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The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

by H.G. Wells

Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. (1.1)

It's important that the Invisible Man is only known as "the stranger" for a long time in this book. This quote gets extra points, though, because of how very specific it is about everything except who this guy is. There's information about when he came, where he came from, what he was carrying. Heck, we even hear that his hand is "thickly gloved." So who the heck is he?

Quote #2

"You got a rum un up home!" said Teddy. (2.36)

Translation: there's a weird guy in your house. Teddy's remark shows us two things. First, any community is likely to react badly to a man without a clear identity (i.e. a strange dude). Second, we see how Teddy Henfrey and Mr. Hall can communicate in their own dialect. Part of their identity is where they're from, and their accent accentuates this (pun intended... and awesome).

Quote #3

"That marn's a piebald, Teddy. Black here and white there—in patches. And he's ashamed of it. He's a kind of half-breed, and the colour's come off patchy instead of mixing. I've heard of such things before. And it's the common way with horses, as any one can see." (3.42)

Faced with a mystery (the Invisible Man has a black leg but a pink nose), Fearenside tries to figure out the Invisible Man's identity from what he knows. Since his occupation involves him working with a horse, he just goes with that. This theory tells us less about the Invisible Man's identity and more about Fearenside's identity. (It also provides a good example of how identity can bias judgment.)

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