The Invisible Man
Violence Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
"I'll show him," shouted the man with the black beard, and suddenly a steel barrel shone over the policeman's shoulder, and five bullets had followed one another into the twilight whence the missile had come. As he fired, the man with the beard moved his hand in a horizontal curve, so that his shots radiated out into the narrow yard like spokes from a wheel. (16.36)
The Invisible Man is clearly the most violent person in this book, but that doesn't mean he's the only violent character. Take the American. (Please.) But notice how careful the American's violence is; he doesn't seem to lose his temper that much, and he tries to make sure that his gunfire covers the area. We're almost tempted to say that this seems tame compared to the Invisible Man's out-of-control violence.
"Not wanton killing, but a judicious slaying. The point is, they know there is an Invisible Man—as well as we know there is an Invisible Man. And that Invisible Man, Kemp, must now establish a Reign of Terror. Yes; no doubt it's startling. But I mean it. A Reign of Terror. He must take some town like your Burdock and terrify and dominate it. He must issue his orders. He can do that in a thousand ways—scraps of paper thrust under doors would suffice. And all who disobey his orders he must kill, and kill all who would defend them." (24.28)
What's the point of violence? For the Invisible Man, it seems like violence is often just a hobby or a fun activity. Here, though, he lays out a plan. He'll only use violence in order to get what he wants. In other words, violence here is a source of power.
He was certainly an intensely egotistical and unfeeling man, but the sight of his victim, his first victim, bloody and pitiful at his feet, may have released some long pent fountain of remorse which for a time may have flooded whatever scheme of action he had contrived. (26.10)
The narrator makes sure that we know this is all conjecture (guess work): he "may have" felt something after killing Mr. Wicksteed. Do you really buy the idea that the Invisible Man was upset by killing Mr. Wicksteed?