CHAPTER 19: Summary (Certain First Principles)
Dr Kemp came running to the room and enquired about the smashing sound. Griffin replied that he had lost his temper. Dr Kemp further informed him that his secret was all out in the newspapers and the people knew about his existence. Dr Kemp added that if Griffin needed his help then he must tell him his story. Griffin then narrated the incidents that led him to make his discovery of invisibility. He was a medical student, around the same time as Dr Kemp studying in the same college. Refraction of light and physics fascinated him more. So, he switched over. He further informed Dr Kemp that he somehow discovered a formula to lower down the refractive index of substances which could lead to invisibility. Griffin left London (and University College) six years ago and went to Chesilstowe, where he was a teacher and a student. He had the idea in his mind and started developing it from there. But he had to keep his research a secret as Professor Oliver, his senior, was a thief of ideas. He didn’t want to lose the credit for his own research. He did not mention his research to anyone. Griffin was alone one night in the laboratory when he discovered invisibility. After three years of teaching and research, he didn’t have the money he needed to complete his research. So, he resorted to thievery and robbed his father. Unfortunately, the money he stole was not actually his father’s and on finding no way of returning the money, he shot himself dead. Here we can see that Griffin is a gifted scientist gone astray. He feels no remorse for causing his father’s death.
Q1. Griffin appears to be a very selfish and self-absorbed man who could go to any extent to satisfy his desires. Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. In my opinion, the statement reveals the true character of the Invisible Man. He seems to have no scruples about using people to satisfy his desires. He steals his father’s money to fund his experiments. The money was a loan taken by his father and when the money is stolen he shoots himself. The Invisible Man behaves in a very cold and insensitive manner as he does not show any remorse at being responsible for the father’s death. All he is concerned about is his experiment and he is willing to go to any lengths to make sure that he is able to discover invisibility. Moreover, he is secretive as his experiment is aimed at discovering something that will only benefit him and not something which will be beneficial to society.
Q2. Describe the character of the Invisible Man as revealed in this chapter.
Ans. The events described in the chapter tell us that the Invisible Man had been an intelligent student with a passion for Physics especially with the Refractive Index of substances that could be lowered to make things including humans, invisible. However, his science was not for the benefit of the world. He was only interested in developing his idea of invisibility which would let him become powerful. He was therefore very self-absorbed and selfish. He did not have a very high opinion of his professor whom he regarded as a thief of ideas.