The Invisible Man Study Guide

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.


Notes - Due to the necessity of running about naked, Griffin has caught a cold, which he is unable to completely hide. His sneezes begin to give him away even though people don’t yet understand what they are hearing. In robbing the Buntings, Griffin also sets himself up for accusations and criminal charges. Thus when his presence is discovered, it is inevitable that people will begin to expect the worst and will be concentrating on apprehending him rather than helping him.

CHAPTER 6: The Furniture that Went Mad

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.

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.”

Notes - The panic is building for Griffin, while characterization is enhanced for the people in the town. Wadgers delays “breaking” into the room, using the excuse of propriety when the real and very human reason is apprehension. While they may talk of spirits and witchcraft in their leisure, it is clear that they have no real experience with such. The growing impression is that the Invisible Man is something evil. Griffin helps the idea along with his continued offenses.

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