festival that Iping people had been looking forward to. The Halls (Mr. and Mrs. Hall) woke up very early that morning and noiselessly went down into their cellar (underground store-room) to drink some beer. Remember – the guest is on his way back from the Buntings’ house after the robbery)
- While entering the cellar, Mrs. Hall remembered that she had forgotten to bring down a bottle of Sarsaparilla from their joint room.
- She therefore sent Mr. Hall to bring the Sarsaparilla bottle.
- Reaching the landing, looking at the stranger’s room, Mr. Hall noticed that the room was open.
- Hall ignored that. He went into the joint room and returned with the bottle of Sarsaparilla.
- This time Mr. Hall noticed that the main door was on its latch – someone had removed the lock and left the door on the latch.
- He recalled to his mind his holding the candle while his wife shot the bolts.
- Who opened the door? Answer was very clear – the man! Yes, has gone out!
- Mr. Hall remembered what Teddy Henfrey had reported to him.
- Mr. Hall went upstairs, reached the stranger’s door and rapped.
- When no one opened the door, Mr. Hall entered and saw no one inside.
- Inside the room, he saw the stranger’s clothes – the bandages – and his slouch hat.
- Hearing his wife calling for him to come down, Mr. Hall went down and informed her that the stranger had gone out.
Wishing to see the stranger’s room and a little bit of his secrets, Mrs. Hall went to the stranger’s room. Hall followed her. Reaching the front door, they heard the door open and shut. It was the stranger’s return from his business. While getting very near to the guest’s room, the two heard a sneeze and Mr. Hall thought it was his wife who sneezed and she thought it was her husband who sneezed.
- The stranger was now moving between Mrs. Hall and Mr. Hall and he sniffed behind her ears. When she turned back thinking it was Mr. Hall who sniffed, he was seen far away.
- Like a detective, Mrs. Hall felt the stranger’s pillows and clothes and found that they were not warm. Yes, the guest had left the room an hour ago!
- Remember that the guest was now watching the Halls, invisibly. He had been out at the vicarage doing a wonderful robbery and now just returned.
- Seeing the Halls in his room, the invisible guest felt like playing a little fun with them.
- He gathered his bed clothes (imagine how it appeared to the Halls!) and threw them down.
- He then took his hat off the bed post, whirled it in style and hurled it at Mrs. Hall.
- The hat was followed by the sponge from washstand, the chair, his coat and trousers.
- Next he lifted the chair and took careful aim at Mrs. Hall.
- Attacked from all sides, Mrs. Hall and her husband ran out of the room.
- The stranger locked the door from inside and continued playing with the chair and the bed and then stopped altogether.
- Hall fell in her husband’s hands. She was given restoratives by Mr. Hall and Millie (the servant) downstairs.
- Feeling better, Mrs. Hall remarked that the stranger was a ghost. She confessed that she should have known that earlier.
- She asked Mr. Hall to lock the stranger in so he sent Millie to bring Mr. Sandy Wadgers, the blacksmith. Mr. Wadgers also was of the opinion that it was witchcraft.
Wadgers and a few others gathered and discussed the next course of action. While they were still discussing, the stranger opened his door and came down, all wrapped up. Everyone watching him, he waved his fingers at the bottle of Sarsaparilla which the Halls had left behind, then went back into his room and slammed the door again.
- Wadgers and Mr. Hall followed the stranger and knocked on his door.
- The door opened. Mr. Hall began to talk to the stranger but before he had said “excuse, me…” the stranger shouted “Go to hell. Shut the door after you.”
- Hall did what the guest had asked him – he shut the doors behind him.
7 – The Unveiling of the Stranger
- It was at 5.30am that the stranger went into his room and locked himself in.
- He remained there till midday, without food, and probably, water.
- Neither Mr. Hall nor Mrs. Hall dared to go near him.
- He was now starving. He rang the bell for food but Mrs. Hall ignored him.
- In the meantime, people gathered around the inn brought a new rumour – regarding the burglary at the vicarage.
- When circumstances and the strange nature of the burglary put together, they said it was the stranger who had done the burglary.
- Hall and Wadgers went off to find Mr. Shuckleforth, the magistrate for his advice.
- While people waited outside, the stranger expressed his anger by smashing his bottles, tearing things and shouting curses.
- It was a fine Whit Monday and crowd in front of Coach and Horses thickened.
- At 1 pm the guest came out of his parlour and called for Mrs. Hall. The lady, instead of breakfast, served him his unpaid bills in a tray.
- When the guest grew furious at this, she said that she could serve him food only when her bills were paid.
- The guest replied that he was expecting some money from someone but Mrs. Hall reminded him that she didn’t think he was not really going to get any money.
- The guest then changed his tone and began to talk like a gentleman but Mrs. Hall was not pleased.
- At this point the guest informed her that he had found some money even without receiving his remittance (probably a cheque!)
- Hall said that he had probably stolen that cash from someone. She made an indirect reference to the burglary at the vicarage.
- Hall felt like having the better of the guest so she began demanding a number of answers – how the guest went out, how he returned, what are his secrets?
- As Mrs. Hall went on with her questions, the guest finally got ready to give her all answers. All answers!
- At first he pulled the cloth that covered his face.
- The centre of his face became a black cavity and the people who watched his empty face stood stunned.
- The guest then removed his artificial nose – the pink nose – and handed it over to Mrs. Hall.
- Then it was the turn of his spectacles, hat, whiskers and bandages.
- People who watched expected some horrible scars under the bandages but the man was entirely a hollow!
- People jumped out and ran helter-skelter.
- Hall almost fainted again, Millie came out of the kitchen, screaming and saw the headless stranger.
- While many people ran away, more than forty people gathered to see the strange happenings – the sweet stuff seller, coconut shy proprietor and his assistant, the swing man, little boys and girls, rustic dandies, smart wenches, smocked elders and aproned gypsies—began running towards the inn.
- Everyone seemed eager to talk at once, and the result was complete confusion.
- By this time Mr. Hall arrived with Mr. Bobby Jaffers, the village constable, and then the wary Mr. Wadgers.
- Jaffers declared that he had come to arrest the man and he prepared to arrest the man.
- Both Mr. Jaffers and Mr. Hall went into the guest’s room to arrest him.
- They found the stranger inside, headless, eating some bread.
- Constable Jaffers, Mr. Hall and Wadgers made a final attempt to catch the stranger.
- Jaffers said that he had no objection regarding the man’s invisibility. He had come to arrest him in connection with robbery.
- When he saw that they would arrest him, the strangers said he was willing to surrender. He requested the police officer not to handcuff him.
- Jaffers was such a low enforcing officer that he could not think of arresting a robber without handcuffing.
- The stranger removed the last of his clothing, shoes, everything, and, before his pursuers knew what was happening, he slipped away.
- Hitting the three men with his invisible hands and kicking them with his invisible legs, the stranger came out of the room.
- Outside, a mob surrounded him – though he was now fully invisible.
- The invisible man now had a great time with people who had turned his enemies – Mr. Hall, Huxter, Henfrey and many others. Hitting them all and knocking several of them down, he vanished.
8 – Mr. Gibbons’ Strange Experience
In this very small chapter we meet Mr. Gibbons, a naturalist who hears Griffin passing by him. He was spending his day in the open fields when Mr. Gibbons heard the sound of someone passing by him. He looked up and around but saw no one. He heard the passing man sneeze and cough and even cursing him but there was yet no one to be seen.
Questions & Answers
- What unusual incident happened with Mr. Gibbons?
Gibbons, a naturalist, was spending his day out in the open fields. There was not a soul within a couple of miles of him. He was almost dozing when he heard close to him the sound as of a man was coughing, sneezing and then swearing savagely to himself. Mr. Gibbons tried to spot the man but there was no one to be seen. Yet the voice was quite apparent. The swearing voice kept coming towards him and he concluded that it was some lettered man. It came close to him and then started to die away in the direction of Adderdean. Mr. Gibbons had never heard of spirits venturing out in broad daylight but the incident left him scared and he hurried down the village as fast as he could.
9 – Mr. Thomas Marvel
- Marvel had a big, flexible face, a nose of cylindrical bulge, a liquorish, ample, fluctuating mouth, and a beard of bristling eccentricity. He was a short man.
- He wore a furry silk hat, and the frequent substitution of twine/string and shoe-laces for buttons, apparent at critical points of his costume, marked a man essentially bachelor.
- In short, Mr. Marvel looked like a mad man. He did everything in a leisurely manner.
- His feet, save for socks of irregular open-work, were bare, his big toes were broad, and pricked like the ears of a watchful dog. Mr. Marvel was contemplating trying on a pair of boots.
- They were the soundest boots he had come across for a long time, but too large for him; whereas the ones he had were, in dry weather, a very comfortable fit, but too thin-soled for damp.
- Mr. Marvel hated spacious/large shoes, but then he hated damp.
- He had never properly thought out which he hated most, and it was a pleasant day, and there was nothing better to do. So he put the four shoes in a graceful group on the turf and looked at them.
- And seeing them there among the grass and springing agrimony, it suddenly occurred to him that both pairs were exceedingly ugly to see. He was not at all startled by a voice behind him.
- Mr. Marvel was sitting with his feet in a ditch by the roadside over the down towards Adderdean, about a mile and a half out of Iping.
- He was trying a new pair of shoes when he heard a voice. Taking it very casually and carelessly, he continued his struggles with the shoes.
- Without turning to see who talked to him, Mr. Marvel told the man about his troubles with shoes.
- Marvel heard the man speaking ill of Iping and its people.
- At this point Mr. Marvel turned to look for the man whom he was talking to but could not find any. In fact he just wanted to see if the man’s shoes were better than his but Mr. Marvel could find neither a man, nor his leg, nor his shoes.
- Then Mr. Marvel wondered if he were drunk. Without wishing to give further shocks to a man whom he wanted to use, Griffin (Oh, you forgot his name was Griffin?) instructed him not to panic.
- Now Griffin had to produce solid evidences for his existence.
- Lifting a few flints/stones, he dropped one of them on Mr. Marvel’s toe and the man instantly believed him.
- Marvel then touched Griffin for a more accurate test.
- Griffin now informed Mr. Marvel he had chosen him to do works for him and offered him rewards for helping him and threatened to kill him in case he betrayed.
- Thus the deal was made. Let’s see what Mr. Marvel will do.
10 – Mr. Marvel Visits Iping
Iping Experiences a new feeling after Griffin’s unveiling
- It was still Whit Monday.
- People in Iping discussed the invisible man from two opposing sides – Believers and Sceptics (non-believers).
- While believers held (believed) that the invisible man was real, the sceptics laughed at them.
They celebrated Whit Monday in a different way
- Whit Monday was celebrated at Haysman’s Meadow
- Bunting (wife of the vicar whom the invisible man had robbed!) and other ladies were preparing tea on Haysman’s meadow.
- Children ran races and played games (they had no Sunday-school on behalf of Whit Monday)
- There was a little shade of fear and uneasiness regarding the incidents at Coach and Horses yet everyone tried to ignore it.
Mr. Marvel’s arrival
- While all were under a suppressed, tentative jolly mood, a stranger came straight to Coach and Horses. It was Mr. Marvel, indeed!
- A few men of Iping happened to notice that this man was talking to himself.
- Marvel went straight into the parlour that Griffin had previously occupied but Hall informed him that it was a private room.
- Now, Mr. Marvel went into the bar and had a drink and returned to the parlour door. He found another way that led to the parlour.
- Huxter observed the oddity of Mr. Marvel’s behaviour so he kept his eyes upon him.
- When Huxter came to the parlour from the road, Mr. Marvel was already in action. Carrying a bundle from the parlour, he was coming out of the parlour.
- Huxter followed Mr. Marvel, shouting at him to stop.
- Following Mr. Marvel, Mr. Huxter got far off the inn where he was stopped and hurled into the air by an invisible force.
11 – In the Coach and Horses
- This chapter describes the way Griffin got in his room.
- He sees Mr. Bunting and Dr. Cuss messing with his books and things.
- He watched them and listened to them for a while and made them know that he was in.
- Scared, the two men are further informed that he was going to take their clothes off as a punishment for tampering with his things and for taking his clothes away.
- Outside, Mr. Hall and Teddy stood guard.
- After a while Griffin gave his books to Marvel.
12 – Invisible Man loses his Temper
- Griffin was in the parlour with Mr. Bunting the vicar and Mr. Cuss.
- Outside, Mr. Huxter was watching Mr. Marvel’s suspicious movements.
- Hall and Mr. Teddy Henfrey were a dozen yards away, discussing matters.
- At this point they heard a violent thud against the door of the parlour, a sharp cry, and then—silence.
- Hall and Mr. Teddy approached the door and smelled some unpleasant chemical odours from the parlour. They could also hear a muffled conversation from inside.
- Hall rapped the door and asked if the two men were alright.
- No reply was given. On the contrary, whispers from the parlour ceased.
- After a while they heard a cry like, “No! No, you don’t!” It was followed by a sudden motion and the oversetting of a chair, a brief struggle.
- Hall repeated, “Are you alright, Cuss, Bunting?”
- This time there was a reply. It was the vicar. Having said everything was alright, the vicar requested Mr. Hall not to interrupt.
- Nothing was alright inside. Griffin was forcing Mr. Bunting to shed his clothes.
- Waiting outside, Mr. Hall and Teddy heard Mr. Cuss say, “Disgraceful.” Probably Griffin had stripped both the men of their clothes!!
- At this point Mrs. Hall appeared and Mr. Hall signalled her to silently come and listen to what was going on.
- As usual, the lady scolded her husband for not doing any work.
- While they were listening, they saw Huxter rushing out of his shop and then running after Mr. Marvel, calling “thief!”
- At the same time, there were sounds from the parlour – windows being closed. It was done by the two gentlemen inside, probably naked!
- People present inside the bar rushed out. They saw something very remarkable about Mr. Huxter. (You remember Mr. Huxter running after Mr. Marvel and then subsequently attacked by the invisible Griffin?)
- People ran for Mr. Huxter’s rescue and Mr. Marvel vanished by the corner of the church wall.
- First they thought that Mr. Marvel was invisible man himself who suddenly became visible.
- Several men set off at once along the lane in pursuit of Mr. Marvel.
- Now, Griffin had to save Mr. Marvel from the mob so he got ready to stop anyone who came very close to Mr. Marvel.
- At first it was Mr. Hall. He gave a loud shout of astonishment and went flying headlong sideways, clutching one of the labourers and bringing him to the ground.
- A labourer who came round in a circle thought that Hall had tumbled over of his own accord so he turned to resume the pursuit for Mr. Marvel. Griffin tripped him by the ankle just as Huxter had been.
- Griffin then kicked another labourer sideways by a blow that might have felled an ox.
- Griffin then had to deal with so many other men who tried to stop his messenger – Mr. Marvel.
- The first to appear was the proprietor of the cocoanut shy, a burly man in a blue jersey. He was hit so hard that the man fell headlong.
- While this was going on outside, Mr. Cuss came out and shouted, “Hold him! Don’t let him drop that parcel.”
- Cuss informed them that his trousers along with all Mr. Bunting’s clothes, were taken by the invisible man.
- When Mr. Cuss rushed to join the other people to get Mr. Marvel, he was knocked down by the invisible man. When Mr. Cuss fell, the invisible man crushed his fingers by running over them.
- Besides, the invisible man served Mr. Cuss with a little more torture – a perfect blow on the back of his ears!
- Cuss now ran into the parlour (where Mr. Naked Bunting was hiding) and informed him that the invisible man was coming back.
- Bunting was now attempting to clothe himself in the hearth-rug and a West Surrey Gazette. Mr. Cuss said that the invisible man was fighting like a mad man.
- Hearing the invisible man so near, Mr. Bunting made one of the two decisions: stay or escape. He decided to escape through the window, wearing the hearth rug. You should have seen this little man’s flight!
- We know it was to keep obstacles out of Mr. Marvel’s way that Griffin dealt with a number of men in Iping. Else, it was for fun. Was it because he was strangely angry with everyone? All the three reasons are likely.
13 – Mr. Marvel Discusses his Resignation
- It took much time for the people of Iping to recover from the shock and panic that the invisible man had spread.
- That evening, Mr. Marvel (followed by Griffin, invisibly) was walking to Bramblehurst.
- Marvel was by this time desperate, tired and broken.
- He carried three books bound together by some sort of ornamental elastic ligature, and a bundle wrapped in a blue table-cloth. You should remember that Griffin was not to carry anything lest passers-by should faint seeing books gliding in the air.
- Marvel’s rubicund face expressed consternation and fatigue; he appeared to be in a spasmodic sort of hurry.
- Griffin kept on talking to Mr. Marvel and at times, he pressed Mr. Marvel’s shoulders very hard to make him obey him.
- Evidently Griffin was not happy with the poor way Mr. Marvel had assisted him at the Inn.
- Marvel explained that it was not his fault that their plans slipped and people gathered to get them.
- Griffin blamed himself and Mr. Marvel for letting people know that he was invisible. He said that the news would be in the paper and that people would be on their guard and the police would be looking for him everywhere.
- In order to be free from Griffin, Mr. Marvel began to confess that he was the worst accomplice (assistant) for an invisible man.
- Guessing Mr. Marvel was trying to be free from a miserable task, Griffin went on encouraging him to work for him.
- None of what Mr. Marvel tried to get away from Griffin worked. Besides, Griffin gave Mr. Marvel the final warning – Stay with me or else be killed by me.
14 – At Port Stowe
- The next morning, Mr. Marvel was sitting on a bench outside a little inn (lodge) near Port Stowe.
- He was more miserable and extremely helpless. His mind was full of worries.
- At this time, an elderly mariner approached him with a newspaper in hand.
- The mariner came closer, greeted Mr. Marvel with a few pleasing words. Mr. Marvel returned the greetings in bad taste.
- The mariner was in good mood to talk. He kicked a start by making some remarks about the books that Mr. Marvel had with him.
- Next he proceeded to talk about the talk of the town and the leading news – the Invisible Man who ran away from Iping.
- The Mariner opened his newspaper and began to read about the Invisible Man. Mr. Marvel tried to avoid any talk about the Invisible Man or any other man. He just pretended to have no idea about the Invisible Man. You know why? Mr. Marvel knew that Griffin would be around and listening to him.
- At this point, the mariner told him what the Invisible Man had done in Iping.
- Marvel saw that the conversation was going to be more precise. He saw that the mariner was not going to abandon the subject of the Invisible Man.
- The mariner went on reading the newspaper. He mentioned Mr. Bunting and Mr. Cuss. “There is a clergyman and a medical gent witnesses,” the mariner said.
- Inspired by the newspaper stories and the mariner’s presence, Mr. Marvel began to talk about the Invisible Man. He was about to say that he knew the Invisible Man when Griffin pulled him away from the mariner.
- While going away, Mr. Marvel told the mariner that he had no notion about the invisible man. The mariner didn’t like this double talk. He got angry with Mr. Marvel and abused him.
- Marvel disappeared, with the Invisible Man on his side.
15 – The Man who was running
- The invisible man is in another town now. It is somewhere near Burdock.
- No one sees the invisible man but they see a little man running, calling out, “the invisible man!”
- Kemp is in his study overlooking the town of Burdock. Kemp’s study is full of science stuff.
- Watching this from his room, Dr. Kemp blamed all the people for their insane beliefs and superstitions. Dr. Kemp was a scientific man so he was not ready to believe the invisible man.
- He watched people everywhere and heard them shout in great terror.
- So, looking out his window, Kemp sees a man with a shabby high hat running down into town. Kemp thinks this might just be another fool who is afraid of the Invisible Man. Kemp, of course, is too scientific to believe in an Invisible Man.
- But outside, the running man looks terrified. Everyone around freaks out, and for good reason. The Invisible Man is chasing after the running man.
- Who is the little man the invisible man is chasing? Let’s see that in the next chapter.
16 – In the Jolly Cricketers
- In the town of Burdock, at a pub called The Jolly Cricketers, a bunch of people are chatting.
- Suddenly, Mr. Marvel bursts in to the pub, yelling for people to save him from the Invisible Man.
- The Invisible Man is definitely there, because someone is breaking windows!
- The bartender hides Mr. Marvel in a backroom and an American with a gun gets ready to shoot the Invisible Man when he comes in the front door.
- The Invisible Man, suddenly sneaky, goes in through the back door.
- He begins to attack Mr. Marvel, but the other men in the pub rescue him in time.
- The man with the gun fires it carefully and is sure he hit the Invisible Man. He tells everyone to go and feel for his invisible body.
17 – Dr. Kemp’s visitor
- Back at Kemp’s house, Kemp is busying himself with some works of speculative philosophy.
- Kemp gets interrupted by the shots and looks out to see a crowd at the Jolly Cricketers.
- Shortly after, he’s interrupted again when someone rings his doorbell but his housemaid tells him that there was no one at the door.
- On his way to bed, after a long day of speculative philosophy, Kemp notices some blood on the floor and on the handle of his bedroom door.
- When he opens the bedroom door, he sees some floating, bloody bandages, which makes him feel something unusual about all.
- The Invisible Man calls Kemp by his name and tells him not to panic.
- So the Invisible Man wrestles Kemp down.
- The IM tells Kemp that he knows him from school: he’s really a guy named Griffin.
- He then proceeds to tell Dr. Kemp that he was almost an albino, he was a little younger than Kemp, and he won a medal for chemistry at University College.
- Kemp calms down enough to give Griffin some whiskey, clothes, and a cigar.
- Griffin takes a glass of whiskey, which looks like it’s just suspended in mid-air. Then he puts on clothes, which look like they’re floating. And finally, he smokes a cigar, so the smoke outlines his mouth and throat.
- It was just a coincidence that Griffin broke into Kemp’s house to recover, but now he needs Kemp’s help.
- Griffin needs help because his partner stole his (stolen) money.
- He tells Kemp that he’s too tired to tell the full story now and he needs to sleep. He also adds that he doesn’t want people to capture him, which we’d say is an odd request for a guest. But that’s the kind of guy Griffin is: strange.
18 – The Invisible Man sleeps
- After Griffin makes sure the bedroom is secure and after Kemp promises not to turn him in, Griffin goes to sleep.
- Kemp can’t sleep right now. For one thing, he’s worried briefly about his sanity (was that really an invisible Griffin?). For another thing, Griffin took his bedroom.
- Instead, Kemp spends some time reading the newspapers from that day. The top news story is about a dangerous invisible man.
- Kemp remembers all the way back to Chapter 16 and he wonders why Griffin was chasing that tramp. That didn’t look like innocent fun.
- Kemp worries that Griffin may become more unstable and dangerous. He hesitates, but eventually decides to write a note to Colonel Adye.
- Then he hears Griffin wake up. As usual, Griffin starts his day off by tossing some furniture around.
19 – Certain first principles
- Actually, Griffin threw some stuff around because he’s just kind of an angry guy, as Kemp notes.
- Kemp tells Griffin that he wants to help, but first, he needs to know his story.
- Griffin was a medical student at the same time as Kemp, but Griffin switched to physics because he was interested in light.
- He came up with a loose theory for how to make objects invisible, but needed to figure out a method to actually do it.
- Griffin left London (and University College) six years ago and went to Chesilstowe, where he was a teacher and a student.
- What he really wanted to do, though, was continue his research into invisibility.
- Still – and this is his big problem – his professor (Oliver) was “a scientific bounder, a journalist by instinct, a thief of ideas—he was always prying!”
- Griffin didn’t want to publish his research because then Professor Oliver would get a lot of credit for it.
- One night, alone, Griffin figured out how to make a human invisible.
- Pretty soon he was thinking about making himself invisible, since it would get him out of his life as “a shabby, poverty-struck, hemmed-in demonstrator, teaching fools in a provincial college.”
- After three years of teaching and research, he didn’t have the money he needed to complete his research. So he did the obvious thing: he robbed his dad.
- Unfortunately, the money he stole was not actually his dad’s, and so his dad shot himself.
20 – At the house in Great Portland Street
- Back at Kemp’s house, Kemp offers his chair to Griffin, mostly to get Griffin away from the window.
- Griffin continues his story: After his dad died, he moved into a cheap boarding-house in London to continue his research.
- He did go to his dad’s funeral (which is awfully nice of him), but he didn’t really feel sorry for him.
- In fact, except for his research, the whole world seemed distant and unimportant to Griffin.
- His research, Griffin adds, is all written down in a code in his books, except for a few parts that he chose to remember himself.
- At the boarding-house, Griffin continued his experiments.
- He made some wool invisible and then he made a neighbourhood cat invisible. That cat experiment took a few tries, and the cat didn’t seem to like it so much.
- Unfortunately for Griffin, the cat’s noise attracted an old woman who lived in the boarding-house and who had always suspected Griffin of vivisecting animals.
- Eventually, though, Griffin got annoyed by the cat and let it out.
- Then, as usually happens when one gives away his only friend, Griffin had a little breakdown.
- He started to have nightmares and was no longer interested in his work. But he took some strychnine (a drug) and felt energized.
- At one point, the old woman and the landlord came up to make sure that Griffin wasn’t experimenting on animals.
- They got into a little bit of a fight, which ended with Griffin pushing the landlord out of his room.
- Realizing that this would lead to trouble, Griffin decided to disappear.
- He sent his books off by mail to some place where he could pick them up.
- Then he started the process of turning himself invisible, which really hurt.
- During the process, the landlord tried to give Griffin an eviction notice, but Griffin already looked so strange that the landlord kind of ran away.
- At some point, Griffin became almost totally invisible, except an attenuated pigment still remained behind the retina of his eyes.
- The landlord and his stepsons tried to break in, which angered Griffin so much that he planned to burn down the house.
- But he couldn’t find any match sticks.
- When the landlord and company finally broke down the door, they couldn’t find Griffin.
- Griffin destroyed his equipment, found some matches, and set his room on fire to cover his trail.
- Now that he was invisible, he started thinking about “the wild and wonderful” things he could do as an Invisible Man.
21 – In Oxford Street
- Griffin continues his story:
- While he was still pretty excited to be invisible, he realized that invisibility had some drawbacks.
- For one thing, he couldn’t see his feet, which made walking downstairs a little strange.
- The fact that people couldn’t see him had advantages and disadvantages.
- Advantage: he got to pretend that a man’s bucket was crazy.
- Disadvantage: a man running to catch the bucket jammed his fingers into Griffin’s neck.
- Also, Griffin was always cold and started to get the sniffles. Oh, and a dog could totally find him.
- Wandering around London, Griffin came across a Salvation Army march, which drew a crowd.
- Crowds are dangerous to Griffin, since he can’t slip through them – people can feel him even if they don’t see him.
- He tried to get out of the way, but he had stepped in some mud and left muddy footprints.
- Some street boys started to follow him.
- Then it started to snow and Griffin got tired of his adventure. Of course, he couldn’t go home since he had set his apartment on fire.
- Back in Kemp’s study, listening to this story, Kemp looks out the window. Kemp asks Griffin to go on.
22 – In the Emporium
- Griffin continues his story.
- With a January snowstorm blowing in to London, Griffin needed to find a place to stay.
- He couldn’t get into a house, so he decided to do the next best thing: go shopping.
- Seriously, he went to a giant department store named Omniums.
- Griffin waited until the place closed, then he started searching around for things he could use.
- He stole some food and clothes.
- Over by toys, he saw some fake noses, which started him thinking about wigs and other costume stuff that could help him pretend to be normal.
- He slept in the department store, living out every child’s dream.
- Unfortunately, it wasn’t as fun as you’d think: he had nightmares about being forced into his father’s grave and buried because no one could see him.
- Griffin woke up when the workers came back the next morning, and he almost got caught.
- The workers chased him around the store (they could see him because he was wearing clothes); but once again, Griffin took off his clothes to become invisible.
- Since he couldn’t steal clothes, Griffin had to leave the store with nothing – the sort of sad experience we all can empathize with.
23 – In Drury Lane
- Griffin continues his story.
- Griffin was getting more and more upset about the whole invisible situation.
- He made his way to a costume shop to find wigs, noses, and other stuff, so that he might appear “a grotesque but still a credible figure”
- When Griffin found his way to a store, the very alert shop owner almost caught him. The shop owner had a revolver, and he kept locking doors behind him.
- This made Griffin angry, which seems to be his only emotion. So he knocked out the shop owner and tied him up.
- Kemp interrupts Griffin’s story to tell him that he isn’t following “the common conventions of humanity” when he knocks people out in their own homes. Griffin points out, though, that he’s not a common person.
- Back to the story: Griffin went ahead and stole money and clothes. At least now people will be able to see him.
- Griffin stops his story for a minute in order to give Kemp a long speech about how being invisible isn’t so great.
- For one thing, he can’t eat in public because he can’t reveal his mouth. (This explains why he never ate in front of people at the Coach and Horses in the earlier chapters.)
- Kemp wants to keep him talking, so he asks what happened after he got all dressed up.
Griffin continues his story:
- He got his books and ordered the equipment he would need. All he wanted was to figure out how to reverse the invisibility treatment. Unfortunately, those gossipy people of Iping interfered with this plan. He asks, “Why couldn’t they leave me alone?”
- Now that everyone has gotten in his way – especially Mr. Marvel – Griffin is even angrier than before and plans on killing people.
24 – The plan that failed
- Kemp sees some people coming up the hill to his house, so he tries to keep Griffin talking.
- Griffin says he had planned to go someplace warm, like South America, where he wouldn’t have to wear clothes (at least not during spring break).
- But since he met Kemp, he’s changed his plans. Griffin now realizes how little one person can do on his own.
- Invisibility is especially useful for killing people, so Griffin plans to establish a new Reign of Terror – with Kemp’s help, of course.
- First, though, he needs to get his books back from Mr. Marvel, who is locked up at the jail for his own safety.
- Suddenly, Griffin hears some people sneaking up in the house, and he realizes that Kemp has betrayed him.
- Sad and angry, Griffin takes off his clothes. (What? Is that not what you do when you’re sad and angry?)
- Kemp tries to capture Griffin with the help of the three men, including Colonel Adye, the police captain who got Kemp’s letter in Chapter 18. (So it wasn’t a love letter after all.)
- Griffin pushes past them (with as much violence as he can) and escapes.
25 – The hunting for the Invisible Man.
- Kemp explains to Adye that they have to take measures against Griffin because he’s insane, a person of “pure selfishness.”
- They have some advantages, though. For one thing, they know that Griffin wants to get to Mr. Marvel and his stolen books.
- Also, Griffin basically told Kemp his life story, so they have all that information. Kemp knows that they can keep him unstable by making sure he doesn’t get a moment to eat or sleep. And of course, he knows that they can use dogs against Griffin.
- Kemp even suggests that they put powdered glass on the roads, but Adye objects that ” It’s unsportsmanlike.” At least someone’s worried about that.
- Kemp counters that Griffin is inhuman, that “[h]e has cut himself off from his kind. His blood be upon his own head.” Man, we wish we could think of a joke to put here, but this is dark.
26 – The Wicksteed murder
- After Griffin runs out of Kemp’s house, he really goes missing for a while. Where was he?
- The narrator also has a brief moment of sympathy for Griffin. After all, Griffin was betrayed by a friend.
- Without any spark of pity, everyone else seems to be out hunting him with guns and dogs. To make things worse, Kemp spreads the news that people need to keep the Invisible Man from eating or sleeping.
- Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep Griffin from killing an old man named Wicksteed.
- Although there were no witnesses, some men around there heard a voice “wailing and laughing, sobbing and groaning.” The narrator thinks that maybe Griffin was upset after killing Wicksteed.
- Griffin has trouble finding shelter. All the houses are locked and everyone is on guard against him. What’s worse is that everyone seems to know the secrets he told to Kemp. Some friend he was.
- Sometime in that day, Griffin found the time to rest and eat, since the next day he was “himself again, active, powerful, angry, and malignant, prepared for his last great struggle against the world.” One Invisible Man versus the world – let’s see who wins.
27 – The siege of Kemp’s House
- Griffin is now outrageous. He writes a letter to Dr. Kemp and threatens to kill him that very day.
- Kemp has his housekeeper lock up all the windows and gets his revolver ready.
- He writes a note for Adye, saying that Kemp will act as bait to catch Griffin.
- Adye shows up later, saying that Griffin grabbed the note from Kemp’s servant. So now Griffin knows that Kemp wants to set a trap.
- Then Griffin does what he does best: he breaks some windows. But there’s no way for him to get into Kemp’s house because they’ve anticipated his arrival. This is the siege of Kemp’s house.
- Adye borrows Kemp’s gun and tries to go for help, but Griffin trips him up and grabs the gun.
- At first, Adye refuses to help Griffin, but he changes his mind when he realizes “that life was very sweet.”
- The narrator switches point-of-view here, and goes from Adye to Kemp, who is watching all this from an upstairs window.
- Suddenly, he sees Adye attack Griffin and get shot. It sure looks like Adye is dead, but we’re not sure.
- Kemp’s housemaid is coming up the hill with two policemen. At the same time, Griffin has found an axe and is using it to break through the shutters over a window.
- Luckily for Kemp, the police get there in time, and he gives them some fireplace pokers to use as clubs.
- Griffin knocks out one of the cops, but the other cop hurts Griffin (by aiming near the axe).
- There’s a snapping sound, so maybe his arm gets broken. Griffin drops his weapons and runs away.
- But when the cops look around, they find that Kemp and his housemaid have also run away.
28 – Epilogue
- The narration shifts again after the tragic death of the Invisible Man and takes up to an inn owned by a short, fat guy. It is none other Mr. Marvel himself. He named the inn “The Invisible Man”.
- The authorities were unable to prove whose money Mr. Marvel had. SO, he got to keep all of it. He also made a fortune by telling his side of the story.
- Marvel still kept the Three Books which Griffin had asked him to keep.
- If one asks him about the three books, he admits that they existed but he hasn’t got them.
- He blames Dr. Kemp for spreading this rumor.
- However, the three books are with him only. He had hid them in a marsh and now they lie in his cupboard.
- He takes a hard look at them daily in the hope of understanding the coded language. But alas! He is unable to do so. Looking at the books he wonders what secrets are written in them and what will happen if one day he also becomes invisible.