The Invisible Man
by H.G. Wells
The Invisible Man Theme of Power
This isn't a book about using a superpower to fight evil. (Although, we can totally imagine that book, where the Invisible Man teams up with Captain Nemo to fight crime in late Victorian-era England. Oh, they already did that?) But power is definitely a big piece of the puzzle in The Invisible Man. And not just superpower (i.e. invisibility). The Invisible Man touches on how knowledge – in this case, science – is power and how this power can corrupt. Bottom line: with great power comes great invisibility. Yeah, we went there.
Questions About Power
- Is the Invisible Man always interested in power? Or does this obsession develop over the course of the story?
- Are other characters interested in power in this book? For instance, what power does Mrs. Hall have over Mr. Hall and their servant Millie? How does she exercise this power?
- Where does power – both physical and mental – come from in The Invisible Man?
- How powerful is the narrator of this story? Is he in control of the story?
Chew on This
The Invisible Man shows us that the individual is powerless compared to the larger society.
Power in The Invisible Man is almost always the power to hurt or kill. This shows us that power is ultimately always violent – a way for one individual to harm another.