The Invisible Man
Identity Quotes Page 2
How we cite our quotes:
When questioned, she explained very carefully that he was an "experimental investigator," going gingerly over the syllables as one who dreads pitfalls. " (4.4)
By Chapter 4, we know a few tidbits about the Invisible Man's identity: he's not a nice guy and he's a scientist. By contrast, Mr. and Mrs. Hall seem genial enough and they're not-so-educated folk. Mrs. Hall knows (roughly) what an experimental investigator does, but it's clearly an unfamiliar occupation in this part of the country. Try telling someone in Miami that you're a cowboy by trade and they'll give you the same response.
He was surprised to find that Mr. Hall did not know his guest's name. "He give a name," said Mrs. Hall—an assertion which was quite unfounded—"but I didn't rightly hear it." She thought it seemed so silly not to know the man's name. (4.9)
We don't know the Invisible Man's name until Chapter 7, which might strike us as a little strange. We're in good company, though, since it also strikes the people of Iping as a little strange. A name may be the most basic part of a person's identity: the fact that the Invisible Man doesn't have one makes him even more mysterious.
"And before I take any bills or get any breakfasts, or do any such things whatsoever, you got to tell me one or two things I don't understand, and what nobody don't understand, and what everybody is very anxious to understand. I want to know what you been doing t'my chair upstairs, and I want to know how 'tis your room was empty, and how you got in again." (7.26)
Mrs. Hall and the Invisible Man had a perfectly fine relationship at first, since it was just commercial: he bought what she sold. But in a small village, that relationship doesn't seem to be enough. In Iping, where everyone knows everything about everyone else, the Invisible Man's mysterious identity has become a problem. So here he is, trying to pay her, but she's demanding to know more about his identity.