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The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man


by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man Theme of Wealth

We often remember The Invisible Man as the story of an isolated mad scientist fighting against the larger community. But there's a whole other issue that often gets forgotten: money. The Invisible Man may be motivated by his interest in science (or power), but one of his first and main problems is that he's just plain poor. If he only had money, imagine how different this story would have been: he wouldn't need to steal, he wouldn't get into fights with his landlords, and he wouldn't need to work a job he doesn't like. In some ways, money is the driving force behind all of his explosive actions. Isn't it always?

Questions About Wealth

  1. What counts as wealth in this book? There's money, of course (and potentially real estate), but what other forms of wealth are there? For instance, the Invisible Man's notebooks – do they count as a form of wealth?
  2. The Invisible Man wants money, of course, but what about the other characters? Are they as concerned with wealth as Griffin?
  3. Does The Invisible Man take a position on the effects of wealth or poverty?

Chew on This

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

The Invisible Man is really about capitalism and its mysteriousness. The Invisible Man himself is a literal version of Adam Smith's "invisible hand of the market."

The several scenes of theft in the book show us that wealth doesn't last.

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