Study Guide

The Invisible Man Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

Doctor Kemp's Visitor

  • Back at Kemp's house, Kemp is busying himself with some works of speculative philosophy (which sounds a lot like stuff that Wells himself wrote; more on that in Kemp's "Character Analysis").
  • Kemp gets interrupted by the shots and looks out to see a crowd at the Jolly Cricketers. Shortly after, he's interrupted again when someone rings his doorbell. But his housemaid tells him that there was no one at the door. You know where this is going, right?
  • On his way to bed, after a long day of speculative philosophy, Kemp notices some blood on the floor and on the handle of his bedroom door. When he opens the bedroom door, he sees some floating, bloody bandages, which makes him feel "eerie" (17.14). That's the understatement of the century.
  • The Invisible Man calls Kemp by his name and tells him not to panic. Of course, when an invisible man tells someone not to panic, that person panics.
  • So the Invisible Man wrestles Kemp down (which, in our experience, usually doesn't help stop people from panicking). The IM tells Kemp that he knows him from school: he's really a guy named Griffin. He then gives us a little more 4-1-1: he's almost an albino, he's a little younger than Kemp, and he won a medal for chemistry at University College.
  • Kemp calms down enough to give Griffin some whiskey, clothes, and a cigar. This is where we'd get a series of really fun special effects if this were a movie. Griffin takes a glass of whiskey, which looks like it's just suspended in mid-air. Then he puts on clothes, which look like they're floating. And finally, he smokes a cigar, so the smoke outlines his mouth and throat. (That last one is our favorite.)
  • It was just a coincidence that Griffin broke into Kemp's house to recover, but now he needs Kemp's help. (Luckily, the bullet that got him just scratched his wrist, so he's not going to die.) Griffin needs help because his partner stole his (stolen) money.
  • He tells Kemp that he's too tired to tell the full story now and he needs to sleep. He also adds that he doesn't want people to capture him, which we'd say is an odd request for a guest. But that's the kind of guy Griffin is: strange.

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