The Invisible Man Study Guide

Quotations and Analysis

1.) Page 8. “Everything was ruddy, shadowy, and indistinct to her, the more so since she had just been lighting the bar lamp, and her eyes were drazzled. but for a second it seemed to her that the man she looked at had an enormous mouth wide open,-a vast and incredible mouth that swallowed the whole of the lower portion of his face.”

Mrs. Hall has received a glimpse of Griffin’s face. He had to remove the lower part of the bandages in order to eat.

2.) Page 20. “That marn’s a piebald, Tedd. Black here and white there-in patches. And he’s ashamed of it. He’s a kind of half-breed, and the colour’s come off patchy in places instead of mixing. I’ve heard of such things before. and it’s the common way with horses, as anyone can see.”

In the tavern, Fearenside and the other men of the village are discussing the identity of the stranger. In the absence of the known, their imaginations create a person who fits what they think they know.

3.) Page 21. “He rarely went abroad by daylight, but at twilight he would go out muffled up invisibly, whether the weather were cold or not, and he chose the loneliest paths and those most over-shadowed by trees and banks.”

It is an irony that Griffin must cover his invisibility with something designed to make him even more invisible. His condition has thus become a burden rather than a benefit.

4.) Page 23. “The frantic gesticulations they surprised now and then, the headlong pace after nightfall that swept him upon them around quiet corners, the inhuman bludgeoning of all the tentative advances of curiosity, the taste for twilight that led to the closing of doors, the pulling down of blinds, the extinction of candles and lamps,--who could agree with such goings on? They drew aside as he passed down the village, and when he had gone by, young humourists would up with coat-collars and down with hat-brims, and go pacing nervously after him in imitation of his occult bearing.”

Since people do not understand Griffin, and since he has deliberately kept himself apart, the town is beginning to treat him like an object of ridicule. The truth is, people are afraid of him. Ridicule is a reaction to fear and lack of understanding.

5.) Page 38. “I want to know what you been doing t’my chair upstairs, and I want to know how ‘t is your room was empty, and how you got in again. Them as stops in this house comes in by the doors,-that’s the rule of the house, and that you didn’t do, and what I want to know is how you did come in.”

Mrs. Hall has courageously demanded explanations for Griffin’s behavior. As if he has given up on his earlier plans, Griffin answers her mandate by pealing off his nose and whiskers and unwrapping the bandages that surround his face. The action causes panic in the inn.

6.) Page 53. “Great and strange ideas transcending experience often have less effect upon men and women than smaller, more tangible considerations.”

Once Griffin is out of sight, the people put him out of mind as well. Their immediate concern is to proceed with their holiday plans. As people have never before experienced invisibility, it is easier not to believe than to believe. Even those who saw Griffin find it easier to deny their senses than to explain them.

7.) Page 78. “He seems in a confounded hurry,” said Doctor Kemp, “but he doesn’t seem to be getting on. If his pockets were full of lead, he couldn’t run heavier.”

Kemp’s observation is more accurate than he knows. Marvel’s pockets are actually full of silver, specifically, money stolen by Griffin.

8.) Page 103. “To do such a thing would be to transcend magic. And I beheld, unclouded by doubt, a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man, -the mystery, the power, the freedom. Drawbacks I saw none. You have only to think! And I, a shabby, poverty-struck, hemmed-in demonstrator, teaching fools in a provincial college, might suddenly become-this.”

Griffin is recounting his feelings of exaltation when he realized he had discovered the means of becoming invisible.

9.) Page 114-115. “A feeling of extraordinary elation took the place of my anger as I sat outside the window and watched these four people...trying to understand the riddle of my behavior....I was invisible, and I was only just beginning to
realize the extraordinary advantage my invisibility gave me. My head was already teeming with plans of all the wild and wonderful things I had now impunity to do.”

Having deceived his first group of “victims,” Griffin is obsessed with the visions of things he can get away with.

10.) Page 122. “Weary, cold, painful, inexpressibly wretched, and still but half convinced of my invisible quality, I began this new life to which I am committed. I had no refuge, no appliances, no human being in the world in whom I could confide...I was half minded to accost some passer-by and throw myself upon his mercy. But I knew too clearly the terror and brutal cruelty my advances would evoke...My soul object was to get shelter from the snow, to get myself covered and warm; then I might hope to plan. But even to me, an invisible man, the rows of London houses stood latched, barred and bolted impregnably.”

At this point Griffin still seems to have some consideration for people’s reactions toward an invisible human. Nevertheless, he has already discovered that being invisible isn’t as “wild and wonderful” as he had thought.

11.) Page 139. “The more I thought it over,...the more I realized what a helpless absurdity an invisible man was,-in a cold and dirty climate and a crowded civilized city. Before I made this mad experiment I had dreamt of a thousand advantages. That afternoon it seemed all disappointment. I went over the heads of things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they were got. Ambition-what is the good of pride of place when you cannot appear there? What is the good of the love of woman when her name must needs be Delilah? I have no taste for politics, for the black-guardisms of fame, for philanthropy, for sport. What was I do to? And for this I had become a wrapped-up mystery, a swathed and bandaged caricature of a man.”

This is one of the last sane realizations that Griffin could claim. Once he realized what he had done to himself, his only hope was in getting back what he had lost, but he had not developed his theories in reverse. The awareness of his situation leads to his insanity; if he cannot reverse his condition, his only option-to his demented way of thinking-is to use his invisibility to demand the comforts of life from people who would be to terrorized to refuse him.

12.) Page 147. “He has cut himself off from his own kind. His blood be upon his own head.” Kemp has been explaining Griffin’s intentions to the police. In devising the plan for murder and a “reign of terror,” Griffin has become “inhuman,” and completely selfish. He “cut himself off” first by creating a condition which would force him to the fringes of society. In planning to terrorize that society for his own ends, he divorces himself from all sense of human compassion.

Cite this page:

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