In the introduction written by W. Warren Wager, he tells us that out of all the novels that HG Wells had written, there were four books that were more known than all the others. The books were the Time Machine, the War of the Worlds, the Island of Dr. Moreau and finally, The Invisible Man. Warren Wager muses that these books are well known due to the violence inside the book. Through the book, H. G Wells revealed the ‘invisible’s man’ personality little by little through each passing chapter, and how his personality isn’t something.
The story started with a stranger person, also called a stranger appearing at a small village at Ipping, in West Susex in the middle of winter. Strangely, he was wrapped up to the point where no part of himself could be seen at all, except for a little pink nose protruding from the bandages obscuring his face. He was weird enough to scare the innkeeper and everyone else in the inn, with his demands to let him stay in the room and to not be disturbed at all. What was more perplexing was the bottles that arrived the next day–loads and loads of chemicals in them, hinting that this possible stranger could have been a doctor.
In the book ‘The Devil and Miss Prym’ by Paulo Coehlo also starts with a stranger arriving at the small village of Viscos out of season. All he does was request for a room and to stay there for a week. Although the villagers quickly soon get to know him (it’s a small village), the old woman named Bertha sitting at the end of the village who first saw his arrival immediately knew that he came to the village bringing the devil with him.
Stories like this always seem to be connected with a stranger arriving at a peaceful place. The citizens there are peaceful beings, who are not used with sudden changes. These type of stories escalate quickly. And are the ones that change the most.
The stranger’s name is soon revealed to be Griffin, but that happens much later in the story. Although he has given strict orders to let himself stay in the room and not to be disturbed at all, the entire inn was overflowing with curiousness. Soon, there were a lot of rumors floating about the stranger living in the inn. And then, a burglary happen. Although the person whose house was burgled was aware what was happening and tried to confront the thief, he could not see anyone or anything.
Soon, everything was eventually traced down towards the stranger when he and the landlady had a fight with his fees to lodge. In anger, he revealed his invisibility. Yes, the stranger was entirely invisible. Not translucent, no faint outline, there was completely nothing. Easily, he fled the village.
Most of HG Well’s popular books are science fiction books. Although the Invisible Man doesn’t really have what there is in common sci-fi book content (aliens, spaceship, galaxies), it still focuses on something that is entirely fiction, but has a scientific background behind it.
For example, Griffin himself had studied medicine before moving on to optics. It was mentioned when Griffin met with his old medical school friend on how he first used a white cat to make it invisible before trying it on himself because of dire situations. It’s also noted that Griffin was an albino, with the standard red eyes and the pale complexion.
Apparently albinism, or the tendency towards the color white could make the being easier to turn invisible. What if it was Moby Dick the white whale from Herman Melville’s story that could become invisible. An angry invisible whale wrecking havoc with all the whaling ships around the Pacific ocean. That is enough to create a ‘reign of terror’. People would be too scared to go out to whale on their boats.
The most of us will only belief what we see. Imagine the fear created at facing an unknown enemy, off the charts. An enemy that one can’t see, an enemy who is completely unpredictable and an enemy who is determined to ruin your life.
That was Griffin’s plan. He confided to his doctor friend that he plans to create a reign of terror, also called as Doctor Kemp. He wants to control the nation with his invisibility and create fear in the minds of people just be being invisible. He can kill people openly with his invisibility and immediately disappear without a trance.
But however much the Invisible man cannot be seen, his body would still stay solid. He isn’t a ghost, and that is his only form of weakness. When the sight sensor and the scent sensor can’t be used, it’s up to the scent and the touch sensors to determine what else is going up. Griffin is no match to dogs. He is no match to the villagers when he is completely surrounded. That, will eventually lead him towards his downfall.
H. G Wells himself was an English writer who had written many books in many different genres. He could also be dubbed as the ‘father of science fiction.’ He was also nominated for the Noble Prize four times.