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Quotes

Quote #7

For a space people stood amazed and gesticulating, and then came panic, and scattered them abroad through the village as a gust scatters dead leaves. (7.70)

Amazement in The Invisible Man is linked to both confusion and fear, and here, we get both reactions. First, they're stunned, and second, they're panicked. Neither reaction really helps, though: these people need to work on their problem-focused coping.

Quote #8

He was irradiated by the dawn of a great amazement. (9.9)

When Marvel is first introduced to the Invisible Man, he just flat out doesn't believe it. Much like Mrs. Hall thinking that there are ghosts, Marvel goes to explanations he's already familiar with (he's drunk, he's hallucinating). What's different here, though, is that amazement has a positive meaning: it is linked with "the dawn" and "irradiated," as if amazement was related to enlightenment. (Note: "irradiated" in Wells' time wouldn't have meant anything bad; this was before we associated it with nuclear radiation.) Way to go, Invisible Man.

Quote #9

All men, however highly educated, retain some superstitious inklings. The feeling that is called "eerie" came upon him. (17.14)

Even Kemp, scientist extraordinaire, can be amazed. Like many other characters, Kemp will react to this amazement first by panicking. So what does it say about Kemp – or about all humans – if there's no way to get rid of superstitious amazement? Is there any way to deal with life without "eerie" feelings? Or are we doomed to freeze and/or to panic when we see something amazing?

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