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The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man
by H.G. Wells
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The Invisible Man Theme of Awe and Amazement

Let's see: an invisible man starts wreaking havoc on a small town. We're pretty sure the reaction won't be calm and collected analysis. In The Invisible Man, as you might have guessed, it's awe and amazement (and of course, sheer terror). Invisible men might be everywhere in literature, but imagine if you'd been there and actually seen this guy in real life. Here these villagers are, living their normal lives, and suddenly they have to deal with something they've never even thought about. Considering that a random stranger is a big deal in Iping, an invisible man is almost too much to handle.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. Other than the Invisible Man, what sources of amazement are in this book?
  2. How do characters deal with the amazing Invisible Man? Is amazement usually linked to positive emotions (like appreciation) or to negative emotions (like fear)?
  3. Would the stuff in this book be more or less amazing to its original audience? Why?
  4. How does awe relate to the other themes of the book, like science, violence, and wealth?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In The Invisible Man, awe is a dangerous thing. It prevents characters from dealing logically with what's in front of them.

Awe has positive outcomes in The Invisible Man: it drives curiosity and the attempt to discover.

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