Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Chapterwise Summary of The Invisible Man

1.       Chapter One: Griffin arrives at Iping in the month of February, books a room and a parlour at the Coach and Horses inn. Mrs Hall Is very excited at the prospect of earning some money from him. She goes out of the way to make him feel comfortable, even serving hi herself, getting the mustard and waiting on him.
2.       Chapter Two: Mrs. Hall gathers her courage to ask the stranger if he would like to have some tea. Teddy Henfrey, the clock-jobber arrives. Mrs Hall finds it convenient to ask him to enter the Parlour to repair the clock. Griffin tells Mrs. Hall that he is an ‘experimental investigator’ and that his baggage due to arrive contains apparatus and appliances. Teddy Henfrey works on the clock and deliberately takes a lot of time in fixing it so that he can have enough time to talk to the stranger. He with, “The weather…” but the stranger scolds him and tells him to, “finish and go”. Teddy Henfrey leaves excessively annoyed. He runs into Mr. Hall and tells him that the stranger is a “rum un” meaning that there is something suspicious about the stranger.
3.       Chapter Three: Griffin’s luggage arrives from the Railway station on board Mr. Fearenside’s carriage. Mr. Fearenside’s dog bites Griffin’s hand and then his leg. Mr. Fearenside is able to look at the space in the trouser leg. What he sees gives rise to the piebald theory about the stranger (He might be a freak with patches of white and black skin). Rather oddly, Griffin rushes to his room. Mr. Hall rushes after Griffin to inquire if he is alright but when he entered the dark room, he is ‘struck violently in the chest and hurled back’ by Griffin. Mrs. Hall looks at the mess of the straw packing that was used to pack the numerous bottles, and test-tubes and is angry. Griffin tells her to put down the cleaning expenses and the damage to property “in the bill.”
4.       Chapter Four:  Various theories are floated about the rather mysterious stranger. He steps out during the evenings and at night. Children believe he is the Bogey Man. Others believe that he is a criminal on the run from the law, this view is spread by Teddy Henfrey. Mr. Gould believes that the stranger is an ‘Anarchist in disguise’. Mr. Fearenside spreads the piebald theory. In the midst of all this speculation, and the arrival of so many flasks and test-tubes, Cuss the general practitioner decides to investigate. His professional curiosity, jealousy is aroused and he decides to interview the stranger. He goes in and asks the stranger if he would be interested in contributing to the ‘Nurse Fund’. His curiosity is further aroused when he sees the bottles and chemicals in the parlour. Griffin tells him that he was doing research. A draft of air from the window lifts a prescription Griffin has in his hands and dumps it in the fireplace. He rushes to the fireplace to retrieve the paper and it is then that Mr Cuss looks through Griffin’s empty sleeve. When Mr. Cuss remarks that Griffin has an empty sleeve, the latter extends his hand till his cuff is six inches from the General practitioners face, and then he nips Mr. Cuss’s nose. Mr. Cuss rushes out of the parlour in panic and narrates the story to Mr. Bunting the Vicar.
5.       Chapter Five: A burglary takes place in the early hours in the vicarage. Mrs. Bunting hears the sounds of the burglar making his way into the house. She makes sure that the sounds are real and not imagined before deciding to wake up her husband. When she is sure there is someone, she wakes up Mr. Bunting who grabs hold of a poker and then they both proceed to the hall. In the hall they hear sounds of the drawer in the office table being opened. There were sounds of coins being taken out, and the sound of someone sniffing. It seems as though the robber had just taken away the house-keeping money. Mr. Bunting challenges the robber (whom they can’t see because he is invisible) but the robber escapes from the house exiting from the kitchen door.
6.       Chapter Six: Mrs. and Mr. Hall find the door to Griffin’s room ajar. Being curious, they step into his room and notice that the bed has not been slept in. It is while they are moving around in the room that they hear a sniff. It is then that strange things happen. The bed-sheets come flying in the air, the stranger’s hat comes flying in the air, and then Mrs. Hall’s favourite chair comes flying in the air, the legs ‘came gently but firmly against’ Mrs. Hall’s back. After Mrs. Hall has recovered from her shock, Sandy Wadgers, the blacksmith is called, he is followed by Mr. Huxter, and they both are of a serious opinion about the matter of the flying furniture.
7.       Chapter Seven: It is clear that the stranger had been behind the whole episode of the flying furniture. Wells suggests that Griffin must have been very hungry, not having eaten for a long time. Griffin demands that he be served breakfast, but Mrs. Hall serves him a bill on the breakfast tray. Angered by this affront, Griffin enters into an argument with Mrs. Hall and she tells him that he needs to pay the outstanding amount. Griffin tells her that he has got the money and will make the payment immediately, but then Mrs. Hall asks where he got the money from. It is clear that she knows about the robbery at the Vicarage and has a strong idea who was behind the whole incident. Griffin is angered by the turn of incidents and Mrs. Hall’s refusal to serve him breakfast. He threatens to “show” them “who” and “what” he is. To support this warning, Griffin begins to unveil himself, removing his nose followed by his spectacles, hat, bandages and whiskers. Everyone in the Inn gets agitated. Driven by his hunger, Griffin goes into the kitchen to get a loaf of bread. When he returns, he has a knife and the loaf of bread. Seeing this, everyone goes berserk. In the midst of all this chaos, Bobby Jaffers the constable arrives to arrest him. Bobby Jaffers attempts to handcuff Griffin but then things become really bad when Griffin fights the people attempting to arrest him. In the confusion that follows, in which a lot of people are hurt, Griffin escapes from the Inn.
8.       Chapter Eight: The only person to witness Griffin’s flight is Mr. Gibbons, an amateur naturalist.
9.       Chapter Nine: Griffin comes across Mr. Thomas Marvel, a tramp, and vagabond. Griffin frightens Marvel into working for him. He throws flints at him, intimidates him, and warns him not to betray him. It is clear that Griffin requires the services of an errands boy who can get him clothes, shelter, and other things. The contract that they enter into becomes a one-way contract, a no exit contract for Marvel.
10.   Chapter Ten: Griffin returns to Iping along with Marvel. The plan is that Marvel will open the door to the parlour in the Coach and Horses Inn allowing Griffin to collect his diaries. After this Marvel is supposed to stand outside right under the Parlour window so that he can collect the diaries passed on to him by Griffin. On getting the package he would then make good his escape. Mr. Huxter however, witnesses the passing of the bundle of books and believing he is a witness to a theft, gives chase to Marvel. A lot of other people follow in the chase but are tripped by Griffin who foils or prevents people from getting hold of the fleeing man.
11.   Chapter Eleven: The chapter describes what happened inside the Parlour. When Griffin enters the parlour, he finds Mr.Cuss and Mr. Bunting going through his diaries. Angered by this he threatens them with dire consequences and strips them of their clothes so that they cannot escape.
12.   Chapter Twelve: The twelfth chapter describes Mr. Hall and Teddy Henfrey listening on to the sounds coming from the parlour of Griffin roughing up Vicar Bunting and Mr. Cuss. Both the men however, don’t have the courage to step indoors and check whether everything was alright. They are however caught by Mrs. Hall while eavesdropping at the door to the parlour. She scolds them and it takes them time to make her understand what was happening indoors. The chapter goes on to describe the free for all that takes place as the people try to catch Marvel but are tripped by the invisible man.
13.   Chapter Thirteen: In the thirteenth chapter, Mr. Marvel requests Griffin to free him up from the contract that binds him to the invisible man. Mr. Marvel tries to convince Griffin that he is a “miserable tool” and thus not fit for the job. The invisible man, however, insists that though he is a “poor tool”, he will have to “make use” of him.
14.   Chapter Fourteen: The Chapter describes Marvel’s encounter with the Mariner. The Mariners, rather reminiscent of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, brings Marvel up to date about what the newspapers are saying about the strange events that took place in Ipping. Marvel barely manages to hold himself from telling the Mariner a first- hand report about his being attached to the very person being described in the newspapers. He hardly begins his story when Griffin arrives on the scene and he prevents Marvel from describing his part of the story. The Mariner is angered by Marvel leaving him without telling him his story. The Mariner gets convinced that the story in the newspapers is true when he collates incidents about ‘the flying money’ in which Griffin would rob people of their money and then deposit the same in Mr.Marvel’s pockets.
15.   Chapter Fifteen: The chapter describes Marvel running away apparently from Griffin towards Burdock. We are also introduced to Dr.Kemp, a counterfoil to Griffin. Dr.Kemp, who is a romantic scientist, and with ambitions no greater than that of joining the fellowship of the Royal Society notices that the man who is running “seems in a confounded hurry, but doesn’t seem to be getting on. If his pockets were full of lead, he couldn’t run heavier.” It seems as though Marvel didn’t not have the presence of mind to run lighter, he was carrying a large amount of money stolen by Griffin. The fear in Mr. Marvel seems to infect all those people who on the road much before he reaches them. Fear and terror are highly infectious it seems as people scream, “The Invisible Man is coming!”
16.   Chapter Sixteen: Marvel runs towards the Jolly Cricketers and seeks refuge indoors. The Barman admits him into the bar and all the doors are shut. However, one of the doors, the yard door, and the private door has been left open and Griffin manages to enter the Inn. The Invisible Man manages to grab hold of Marvel who struggles to free himself. All the others in the inn pitch in to save Marvel. The Invisible man starts throwing tiles at the others when the man with the black beard takes out his revolver and fires five shots in the direction from where the tiles were coming. One of the bullets hits Griffin in the hand. This is the turning point in the plot. Griffin is going to become more of a prey, more of a hunted object than a hunter.
17.   Chapter Seventeen: The chapter describes how Griffin slips into Dr.Kemp’s house with the help of a prank. He rang the doorbell, and when the maid opened it, he slipped in quietly. At about two ‘0’ clock, when Dr.Kemp was walking to his bedroom, he noticed a spot of blood on the linoleum covered floor. The door handle to his bedroom door was also stained with blood. He was to come across the invisible man when he enters his bedroom. It takes time for Dr. Kemp to be convinced that the person in his room was indeed invisible. In the physical tussle that takes place between Dr. Kemp, and the Invisible man, the former is grabbed hold of and thrown ‘backward upon the bed. After Dr Kemp becomes somewhat calm, the Invisible man introduces himself as a student junior to Dr.Kemp who studied in the University College. Griffin then begged Dr.Kemp for something to eat. Dr.Kemp expresses his desire to know more about Griffin’s story and what had happened about the shots at the Jolly Cricketers, and the man who had given him the slip, but then Griffin decides to tell him the whole story, later on, he’d rather go off to sleep.
18.   Chapter Eighteen: The chapter describes the invisible man taking a sleep in Dr. Kemp’s bedroom. He locks its rightful owner out of his own bedroom. While his guest was sleeping, Dr. Kemp was awake. In the morning he pores over the newspapers, trying to learn more about the story of the Invisible Man. With each newspaper that he reads, his excitement increases. It is only after he has read every scrap of newspaper that Dr. Kemp decides to send a note to Colonel Adye, Port Burdock to inform him about the presence of the Invisible Man at his house. It is not, however without a sense of guilt on betraying his acquaintance that he sends the note.
19.   Chapter Nineteen: Griffin tells Dr.Kemp, the principles behind his discovery of invisibility. It all starts at Chesilstowe. He talks about refraction, refractive indices, bending of light, and ways to render pigments translucent. The chapter marks the beginning of a flashback going back to the time when he was a college student and felt as if his professor was trying to steal credit for his work. One very important thing that he describes is how he robbed his father and how his father shot himself as a result.
20.   Chapter Twenty: The twentieth chapter is a continuation of the flashback started in the nineteenth chapter. Griffin talks about how he started with a piece of cloth at the house in Great Portland Street and was able to make it invisible. After the piece of cloth, it was the turn of an old woman’s cat. The cat was in great pain during the process of transformation and it cried a lot. The next day its owner, the old woman come enquiring for the cat. She suspects that he has abducted her cat and has vivisected it. Somehow he convinces her that he doesn’t have. Later the cat continues crying out in pain as the drugs start taking effect. The next day, the old Polish landlord comes enquiring about the cat. They enter into an argument and Griffin grabs hold of him by the collar. Something rips and the landlord goes spinning into the passage. The landlord returns a second time and this time he pushes an eviction order into Griffin’s room from under the door. Griffin realises that things have gone too far so he decides to experiment on himself. Griffin is in great pain during the experiment, it seemed as if his body is on fire. He is horror struck as he sees himself turning invisible. His eyelids become transparent, his bones and arteries fade away. At midday, the landlord returns, knocking at the door insistently. This time Griffin answers them to gain time, and then tosses some loose paper and packing straw and turns on the gas to burn down the whole laboratory. After doing this he climbs out of the window, climbs on to the cistern waiting for them to smash the door and enter his lodgings. The landlord, along with others enters the room and everyone is astonished to see that it is empty. When they went away, Griffin returns to the room and sets fire to the equipment.
21.   Chapter Twenty-One: Griffin steps out of his lodgings into Oxford street after setting the whole set up on fire. He is initially thrilled by the idea of his new found powers of invisibility, but then soon realises that invisibility has made him more handicapped than ever. He is knocked about by people and horse carriages in Oxford Street. He has to walk in the gutter to avoid being trampled. He is pursued by dogs, and realises that invisibility cannot protect him from dogs.  Wet and chilled to the core, Griffin wanders around. To make matters worse, the wet footprints made by him are noticed by a few people and a couple of street urchins. Griffin somehow manages to shake them off and comes round to Portland street where he sees  the entire building where he had his lodgings blazing. Griffin gets to know that invisibility has brought in more disadvantages than advantages.
22.   Chapter Twenty-Two: The chapter describes how Griffin manages to enter the Omniums, a big shopping complex during closing time. When everyone has left he helps himself to food and warm clothing. He falls asleep and dreams about his Landlord and his sons, the old woman, on whose cat he had experimented. He also sees the last rites of his father, he dreams about falling into his father’s coffin, and feels the gravel falling on to him threatening to  bury him alive. His dreams and troubled sleep is abruptly brought to an end when the store re-opens and the employees turn up for their duties. Moving in haste, he makes a lot of noise which attracts the attention of the workers. To avoid detection, the Invisible man throws off his newly acquired clothes. Griffin once again runs into the street naked and helpless after having beaten up some of the employees. Invisibility has robbed Griffin of the basic dignity of a human being. It has brought him down to the level of a beast that is looking for warmth and food. The euphoria that he had upon becoming invisible has dissipated and he is know a helpless outcast of the society.
23.   Chapter Twenty-Three: Griffin is once again on the road and he realises that invisibility comes with its own disadvantages – he has no shelter, no covering and to eat in the open was risky because the unassimilated food would be grotesquely visible to others. To wear clothes would mean foregoing the advantages of invisibility. Yet, to move around without clothes that too in the month of October is disadvantageous. Griffin therefore decides to props to cover his face, and exposed portions of his body. He looks for a prop shop in Drury Lane and enters one. Things go bad when the owner of the shop becomes suspicious of Griffin’s presence. He senses and feels the invisible man’s presence and takes out a gun to shoot at the invisible intruder. A scuffle ensues and in the process, the shopkeeper is beaten up and then put inside a bedsheet and tied inside it. Griffin gets hold of a mask,, dark glasses, whiskers and a wig. He also takes away some money from the desk drawer.
24.   Chapter Twenty-Four: In this chapter, Griffin makes it clear that he needs a base from which to operate. He would like to enlist the services of Dr.Kemp as a confederate. He also expresses his desire to set up a new world order, establish “a Reign of Terror” with himself as the ruler. Even while they are talking, Colonel Adye arrives with his men to arrest Griffin, but the latter smells a rat and makes good his escape.
25.   Chapter Twenty-Five: Dr.Kemp tells Colonel Adye why it is very important that they capture Griffin. He tells him that Griffin is a threat to the society and that as long as he is at large, he will wreak terror. The whole of the chapter is devoted to the hunting of Griffin. Dr. Kemp makes a few important suggestions to Colonel Adye for the capture of Griffin which include locking up of all food in the town, getting people to start hunting for him, using dogs to hunt him, and the spreading of powdered glass on the pavements.
26.   Chapter Twenty-Six: In this chapter, Wells describes how Griffin’s situation becomes even more pathetic. He has become a desperate fugitive, hungry, frustrated and miserable. The Wicksteed murder takes place in this chapter. Circumstantial evidence indicates that Griffin was the perpetrator of the crime.
27.   Chapter Twenty-Seven:  Dr. Kemp receives a note written by Griffin stating that he is not safe anymore, and that even if he, Kemp locks himself, he will not be safe. Colonel Adye arrives at his house and tells him that his servant has been assaulted.There a sound of smashing glass as Griffin starts to throw stones at the window panes. Dr. Kemp’s house is on siege. Colonel Adye decides to go down to the police station and get the bloodhounds put on. On the way out he takes away Dr.Kemp’s revolver. Unfortunately, Adye is confronted by Griffin. Griffin demands that Adye return to Dr.Kemp’s house. Colonel Adye, however disagrees because he fears that Griffin would find a way to slip into the house and then attack Dr. Kemp. A struggle takes place between both the men and Griffin shoots dead Colonel Adye with the revolver he has snatched away from Colonel Adye.  Griffin gains entry into the house by smashing in the kitchen door with an axe. One of the policemen catches the swinging axe with a poker he  has in his hand. Griffin fires the last bullet from his revolver.Seeing that nothing much can be gained by staying indoors, Dr.Kemp follows the maid and jumps out of one of the windows.
28.   Chapter Twenty-Eight: This is the last chapter in the book. Dr. Kemp runs towards Mr. Heelas’ house begging him to let him in. Mr. Heelas however doesn’t let him in. Seeing that there is no refuge for him, Kemp takes the hill-road in the downward direction. It was a desolate and lonely road. Soon he hears footsteps behind him and realises that Griffin was right behind him. He passes the Jolly Cricketers. Soon he comes across some labourers going to work. He calls out to them and tells them that the Invisible man is “close here!” He goes on to tell them to form a line and cut off the street at both ends. Griffin is trapped and then beaten to death by the labourers. Griffin becomes visible after his death.
29.   The Epilogue: The Epilogue ties up the loose ends of the story. We come across Marvel as well settled owner of an Inn. He is supposed to be a wise man now and is the custodian of Griffin’s diaries. He is the only one who has benefitted from his relationship with Griffin. Also, Marvel is the only character in the novel who undergoes a transformation.

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