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The Invisible Man
Complete Summary in Short
It was a cold wintery day when a stranger came carrying a black portmanteau in his hand at the inn, Coach & Horses. The stranger was wrapped from head to foot and no one could see his face. Mrs Hall, the owner of the inn, thought that the stranger had either met with an accident or had an operation on the face. His bags and baggage contained only bottles and three notebooks. The stranger kept to himself in his room and conducted experiments. He wanted to be alone and undisturbed as he hated being disturbed while at work. His rude ways and strange behaviour made him unpopular with the villagers and they suspected him to be a criminal or an anarchist. The children teased him by calling him a ‘bogie man’. There was a theft in the house of Buntings at a time when the stranger Was not in his room. Mrs and Mr Hall went inside his empty room and were surprised to see the bed sheets dancing. The chair which was Mrs Hall’s mother’s favourite one seemed to be possessed and chased the Halls out. Mrs Hall fainted. The stranger revealed that he was invisible when he was confronted by Mrs Hall. The terrified owners called Mr Jaffers, the village constable. The stranger disrobed, became invisible and escaped. Griffin then met Mr Marvel, a local tramp, to whom he confessed that he was invisible. He threatened to kill him if he betrayed. He returned to Iping with Mr Marvel to take his three notebooks and other belongings. Since he had no clothes on, he could not be seen by anybody. After travelling a long distance, they came to Burdock where Mr Marvel tried to give him a slip by hiding in the pub, ‘The Jolly Cricketers’. By that time, the story of the Invisible Man was in the newspaper and the whole country knew about it.
Marvel, the tramp, had wanted to resign but Griffin would not allow that. Marvel went to the pub as he was being pursued. The Invisible Man reached there. A scuffle ensued in the pub and the Invisible Man was hurt. Unknowingly, an injured and bleeding Invisible Man took shelter in the house of Dr Kemp, who happened to be his associate in college. Griffin told his story to Dr Kemp. Being a student of medicine, he was suddenly attracted to invisibility and refraction of light. Griffin confessed that he was interested in research and wanted to do it away from the prying eyes of a professor. He then robbed his father, who committed suicide as the money belonged to someone else. Griffin was not remorseful. He went to London where he invented a chemical by which he had made a piece of wool disappear. He then tried it on a cat and then on himself. He did not inform anyone about his invention as he feared that somebody else would take the credit of his invention. At first, he thought only of the advantages of being invisible but gradually he found the disadvantages too. He needed food, clothing and shelter as the weather was changing and snow would settle on his body. He came to Iping to do research and find out the reverse process which he had not invented. His body was like a thin sheet of glass. The food that he ate could be seen going down his throat until it was digested. Only the dogs could sense him. He wanted his three notebooks from Mr Marvel. He told Dr Kemp that together they could unleash the Reign of Terror in that small town. Dr Kemp did not keep his promise to maintain secrecy. He had informed Colonel Adye about the presence of the Invisible Man in his house. Seeing the police, Griffin ran out of house calling Kemp a traitor. A seige was laid in the whole town of Burdock to catch the Invisible Man. The Invisible Man attacked the house of Dr Kemp and followed Dr Kemp to kill him. In the final chase, the Invisible Man was caught by the road workers who came to the help of Dr Kemp and beat Griffin to death. After death, Griffin’s body became visible. Mr Marvel opened an inn with the money that Griffin had kept with him and named it ‘The Invisible Man’. He also preserved the notebooks from Dr Kemp and the outside world as he hoped that these would someday fetch him a fortune or he might decipher the code.