Study Guide

Minor Characters in Iping Village in The Invisible Man

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Minor Characters in Iping Village

Mr. and Mrs. Hall

The Halls are a typical family who don't know that they're in a science fiction story. Mr. Hall drinks and Mrs. Hall nags him about drinking. Mr. Hall isn't so quick (he has a "heavy intelligence" [6.4]) and Mrs. Hall takes out her frustrations on Millie, the serving girl (1.36). In other words, they are a stereotypical country couple found in many a novel (and in real life, if you know where to look.)

This is why we like them in The Invisible Man: they're totally normal folk who are put into a situation that is totally abnormal. We may not identify with (or even like) the Halls, but the fact that we recognize them as "normal," helps us understand the shock of the abnormal stranger. This is probably the role of every character in Iping, actually. They are normal (though very countrified), which makes the book seem more realistic. Even if we don't identify with them, the fact that they're realistic sets up a stark contrast to the Invisible Man.

Mr. Cuss (the General Practitioner) and Mr. Bunting (the Vicar)

There are a lot of people in Iping, but we remember Cuss and Bunting because they get their clothes stolen. And maybe because they seem like the most educated members of the village. After all, they get duped only because they are the ones who go through the stranger's belongings at the Coach and Horses. Even though Cuss and Bunting are more educated than the rest of the village, they don't have any idea what's really going on. Why do you think Wells didn't have any of his characters figure out what on earth is up?

Villagers in Iping

Iping is a tiny village where everybody knows your name. And in fact, Wells gives names to many of the inhabitants. So, if you lived in Iping, you would walk down the street and be able to say hello to all the people you recognize. There's Sandy Wadgers, the blacksmith; Mr. Shuckleforth, the magistrate; Teddy Henfrey, the clockjobber (clock fixer); Mr. Huxter, the store owner; Jaffers, the constable; Fearenside, the carter; Gibbins, the amateur naturalist, and… well, there are a lot of people who all have a very well-defined job. And everyone knows everyone. By contrast, no one knows the Invisible Man and he doesn't really have a job to do. No wonder he stands out.

The Mariner in Port Stowe

The mariner in Port Stowe has one job here, which is to tell us that the Invisible Man story is in all the newspapers. He also give us a little meta-discussion of writing style when he talks about the details in the newspaper story (which, according to him, make it seem more true). Check out more of our thoughts on this in our section on "Writing Style."

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