The novel begins in a town called Iping, where Griffin arrives at a local inn called The Coach and Horses. Griffin does not want anyone to know of his invisibility, and therefor wears large clothes that cover his whole body, as well as goggles and bandages that cover his whole face. The owner of the inn, Mrs. Hall, notices the odd apparel and inquires about it. The reader learns quickly, however, that Griffin likes to keep to himself and does not entertain Mrs. Hall with reason for his bandages and goggles. He informs her that he is an investigative reporter and has supplies that need to be shipped to the inn. To his dismay, she informs him that they would not arrive until the following day. When his possessions do finally arrive, they consist mostly of bottles and beakers. What he does with them is unknown to the rest of the town due to his extreme level of privacy and seclusion. Within only a few days of arrive in Iping, Griffin breaks into the house of Mr. Bunting, who is the town vicar. Although Mr. Bunting hears Griffin, he is unable to see him as Griffin is completely naked, making him entirely invisible. That same morning following the robbery, the inn keepers notice Griffin’s door is open and they enter the room. They notice that Griffin’s only clothes were on the floor, but Griffin was nowhere to be seen. As they are snooping through the room, inanimate objects begin to leap at them, eventually pushing them out of the room. Later, Mr. and Mrs. Bunting confront Griffin regarding the incident and demand rent money. Griffin eventually reveals to the townspeople that he is invisible. It is also learned
that Griffin had been the thief, but when the police try to capture Griffin, he strips off his clothes and
runs away. Soon after escaping the town, Griffin runs into a bum by the name of Mr. Marvel. At first,
Mr. Marvel believes he is hearing spirits and is scared. Griffin convinces Mr. Marvel that he is indeed invisible and forces Mr. Marvel to assist him. Together, they return to Iping and The Coach and Horses where Griffin steals some clothes while Mr. Marvel gets Griffin’s belongings. After the robbery, Mr. Marvel tries to run away from Griffin and tell the police what had happened. Mr. Marvel retreats to an inn in the town of Burdock. Griffin tries to break into the inn to get Marvel, but instead ends up getting shot and badly injured. Griffin finds a nearby house to break into to doctor his injuries. The house turns out to belong to Dr. Kemp, who Griffin had coincidentally gone to medical school with. Griffin gives insight into his life leading up until the time he turned himself invisible. He lists events and circumstances that led to him turning himself invisible. Griffin also explains to Dr. Kemp that he had planned to try and make himself visible again. Since that had failed, Griffin says he now plans on beginning a â€œReign of Terrorâ€, where he would terrorize the entire country. Griffin desires for Dr. Kemp to help him, but Kemp realizes that Griffin is crazy and has no intention of helping him. Instead, Kemp alerts the police. When an officer arrives, Griffin beats up both Kemp and the officer and fleas the scene. Griffin decides that Kemp will now be the first person he kills during his Reign of Terror, and conveniently leaves a note for Kemp letting him know his plan. Kemp then devises a plan to capture the Invisible Man. While the plan is being delivered by one of Kemp’s servants, Griffin attacks her and steals the plans. Later, Griffin breaks into Kemp’s house yet again, this time to attack him. Kemp runs from his home to town. There he alerts a man of what is going on. People in the town realize what is happening, and when Griffin attempts to kill Kemp, the townspeople beat Griffin to death.
There are several themes that can be derived from the novel. However, the most relevant appears to be the theme of intolerance. Clearly, being invisible made Griffin different from everyone assumed the worst of him and reject him as a person who needs help. Instead of trying to understand the situation and attempt to help Griffin, the townspeople simply made the situation worse. Eventually Griffin can no longer withstand the rejection, which causes his already fragile mental state to break down, leaving him feeling so much hate for everyone, to the point where he comes up with his Reign of Terror idea.
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Another theme is rational, logical thinking. Many characters, whether it be the townspeople or Griffin, display a lack of reasonable thought process. As previously mentioned, the townspeople don’t give much thought to what they will do to Griffin; they simply want him gone and out of their hair. Griffin also doesn’t seem to make the smart choice when it comes to how he handles his invisibility. Instead of taking credit for creating a substance that turns him invisible, he tries to hide and undo it. Had he made it a positive thing instead of a shameful thing to hide, he may have been more successful in life.
In conclusion, The Invisible Man is a book that failed to truly capture my attention and certainly didn’t stand out in comparison to other novels that I have read. However, it does contain a unique story plot as well as themes and morals that can be learned from if one takes the time to study and apply them to everyday life.
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