The Invisible Man Study Guide

Conflict
Protagonist and Antagonist

The story contains both external and internal conflict. In either case, both the protagonist and the antagonist is Griffin himself as he has made himself his own worst enemy. The external conflicts that Griffin causes are between Griffin and various members of the town as his invisibility is gradually discovered. People react with fear and then with terror as Griffin aggravates the situation by lashing out against people as soon as they figure him out. The people accept his existence with surprising lack of suspicion about the possibility of such an occurrence, which may be a lack on the author's part. Once they believe that he exists, the primary goal is to apprehend and imprison him. Although motives are not elaborated upon, it would seem that different people in the town have different notions of what they might do when and if they could capture the man. Griffin also ultimately sees Kemp as an enemy although he had at first believed that Kemp would be both sympathetic and cooperative.


The most important conflict is internal as Griffin himself struggles to live with his situation. He rationalizes his crimes rather than making any sane attempt to get people to understand his predicament. He uses force to get people to help him and goes from bad to worse in his attempts to replenish his research materials for experiments in reversing the process that rendered him invisible. There is no real depth of character. Griffin simply runs from place to place trying to survive by increasingly decadent methods.

Climax

The climax occurs when Griffin returns to Kemp's house intending to make an example of Kemp for having betrayed him. Kemp escapes out the window but is soon followed by Griffin who can see him although he can't see Griffin. The entire town is soon involved in the chase.

Outcome

The resolution is the death of Griffin. Once Kemp realizes what is happening he slows down and allows Griffin to catch him. Although Kemp is buffeted about a good bit for his efforts, Griffin is weaker than usual due to his injuries. Some of the men of the town are able to grasp invisible wrists and ankles and hold him down until the effort is no longer necessary.

Synopsis

The plot is simple and straightforward. Griffin, having rendered himself invisible with an earlier experiment, enters a town and sets up a lab in an inn where he works night and day to come up with a formula that will reverse his invisibility. When he slips up and accidentally reveals himself, he engages in immature and violent actions until he is forced to run and find a new hiding place. As more people become aware of his existence, his situation becomes more perilous. Finally, he stumbles into the home of a former college professor whom he assumes will be interested in his experiments and willing to help him. The doctor, Mr. Kemp, however, reads newspaper accounts of Griffin’s insane actions against people in the town and betrays his trust. Griffin is hunted down, caught and killed, whereupon he becomes visible again. The little, inconspicuous victim of some of Griffin’s behavior is left with the stolen money and the documents that explain Griffin’s experiments. The story closes with the suggestion that Marvel himself might try the experiments if only he could figure them out.

Cite this page:

Ruff, Dr. Karen. "TheBestNotes on The Invisible Man". TheBestNotes.com. . 09 May 2017
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