Study Guide

Minor Characters in Burdock in The Invisible Man

By H.G. Wells

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Minor Characters in Burdock

Colonel Adye

Adye is the chief of police for Burdock, so he's in charge of organizing the fight against the Invisible Man. When Kemp suggests to put ground glass on the roads, Adye momentarily objects that it's "unsportsmanlike" – as if they should fight fair with a man who is invisible (25.17). (Though it seems like he gives in, since there's glass on the road at the end [28.8].) Although Adye momentarily looks like he'll betray Kemp to save his own life, he ends up fighting the Invisible Man to the end. That's why we give him an award for being a good sport – though he might not be alive to get it.

(What do you think? Does he survive? He looks like he dies after being shot, but the Epilogue says that he questioned Marvel about the notebooks. So did he question Marvel before getting shot? Or did he survive the shooting to question Marvel later?)

Villagers in Burdock

With the exception of Mr. Wicksteed (who gets killed by the Invisible Man) and Mr. Heelas (Kemp's neighbor who refuses to help Kemp), we don't get a lot of names in Burdock. People are addressed instead as the "aneamic cabman" or "the man with the black beard" (both at the Jolly Cricketers, 16). There are a lot of navvies around ("navvies" basically just means workmen), a tram driver, and some policemen. Like in London, does the lack of names mean that Burdock is different from Iping?

Well, here's one thing we noticed about Burdock: the people there have some more success when they fight against the Invisible Man. For instance, the people at the Jolly Cricketers can't stop the Invisible Man from getting away, but they do stop him from killing Marvel. When the Invisible Man is going to kill Kemp, the crowd gangs up on the IM and kills him instead. (By contrast, we can remember that the Iping villagers hide from the rampaging Invisible Man.)

We almost want to say that the people in Burdock are better at working together (or maybe it's just that they know what they're facing?). But we should also ask whether they do a good thing at the end there. When a crowd gathers together to kill a single person, is that a happy ending?

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