Short summary - The Invisible Man - Herbert George Wells

British literature summaries - 2020

Short summary - The Invisible Man
Herbert George Wells

In the Kucher and Horses inn owned by Mrs. Hall and her henpecked husband, a mysterious stranger appears wrapped from head to toe in early February. It is very difficult to get a guest on a winter day, and a visitor generously pays.

His behavior seems more and more strange, more and more alarming to others. He is very irritable, avoids human society. When he eats, he covers his mouth with a napkin. His head is wrapped in bandages. In addition, the uping provincials (a place in southern England) do not understand what he is doing. Smells of some chemicals, the sound of broken dishes, the loud curses that the tenant pours on (obviously, he doesn’t succeed) are carried around the house.

Griffin, whose name we will learn much later, seeks to regain his former state, become visible, but fails and becomes more and more annoyed. In addition, money came out from him, they stopped feeding him, and he goes, using his invisibility, to robbery. Of course, suspicion falls first on him.

The hero is gradually losing his mind. He is by nature an irritable person, and now this is manifested in the most obvious way. Hungry, exhausted by constant failures with experiments, he takes a crazy step - gradually tearing off his disguise in front of everyone, appearing to the observers as a person without a head, and then completely dissolving in the air. The first pursuit of the Invisible ends for him safely. In addition, fleeing from his pursuers, the Invisible One runs into a Marvel tramp called “Mr. Marvel” - perhaps because he always wore a battered cylinder. And he is very picky about shoes. And no wonder - nothing is needed for a vagabond like good shoes, albeit donated. Then, at one fine moment, trying on and evaluating new shoes, he hears a Voice emanating from the void. Among the weaknesses of Mr. Marvel is the passion for alcohol, so he does not immediately manage to believe himself, but he has to - an invisible voice explains to him that he saw in front of him the same outcast as he did, felt sorry for him and at the same time thought that he could to help. After all, he remained naked, driven out, and Mr. Marvel needed him as assistants. The first thing you need to get clothes, then money. At first, Mr. Marvel fulfills all the requirements - all the more so since the Invisible Man has not abandoned his aggressive attacks and is a considerable danger. In Ayping, preparations are underway for the holiday. And before finally leaving Ayping, the Invisible man arranges a rout there, cuts the telegraph wires, steals the vicar’s clothes, picks up books with his scientific notes, loads all these poor Marvels and is removed from the field of vision of the local inhabitants. And in the surrounding places, people often see handfuls of coins flickering in the air, or even whole bundles of banknotes. Marvel is eager to run away, but every time he is stopped by an invisible Voice. And he perfectly remembers how tenacious Invisible hands are. The last time he was really about to open up to a chance sailor he met, but immediately discovered that the Invisible was nearby, and fell silent. But only for a while. Too much has accumulated in the pockets of money.

And then one day, Dr. Kemp, calmly sitting in his rich house filled with servants and engaged in scientific work, for which he dreamed of being awarded the title of member of the Royal Society, saw a rapidly running man in a battered silk cylinder. In his hands were books tied with twine, pockets, as it turned out later, were full of money. The route of this fat man was laid out extremely accurately. First, he hid in the “Funny Cricketers” zucchini, and then asked him to be taken to the police as soon as possible. Another minute, and he disappeared into the nearest police station, where he asked immediately to lock him in the most reliable cell. And at the door of Dr. Kemp rang a bell. There was no one behind the door. The boys must have indulged. But an invisible visitor appeared in the office. Kemp discovered a dark spot on linoleum. It was blood. In the bedroom, the sheet was torn, the bed was crumpled. And then he heard a voice: “My God, this is Kemp!” Griffin turned out to be Kemp's university friend.

After being scared half to death, Mr. Marvel hid in the Jolly Cricketers squash, the obsessed with revenge for Invisible tried to break in, but it ended in disaster. All the newspapers have already sounded about the Invisible Man, people have taken security measures, and one of the visitors of the “Merry Cricketers”, a bearded man in gray, judging by the American accent, turned out to have a six-shot revolver, and he started fan-firing at the door. One of the bullets hit Griffin in the arm, although there was no dangerous wound. The search for the body did not give a result, and Griffin appeared at Kemp at the same time.

From the story that Griffin told his classmate, we will learn his background.

Griffin is a talented scientist on the verge of genius, but his career was not going well. He was engaged in medicine, chemistry and physics, but, knowing what mores prevail in the scientific world, he was afraid that less talented people would appropriate his discoveries. In the end, he had to leave the provincial college and settle in some kind of slum London house, where at first no one bothered him. There was only money. This is where Griffin’s crime chain begins. He robs his father, robbing him of other people's money, and he commits suicide. Griffin has not a bit of remorse. He is so focused on his work that he does not take any other considerations into account. Finally comes the hour of the long-awaited discovery. But how to live on? Money is running out, neighbors and the landlord suspect him of something. He is too different from others. And doing something incomprehensible. It is necessary to run away from an uncomfortable house. But for this, first become invisible. And this is a painful process. The body burns, as if on fire, it loses consciousness. Horror seizes him at the sight of his own body, which is becoming as if transparent.

When a householder with stepsons breaks into a room, then, to his surprise, he does not find anyone in it. And Griffin for the first time feels all the inconveniences of his position. Going out into the street, he notices that everyone who is not too lazy is pushing him, the cabmen almost knock him down, the dogs are chasing him with a terrible bark. You have to get dressed first. The first attempt to rob the store ends in failure. But then a poor shop, littered with used make-up accessories, catches his eye. It is disposed of by some unfortunate hunchback, whom he ties into a sheet, thereby depriving him of the opportunity to escape and, most likely, condemning him to starvation. But the same person comes out of the shop, who will later appear in Iping. All that remains is to cover up the traces of your stay in London. Griffin sets fire to the house, destroying all his drugs, and hides in South England, from where, if desired, it is easy to move to France. But first you need to learn how to move from the invisible to the visible state. However, things are not going well. The money is over. The robbery is revealed. A chase is organized. Newspapers are full of sensational news. And in this state, Griffin appears at Dr. Kemp - hungry, hunted, wounded. He had previously been an unbalanced man, and now a mania of hatred is ripening in him. From now on, he - the Invisible Man - wants to rule people, having established the kingdom of terror for decades. He persuades Kemp to become his accomplice. Kemp realizes that in front of him is a dangerous fanatic. And he makes a decision - writes a note to the local police chief, Colonel Edlay. When he appears, Griffin is not at first going to touch him. “I did not quarrel with you,” he says. He needs a traitor Kemp. But the Colonel borrowed a pistol from Kemp, and he falls the next victim of Griffin. Then follows the completely senseless assassination of Lord Lord Bird, armed only with a cane at the sight of an iron rod hanging in the air.

But they are already looking for the Invisibility - according to the plan drawn up by Kemp. Roads are covered with crushed glass, equestrian police officers gallop all over the district, the doors and windows of houses are locked, it is impossible to get into passing trains, dogs roam everywhere. Griffin is like a hunted beast, and a hunted beast is always dangerous. But he still needs to take revenge on Kemp, who, after the murder of Edlay, turns from a hunter to a persecuted one. A terrible invisible enemy is chasing him. Fortunately, at the very last gasp, Kemp finds himself in a crowd of fellow countrymen, and then Griffin is waiting for the end. Kemp wants to save him, but those around are inexorable. And gradually, before everyone's eyes, a beautiful, but wounded man reappears - Griffin is invisible as long as he is alive.

However, the last character of this novel is not Kemp, not Griffin, but Mr. Marvel. He dressed up, bought the Merry Cricketers zucchini stolen from Griffin’s money, and is highly respected in the area. And every evening he locks himself up with people and tries to solve the mystery of Griffin. Almost his last words: “There was a head!”