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The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man


by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man Theme of Science

Science takes on a lot of different roles in The Invisible Man. First, it's what scientists do to work out problems they have. For instance, we hear from the Invisible Man about how he developed his invisibility formula through trial and error. Second, science means a community of scientists and their particular traditions; like when you discover something awesome (say, an invisibility formula), you're supposed to tell people about it (and not try it out on yourself). Finally, science can be a mystery to anyone who's not a scientist; this is clearly trouble for the already isolated Invisible Man.

Questions About Science

  1. Is science portrayed in a positive or negative light in The Invisible Man?
  2. Do the different representations of science ever come into conflict with each other? For instance, is scientific research ever at odds with the scientific community?
  3. Griffin and Kemp are the only real scientists in the book. Would it change your reading if there were more of them around?
  4. How do non-scientists react to science in The Invisible Man? How did you react to science when you first started to learn about it?

Chew on This

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

The Invisible Man is all about science gone wrong.

Science in The Invisible Man is neither good nor bad. It's just another form of human activity and community.

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