The Invisible Man
by H.G. Wells
The Invisible Man Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
He turned around abruptly. "I robbed the old man—robbed my father.
"The money was not his, and he shot himself." (19.42-3)
Stealing from his father is Griffin's first crime and it raises the same question as the previous quote: if the money was not Griffin's father's, where did he get it? Money can be mysterious in this book: flying through the air, appearing in all sorts of places, coming from unknown sources. Should we be suspicious of money the same way that people are suspicious of science?
"All I could think clearly was that the thing had to be carried through; the fixed idea still ruled me. And soon, for the money I had was almost exhausted." (20.33)
Griffin is clearly obsessed with the idea of becoming invisible (that's the "fixed idea" that rules him.) That's sort of classic mad scientist stuff: an isolated scientist obsessed by a crazy idea. But he has another major problem: he doesn't have enough money to experiment safely. What would this story be like if wealth weren't an issue?
"I turned down one of the roads leading from Gower Street to Tottenham Court Road, and found myself outside Omniums, the big establishment where everything is to be bought—you know the place: meat, grocery, linen, furniture, clothing, oil paintings even—a huge meandering collection of shops rather than a shop." (22.3)
Omniums is a department store, which is kind of a new thing in England. (They were actually new in the nineteenth century. That's why Griffin has to describe it a little, because some people might not really know what it's like.) It's interesting to us that a man who is on the cutting edge of science is also on the cutting edge of commerce here. (By "commerce" we mean "shoplifting.")