Invisible Man Essay, Research Paper
The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells, is composed of many small themes that combined to form two major themes in the novel. Some of the minor themes are acting before thinking and denial of unexplainable events. It is based on the two major themes of science experiments gone wrong and the ignorance of society.
The most important theme in the novel was the experiment that Griffin, the invisible man, was working and it was not going exactly as planned. The way that the experiment went bad was not by accident; instead it was Griffin who had made the mistake of turning himself invisible. The reason that the invisible man had for becoming invisible was that he was suspected as to be a vivesectionalist and he did not want to be punished for it.
The reason for the final decision of becoming invisible was that Griffin thought there were many advantages. He finds out after becoming invisible that the whole thing was not thought through enough and being invisible had many more disadvantages than what he was expecting. This was an example of Griffin acting upon something before adding up all of the consequences of his actions. If he would have thought the process through Griffin would have, at least, made things invisible so he could use them and still be disguised. For instance he could have made some clothes invisible and even some common supplies that could have been handy along his travels.
Griffin did not realize how many disadvantages his invisibility had until it was too late. After becoming invisible Griffin realized that he could not sneak around people very easy and people still knew he was around even though they could not see him. The people could see his footprints and see him if he became dirty. Another thing that Griffin did not realize before his experiment back fired was that he could not eat if he wanted to stay invisible. The people around him could see the food inside his stomach, until his body absorbed it.
The experiment that Griffin went through was his own fault and also sealed his own fate. The major problem with his invisibility was that Griffin was not able to keep or have any friends. His only contact was after he was all bandaged up and looked as though he had been in a bad accident. Without any human contact or support Griffin was destined to become crazy. In the ending chapters of the novel it is obvious that Griffin has lost his mind and is completely insane.
??Not wanton killing, but a judicious slaying. The point is, they know there is an Invisible Man — as well as we know there is an Invisible Man. And that Invisible Man, Kemp, must now establish a Reign of Terror.?? (Pg. 114)
The previous quote was taken as the invisible man was talking to Kemp about his plans of judicial killing. This proves that Griffin has gone completely insane and it is his way of getting back at society for excluding him. He does not realize that if he had never made himself invisible nothing like this would be happening. Everything that has gone wrong was because of his experimentation with invisibility.
The second most important theme is societies ignorance, contributed to the invisible man?s fate. Society is always afraid of things that they do not understand or cannot explain. The reason they were so afraid of the invisible man was the fact that nobody could explain why he was invisible. The people of the town did not even give the man time to explain what had happened to him; everyone just started to chase him down. I believe that if the people would have been more open minded about his invisibility that the man might not have become crazy and killed in the end. Society cannot deal with things that cannot be explained as they are used to hearing them. There was skepticism even after the man vanished and there were witnesses to it.
?Scepticism suddenly reared its head — rather nervous scepticism, not at all assured of its back, but scepticism nevertheless. It is so much easier not to believe in an invisible man; and those who had actually seen him dissolve into air, or felt the strength of his arm, could be counted on the fingers of two hands.?(Pg. 42)
The previous quote shows how much ignorance society had in this little town of Iping. It proves that people will not even believe certain things if there is an overwhelming proof of the actual event.
The ignorance of the society also played an important role of the madness that the invisible man accentuated at the end of the novel. Since the invisible man was somewhat of a freak of nature or science the people just wanted it to be gone with. They did not want an explanation. They wanted the invisible man dead. After the people chased the invisible man out of the town he snapped and became totally crazy. This is when Griffin was going to go on his ?reign of terror? and start killing judicially. The society could have prevented the whole disaster if they would have been more open and allowed for an explanation to be brought to their attention.
The novel is based upon the two themes of science experiments gone wrong and the ignorance society has toward unexplainable things. Both of the themes contribute to the fate of the invisible man and pushed him over the edge. The invisible man was the person most responsible for his fate because he did not think of the consequences of his actions before he made himself invisible. Society was just offered a helping hand in the final outcome of Griffin?s invisibility.