The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells demonstrates the power to transform the human body using advances in scientific achievement. The novel itself is an enthralling and entertaining tale of terror and suspense, and it is a significant Faustian allegory of the dangerous capabilities of unregulated and unbridled scientific endeavours many decide to embark on. The Invisible Man is able to endure as one of the most notable stories in science fiction, in which Griffin, a brilliant and progidouous scientist uncovers the secret to achieving invisibility, but his grandiose ambitions and the power he unleashes causes him to spiral into intrigue, madness, and murder.
A mysterious man known as Griffin is thoroughly covered in heavy clothes arrives at an inn in the town of Iping. The villagers suspect that he is a criminal, an anarchist or simply a monstrous abomination. Adding to their suspicions, Griffin displays bad tempered, audacious and intemperate behavior towards the people within the inn. Griffin eventually reveals that he is completely invisible and escapes the inn. He finds a foreign worker known as Mr. Marvel and threatens him into becoming his aide. The Invisible Man embarks on a string of misdemeanours, robbing and injuring people until Mr. Marvel seeks the opportunity to abscond with the gold they had stolen. Griffin then finds himself in the house of an old classmate, Dr. Kemp. Kemp sabotages Griffin’s nefarious plans by informing the local authorities of the invisible man’s presence. Griffin then explains to Kemp regarding his accomplishment of invisibility and reveals to him his intentions of establishing a ‘reign of terror’ upon the surrounding area. Upon learning about Kemp’s deceit, Griffin attempts to make a daring escape which results in his untimely demise at the hands of the townsfolk beating him to death. He then becomes visible in his final moments because he had only made living tissue invisible, and it could not be sustained after death.
The Invisible Man is a novel that isn’t afraid to delve into topics regarding immorality and the question of how humans would behave if there were no consequences for their actions. After turning himself invisible in a scientific experiment, Griffin is able to secure an immeasurable amount of freedom. When he tells the story of how he turned himself invisible to Dr. Kemp, Griffin recalls that his mind was already teeming with all of the “wild and wonderful things” he could now fulfill as he had gained the impunity to do so. Since Griffin is invisible now, he does not face any repercussions whatsoever for his crimes. He uses this ill-conceived freedom to commit immoral acts, such as burgling the local vicarage and shooting a non-apprehensive policeman. Through Griffin’s actions, the novel presents a bleak view of human agency, suggesting that if there were no ramifications for people’s endeavours, some would decide to commit morally questionable acts against their fellow individuals.
The Invisible Man is a didactic novel which aims to impart a moral message to its readers in the form of a warning about certain unethical behaviors, most notably greed and dishonourable self-interest. These are mostly embodied by the psychotic but talented Griffin, who turns himself invisible in order to sustain his selfish vocations and lust for glory, but also by other characters, such as Mrs. Hall and Mr. Marvel, who place themselves in dangerous situations because they believe they will profit from them. Greed and self-interest are problematic as they have the capability to influence people’s egocentric desires rather than their inherent capabilities for morality and reason. The fact that several different characters in the novel fall prey to rapacious and narcissistic behavior suggests that these are common human flaws that all people must stay vigilant against. By showing the fatal consequences that can result from greed and self-interest, the novel warns readers to overcome these vices as they can prove to be detrimental to themselves and those around them.
What makes The Invisible Man unique is that it isn’t about a monster tormenting it’s given environment as some typical horror stories feature, instead the monster is found within a man’s internal struggle to succumb to his depraved and selfish desires. It’s the story of how one person can fail miserably when attempting to adhere to the rest of society’s norms. Some people believe that The Invisible Man is only a cautionary tale about a distraught scientist who discovered revelations that ordinary people were not meant to know, but it is a tragedy regarding a man who is unable to administer himself with his surroundings. The Invisible Man is a person who has no family or close acquaintances, in which his neighbors don’t understand or don’t bother to care about his tedious work. Even though Griffin is a homicidal fanatic with no qualms regarding the deaths of his victims and enjoys being involved in “reigns of terror”, his circumstances in his inability to have meaningful relationships causes readers to understand his disturbed background and isolated lifestyle. Obviously, readers cannot agree with the Invisible Man’s deplorable actions and sinister motives, but the arduous experience of being forgotten in obscurity and being rejected by the rest of your sorority is all too familiar to many.