CHAPTER 28: Summary (The Hunter Hunted)
Mr Heelas did not believe in the Invisible Man’s story. He was sleeping when the siege of Dr Kemp’s house had begun and when he woke up, he could not believe what he saw. Dr Kemp’s house had been turned to ruins. Then, he saw Dr Kemp running towards his house. He refused to give Dr Kemp shelter so Kemp had to run for his life for he knew that Griffin was after him and wanted to murder him. He continued running towards Burdock just as Marvel had done in chapter 15. He ran over obstacles to slow Griffin down. But as he ran towards the houses, he found them all closed. No one was on the roads and the doors were bolted as he had asked people to stay indoors.
Dr Kemp arrives in Burdock to find a couple of workmen on the road. When he yelled about the coming of the Invisible Man, people seeing him and hearing his shouts came out to help. They started running towards him and hit the Invisible Man with shovels and all. When the Invisible Man grabbed Kemp, the navvies knocked the Invisible Man down.
As others were trying to defend Dr Kemp, Griffin started beating him. In an instant, he was choking him. Dr Kemp held his broken arm and cried. Suddenly, a labourer hit him with a spade. Griffin started bleeding. They all held him down and he started crying for mercy. Dr Kemp asked everybody to leave him. However, he was too late and Griffin had died in the struggle. After his death, his body became visible, beginning at his hands and feet and creeping along his limbs to the vital centres of his body, the strange change continued. First came the little white nerves, a hazy grey sketch of a limb, then the glassy bones and intricate arteries; then the flesh and skin, first a faint fogginess, and then grew rapidly dense and opaque. Then was visible the crushed chest, his shoulders and finally the dim outline of his battered and drawn features. People covered up his naked and pitiful body. The Invisible Man met the end he deserved.
But the ‘gifted physicist’ met a tragic end.
Q1. How did Griffin meet his tragic end?
Ans. Griffin was filled with murderous rage. His confidant, Dr Kemp, had cheated him. He decided to murder Dr Kemp to set an example. He laid siege on his house. However, Dr Kemp was saved by two policemen and Griffin was hurt. Dr Kemp ran towards the marketplace and Griffin followed. Dr Kemp kept running, but he couldn’t make up his mind about where to seek shelter. Meanwhile, many people saw him and hearing his shouts came out to help him. They started running towards him and tried to provide him with some cover. As the others were trying to defend Dr Kemp, Griffin started beating him. Dr Kemp held his broken arm and Griffin cried. Suddenly, a labourer hit him with a spade. Griffin started to bleed. They all held him down and he started crying for mercy. Dr Kemp asked everybody to leave him. However, it was too late and Griffin died in the struggle. The ‘gifted physicist’ met a tragic end.
Q2. Do you think that Dr Hemp was really a traitor as he cheated Griffin and let out all his secrets? Give reasons.
Ans. Griffin and Dr Kemp were old acquaintances and both were scientists. However, Griffin wanted to establish a reign of terror and Dr Kemp was more concerned about the effect of this on the rest of the people. Griffin was an eccentric scientist. He wanted to get rid of everyone who came in his way. On the other hand, Dr Kemp thought of the greater good of society. Even before Griffin had mentioned his sinister plans, Dr Kemp had decided to turn him over to the police. After hearing his plans, Dr Kemp was shocked. Realising the threat that Griffin posed to society, he was hell-bent upon capturing him. Therefore, it is not right to call Dr Kemp a traitor. Though he had cheated Griffin, he was thinking about the betterment of the society. He wanted to save society from the devil that Griffin had become.
Q3. Do you think that Griffin himself was responsible for his tragic end or did society forced him to turn against his own kind?
Ans. Griffin was a gifted scientist gone astray. He was to be blamed for his tragic end. We might feel some sympathy for him for the manner in which society treated him for being different but the fact that he adopted evil ways to accomplish his wishes and 30 seeds make the sympathy, short-lived. When he ran out of money, he robbed his own father who committed suicide. Though he was misunderstood by the people at Great Portland Street where all the fiasco started, he burned the whole house down just to cover his trail. He also hurt the owner of the costume shop. He wanted to establish a reign of terror and believed that his invisibility provided him with godly powers. He turned against his own race and died a tragic end.
Q4. What were the difficulties faced by Griffin to achieve his dream of invisibility? Were the ways adopted by him morally correct?
Ans. Light fascinated Griffin and he dropped medicine to pursue physics. He worked like a slave. After six months of hard labour, he found a general principle of pigments and refraction and deduced a formula. He researched and concluded that to make something invisible in the air, its refractive index must be lowered so as to equate it with that of air. He also knew that humans were also transparent theoretically. After six years of toil, and with ideas in his mind, he went to London. He hid his experiments from everyone, including his professor. For three more years, he fought with exasperation and realised that he was out of money. At this point, he robbed his father which led to his father committing suicide. His secret nature made people suspicious. Finally, at Great Portland Street, he had to carry out the experiment in haste. He burned the house down to cover his trail. No, the methods that he adopted for achieving his dream were not moral. His ways were evil and sinister.
Q5. Griffin’s invisibility was like having a godly power. Still, he cried with helplessness. Why did Griffin grow so hopeless?
Ans. Griffin was having a hard time adjusting to his newly acquired power. Even his walk was clumsy. However, he was filled with great joy and his mind was busy with the things he could do without being seen. However, he soon discovered the disadvantages when he was hit by a basket and then hurt when a cabman’s hand closed around his neck. Similarly, he realized how dangerous it was for him to move around a crowded street when his feet got stamped, his shoulder got bruised especially as he was stark naked. He also caught a cold due to his nakedness. Griffin’s initial happiness flew away and he could not understand how he could get out of the mess he was in. He felt so helpless that he nearly cried.
Q6. Do you think the ending of the novel “The Invisible Man” is happy and just? What is your reaction when Griffin gets killed and Marvel gets to keep all the stolen money? Are you glad that the invisibility formula is hidden from Kemp, who could use it?
Ans. The novel, The Invisible Man ends on a happy note. As science is always viewed by humans from an ethical angle, this novel clearly indicates that when science and its findings are used for personal gain or against the good of humanity, it not only gets destroyed by the forces of good but also makes sure that the originator of the evil is also destroyed. In the story, the evil genius Griffin not only meets a sad end but also suffers untold miseries because he does not anticipate the disadvantages of his discovery and his focus is only on how to use his discovery to his advantage.