The author imbued this novella with a great deal of meaning. He was interested in telling an entertaining and thought-provoking story while also reminding readers of the dangers that unchecked or speedy scientific advancement can bring with it. In The Invisible Man, Griffin dives into the unknown, as the following quotes suggest, without truly thinking through what long-term invisibility is going to be like.
Science and Its Consequences
I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got.
These lines are spoken by Griffin and concern his experience with invisibility. He’s achieved something incredible, but the results are not quite what he hoped. He can get all the money and possessions he wants, but since he’s invisible, it’s hard, or impossible, for him to enjoy them. The consequences of his invisibility are something that he did not consider before he went through with the experiment.
And there it was, on a shabby bed in a tawdry, ill-lighted bedroom, surrounded by a crowd of ignorant and excited people, broken and wounded, betrayed and unpitied, that Griffin, the first of all men to make himself invisible, Griffin, the most gifted physicist the world has ever seen, ended in infinite disaster his strange and terrible career.
Here, the narrator describes the pivotal moment when Griffin made himself invisible. The “first of all men” to do so and the consequences of his actions. It led to his death, hunted down by the townspeople of Iping. His career came to nothing (something that is no one’s fault but his own), but the narrator can’t help but allude to the wasted potential that was lost with Griffin’s death.
But it’s hard to consider that potential without also e Griffin’s personality and interests. He had no desire to help anyone other than himself, so even if he had taken a slightly different path, he probably would’ve ended up in an equally bad situation.
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.
In this short quote, Griffin considers the incredible feat he wants to achieve—becoming invisible. He sees it as the ultimate mystery, power, and freedom. He’s only looking at the positives, as he later admits, and doesn’t consider the isolation and loneliness that come along with such a state.
I was invisible, and I was only just beginning to realise 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.
Here, Griffin also considers what he’s going to do with his invisibility. His mind is full of schemes, none of which bode well for anyone else involved. He feels as though he can do anything he wants to without consequence. But the end of the novella proves him very wrong.
The man’s become inhuman, I tell you,” said Kemp. “I am as sure he will establish a reign of terror — so soon as he has got over the emotions of this escape — as I am sure I am talking to you. Our only chance is to be ahead. He has cut himself off from his kind. His blood be upon his own head.
These lines are spoken by Dr. Kemp, who is talking about Griffin and his plans for the future. He wants to carry out a reign of terror upon the country, punishing it for unknown crimes. He has totally lost all connection to “his kind,” meaning humanity. This alludes to his isolation which has gotten to a point where he has lost any vestige of concern he may have had for other people.
I wish you’d keep your fingers out of my eye,” said the aerial voice, in a tone of savage expostulation. “The fact is, I’m all here:head, hands, legs, and all the rest of it, but it happens I’m invisible. It’s a confounded nuisance, but I am. That’s no reason why I should be poked to pieces by every stupid bumpkin in Iping, is it?
These lines are spoken by Griffin, who, with anger in his voice, declares his presence. He’s invisible, something he calls a “confounded nuisance.” His angry declarations about himself suggest that he feels alone in his state and as though he’s been entirely cut off from the rest of the world. He says that just because no one can see him doesn’t mean that he deserves to be poked and prodded.
The stranger did not go to church, and indeed made no difference between Sunday and the irreligious days, even in costume. He worked, as Mrs. Hall thought, very fitfully. Some days he would come down early and be continuously busy. On others he would rise late, pace his room, fretting audibly for hours together, smoke, sleep in the armchair by the fire. Communication with the world beyond the village he had none.
Here, Mrs. Hall, who owns the inn that Griffins stays at with her husband, considers what Griffin does day in and day out. He is entirely separate from the rest of the town, with no interest in making friends or going to church. He works all day and all night, she thinks, alluding to how isolated his new invisibility has made him.
What is the resolution of The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells?
The novel resolves with Griffin being beaten to death by the townspeople of Iping. There is also an epilogue that brings the reader to the new life of Thomas Marvel, who is trying to interpret Griffin’s notes.
What is the main message of The Invisible Man?
The main message is that not all scientific advancement is good or useful in the world. Griffin makes himself invisible because he wants the power and impunity that comes with it. He sees it only as a means to his own advancement.
Why did H.G. Wells write The Invisible Man?
It’s likely that Wells was interested in exploring what a single person would do with what seems like complete impunity. Once invisible, Griffin takes advantage of his state to the extreme.
What is a famous line from The Invisible Man?
Here is a famous line from H.G. Wells’ novel, The Invisible Man: “Alone— it is wonderful how little a man can do alone! To rob a little, to hurt a little, and there is the end.”