The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man is an 1897 science fiction novella by H.G. Wells. Wells' novel was originally serialised in Pearson's Magazine in 1897, and published as a novel the same year. The Invisible Man of the title is Griffin, a scientist who theorises that if a person's refractive index is changed to exactly that of air and his body does not absorb or reflect light, then he will be invisible. He successfully carries out this procedure on himself, but cannot become visible again, becoming mentally unstable as a result. (From feedbooks.com)
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Chapter 1 - The Strange Man's Arrival
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
Iping is a small village in England, south of London. (This annotation contains an image)
"Side-whiskers," often along with a mustache, were very popular for men in the late 1800's. (This annotation contains an image)
It's good to practice using context clues before you consult the Define feature in this program. Watch this video on context clues and then try to figure out what the word "brooked" means here. (This annotation contains a video)
This image is from one of many movies based on this novel. It may help you visualize what the stranger looks like to the hostess of the inn, Mrs. Hall. (This annotation contains an image)
You should ask yourself: Why would he wear gloves while eating?
This is a good picture to help you visualize the "goggles/glasses" the stranger is wearing. (This annotation contains an image)
Here, a "trap" is a type of transportation. When you read novels that take place in other countries or in the past, you will frequently encounter words that you don't know. Sometimes, even the Define feature in this program will not have the used meaning. Good readers use context clues when they come across an unfamiliar word. Which of the following are context clues in this paragraph for the word "trap"?
Based on these last few paragraphs, what is Mrs. Hall hoping the stranger will say?
In other words, although this man is being rude, he is a paying guest at her inn, so she will try to disregard his bad manners. The "two sovereigns" refers to the money she received from this stranger staying at her inn. A sovereign was a gold coin in England that was worth, at that time, approximately one pound.
This novel takes place sometime during the Victorian age in England, when Queen Victoria was on the throne. She ruled from 1837 until her death in 1901. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 2 - Mr. Teddy Henfrey's First Impressions
What do you think is the job of a "clock-jobber"?
Based on the title of this novel, explain why Mrs. Hall thought for a moment that the stranger had his mouth wide open in a "huge yawn." What is she seeing?
What is another name for "an experimental investigator"?
Have you noticed that this narrator knows what Mrs. Hall and what Mr. Henfrey are thinking? You should also realize that the narrator in this story is NOT one of the characters, but rather is an outsider. Watch this video on the different types of narrators, or, as we refer to it in literature, the different types of "point of view." Then be sure to decide which type of point of view is used in this novel. (This annotation contains a video)
This is Mr. Hall, Mrs. Hall's husband. Both of the Halls evidently run the tavern and inn called Coach and Horses. This type of establishment was common throughout England wherein a traveler could stop for a drink, a meal, and stay overnight in a room. The clock mender, Mr. Ted Henfrey, has just informed Mr. Hall of the strange new guest at the inn.
This is a simile that compares the stranger's bandaged head to a large turnip. A simile is a type of figurative language. Figurative language is found in all types of writing. It helps readers understand things, events, and people in unique ways. It's important to be able to recognize the different types of figurative language. Watch this video for a review and see how many types of figurative language you already know. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter 3 - The Thousand and One Bottles
Which of the following words best describes the stranger's manner so far?
This simile is clever. Below is a picture of a white pansy. With all of the bandaging and the "indeterminate spots," this simile conveys the odd image Mr. Hall may have seen staring back at him. (This annotation contains an image)
This image may help you visualize what the stranger might look like to the other characters. (This annotation contains an image)
What have the stranger and Mrs. Hall just agreed upon?
As Fearenside and Henfrey sit drinking together in a tavern, they conclude that the stranger must have mixed skin color, both white and black.
Chapter 4 - Mr. Cuss Interviews the Stranger
This is odd. The outside narrator is talking directly to the reader.
We can understand by this paragraph that the stranger is extremely unhappy and upset about something.
What is the stranger's effect on children who see him walk at dusk?
There used to be fairs or "freak shows" that would feature physically distorted people. The shows would roam from village to village and people would come to see all sorts of strange sights. Some examples included the bearded woman, a "man-monkey, and Elephant man. These traveling freak shows made a lot of money. (This annotation contains an image)
This means that some of the villagers would imitate him after he passed.
This probably means he is a doctor.
What do you think happened that caused the doctor to come running out of the room?
How did Mr. Cuss see the stranger's sleeve with no arm in it?
Speaking of remarkable stories, the author of this one, Herbert George Wells, or H.G. Wells as he is called, wrote over a hundred books. Only four of those books are widely read today. One is The Time Machine. In this novel, an inventor of a time machine journeys into the distant future where mankind has been reduced to two subhuman species: the Eloi who look like adult children, and the Morlocks, the workers who live underground. The inventor discovers that the Mordocks literally "feed" off of the ruling class, the Eloi. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 5 - The Burglary at the Vicarage
If the "doorway yawned," what type of figurative language is this an example of?
Who is the burglar and why can't he be seen?
Watch the first few minutes of the film version of "The Invisible Man." As you watch, compare the scene you see to the first chapter of the novel, "The Strange Man's Arrival." Be ready to describe your comparisons in the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe one similarity and one difference that you noticed in the film version compared to the novel.
Chapter 6 - The Furniture That Went Mad
When the village characters speak, you should notice the heavy dialect. For example, an interpretation of this line is as follows: "If he ain't there, he said, "his clothes are. And what's he doing without his clothes, then?"
Surely, by now you've realized that the stranger is the "Invisible Man." When he first arrived at the inn, he seemed intent on hiding his invisibility, but now, apparently he doesn't care.
The stranger, the Invisible Man, is our main character, but we still don't know his name or who he is. Also, the narrator only tells us what the Invisible Man says and does, but never allows the reader to follow his thoughts.
Chapter 7 - The Unveiling of the Stranger
Based on the title of the chapter, what can you predict will happen in this chapter?
What can we infer that Mrs. Hall refuses to do?
Whit Monday is a Christian holiday, celebrated near Easter.
The "Union Jack" is the British flag. (This annotation contains an image)
The nose must be ___________________.
Everybody who was in the tavern came running out, screaming and shouting.
A constable is a policeman. (This annotation contains an image)
If the constable was able to handcuff the Invisible Man, would he be able to take him to jail, even though he is invisible? Explain your answer.
What happens to the Invisible Man at the end of this chapter?
Chapter 8 - In Transit
The "downs" is a seaside area in southern England. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 9 - Mr. Thomas Marvel
Before you continue, we should talk about the genre of this novel. The author, H.G. Wells, is often called the father of science fiction, along with a few other writers of his time like Jules Verne. Watch this video about the genre of science fiction. Think of the elements in this novel that reflect the essence of this genre. Keep in mind, though, that this novel was written by Wells in 1897. (This annotation contains a video)
In other words, he is unmarried and doesn't have a wife to see that he is dressed or groomed properly.
Who is the "Voice"?
Which of the following is the best interpretation of Mr. Marvel's remark, "I'm off my blessed blooming chump"?
In your own words, explain how "An invisible man is a man of power."
Mr. Marvel has agreed to help the Invisible Man out of __________.
Chapter 10 - Mr. Marvel's Visit To Iping
This example of personification gives scepticism (In the U.S.-skepticism) more than one human trait. What three human traits are attributed to scepticism?
Remember, Whit Monday is a religious holiday celebrated around Easter. Below is a picture of Whit Monday being celebrated today in England. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on Chapter 9, who is this "stranger"?
What do you think stopped Mr. Huxter from chasing the thief?
Chapter 11 - In the "Coach and Horses"
So this "stranger" was Mr. Marvel. What do you think the Invisible Man wants Mr. Marvel to do?
Mr. Bunting, the Vicar (priest), cannot really do what?
Who is also in the room at this moment?
Chapter 12 - The Invisible Man Loses His Temper
Don't be confused. The narrator is now telling us what happened outside of the parlour while the Invisible Man was inside the parlour with Mr. Bunting and Mr. Cuss. Mr. Hall and Mr. Henfrey are in the tavern listening to noises and conversations behind the parlour door and are wondering what's going on.
Why are Mr. Cuss's and the Vicar's (Mr. Bunting's) clothes missing?
Who is speaking to "You" and what is his/her purpose?
Chapter 13 - Mr. Marvel Discusses His Resignation
Find one example of personification from the highlighted sentences and type it in the box below.
The Invisible Man threatens Mr. Marvel with ________________.
Chapter 14 - At Port Stowe
A port is where ships and boats dock. (This annotation contains an image)
This is a scene with Mr. Marvel from one of the many movie versions of this novel. Here, Mr. Marvel is trying to get away from the Invisible Man. You can see how worn and disheveled he looks. (This annotation contains an image)
As readers, we can sense how nervous Mr. Marvel must be. This sailor has just stopped to chat with Mr. Marvel and wants to talk about the very thing that will unnerve and upset him. Throughout the whole conversation, Mr. Marvel must pretend to be interested and surprised, as if he was just hearing about it.
Why does Mr. Marvel say, "Ow"?
Explain why money was flying,
Chapter 15 - The Man Who Was Running
Based on this paragraph, which profession is Dr. Kemp involved in besides medicine?
Chapter 16 - In the "Jolly Cricketers"
The "Jolly Cricketers" must be a tavern or pub. (This annotation contains an image)
What is another name for a "looking- glass" as it is used in this sentence?
Chapter 17 - Dr. Kemp's Visitor
She must mean someone rang the door bell, but when she answered it, no one was there. Predict what probably happened.
Think for a minute. Why would the Invisible Man come to Dr. Kemp for help?
Finally! We finally know the name of our main character--- Griffin. The Invisible Man's name is Griffin. Apparently, Griffin and Kemp were in college together.
This is why Kemp saw blood on the floor, the doorknob, and on the bed sheets.
This image may help you visualize this scene. Remember when Mr. Marvel could see the bread and cheese, but nothing else when he first met the Invisible Man? So Dr. Kemp would also see the food and drink being eaten and swallowed had Griffin (Invisible Man) not put on a robe first. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following can we infer from these sentences?
To whom is the Invisible Man referring? Who is "He" in the highlighted sentences?
Why is the Invisible Man afraid to sleep?
Chapter 18 - The Invisible Man Sleeps
A nauplius is the larva of a crustacean. You can see that it is nearly translucent and would indeed be almost invisible in the ocean. Jellyfish are also very hard to see. (This annotation contains an image)
Dr. Kemp, remember, is also a scientist like the Invisible Man. So naturally, he is perplexed at how Griffin could actually be invisible. His thoughts are keeping him up all night.
Here, Dr. Kemp is referring to the idiom of "taking things with a grain of salt." In other words, Kemp is very skeptical. It's much like we perceive stories reported by tabloid magazines.
Who does Dr. Kemp mean when he refers to the "Tramp"?
What do you think Dr. Kemp is thinking right now?
Chapter 19 - Certain First Principles
A "belvedere" is an architectural structure which serves as a place to sit and look out at beautiful scenery or an amazing view. Most belvederes are often high and open or with a lot of windows. The house below has a belvedere as its highest level. (This annotation contains an image)
This means he was only twenty-two at the time.
This is the "science" that makes this book science fiction. One primary element of science fiction is that the main conflict deals with something in technology or science that our world has not yet experienced. This novel was written in 1897, over one hundred years ago, and yet we STILL haven't discovered how to become invisible.
Here, Griffin is explaining, scientifically, how it is possible for him to become invisible. Keep in mind he is discussing this with another scientist. Don't worry if you don't fully understand. The author doesn't really expect you to. This is fiction.
An albino is a person who cannot produce the pigment melanin. Albinos have very pale skin, white or light hair, and pinkish eyes. They are often visually impaired because of this hereditary condition. Griffin already reminded Kemp that he was an albino. The girl in this picture is albino. (This annotation contains an image)
This is important. Griffin is trying to explain the power he felt could be his if he became invisible. Suddenly, he wants this more than anything else. Greed for power and the abuse of power are two universal themes in literature. Griffin, like many other characters in literature, goes too far. He ends up paying a dear price for the power he sought so hard for. Watch this video on theme. Then think of all the ways Griffin has both abused and suffered from his discovery. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter 20 - At the House In Great Portland Street
Griffin's attitude toward the death of his father is cold and callous. It further characterizes him as cruel and heartless.
List at least five words the writer uses in this paragraph to show Griffin's strong dislike of the place.
Do you remember the carrier's dog in the beginning of the novel? It barked viciously at the Invisible Man and even bit him. Often animals can sense things that humans cannot.
Notice the things Griffin chooses to make invisible are white. The white cloth he tried first. Then the white cat and white pillow. Why is Griffin himself a good candidate to become invisible?
Of course, Griffin couldn't care less about the cat. This is just more evidence of his lack of feeling for anyone or anything except himself. We realize that our main character was mean and heartless even BEFORE he became invisible.
Here is more evidence of a theme in this novel. Griffin associates being invisible with power---that is, power over others. He never once considers using his invisibility for good purposes and to help others.
Strychnine is most often used as a poison.
Using context clues, or the Define feature, what does the landlord suspect Griffin of doing?
Is the process of becoming invisible painful? Explain your response using details from the story.
The highlighted sentence best supports which of the following themes?
Chapter 21 - In Oxford Street
What is Griffin's first impulse to do with his new power? Explain in your own words.
Griffin did not consider that even though he was invisible to everyone, he would still be cold and need clothes to cover him.
This is a hansom. Griffin walked directly behind this in town so as not to run into anyone. (This annotation contains an image)
Irony is when something takes place that is the opposite of what you would expect. There are several different types of irony. Explain in your own words what is ironic about the passing band playing the song "When shall we see His face?"
This is a reference to the famous novel Robinson Crusoe. In this story, Robinson Crusoe becomes abandoned on an island, and he one day discovers a footprint that he knows was not left by himself. Eventually, he does find another man on the island, a native whom he names Friday. (This annotation contains an image)
Here, Griffin realizes that all of his personal things--his clothes, shoes, and equipment--are burning. He now regrets setting this fire.
Chapter 22 - In The Emporium
The Invisible Man, Griffin, is the protagonist of the novel. After reading this paragraph, you may feel a bit of sympathy for him. Typically in fiction the protagonist is a hero and a good person. So naturally the reader sympathizes with him or her and wants to see any conflicts facing the protagonist resolved. Watch the video on protagonists and antagonists and then think of how they apply to this novel. (This annotation contains a video)
What do you predict Griffin plans to do?
The picture below may be what the outside of this "shopping center" looked like in the late 1890's. (This annotation contains an image)
Describe Griffin's dream that night.
How is it that Griffin can be chased by the men if he is invisible?
Chapter 23 - In Drury Lane
This means that if Griffin eats, people will be able to see the food in his stomach.
As you can see, many shops had houses above them. Often, the owners of a business would live above their shop. (This annotation contains an image)
When Griffin is among people who do not know he's there, the reader feels tension just as Griffin does. Watch this video on tension in literary works. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Kemp seem so surprised by Griffin's actions?
Explain what you think Griffin will do with these items.
What is Griffin realizing here?
Does Kemp really mean this and sympathize with Griffin? Explain your answer using details from the text.
Chapter 24 - The Plan That Failed
Algiers is the capital city in Algeria, a country in Africa.
Can you recall ever reading another book that had a protagonist who was evil?
Chapter 25 - The Hunting of the Invisible Man
Why does Kemp pray for rain?
What things enable people to see Griffin?
Kemp means that if violence comes to Griffin, he's brought it on to himself.
Chapter 26 - The Wicksteed Murder
The narrator has tried to speculate how Mr. Wicksteed was murdered. Explain it in your own words.
Chapter 27 - The Seige of Kemp's House
This is a Latin expression meaning "against the world."
This sentence not only implies that many windows in Kemp's house are broken, but it is also an example of what type of figurative language?
Visualize this horrifying image: an axe in midair swinging wildly and breaking the windows. Details like this keep the reader frightened and compelled to read on.
This means a bullet ripped a painting by the artist Thomas Sidney Cooper that was hanging in Dr. Kemp's house.
Chapter 28 - The Hunter Hunted
What is the primary literary technique the author uses here?