Study Guide

The Invisible Man Isolation

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<em>The Invisible Man </em>is about a guy with no friends, no family, and, well, just no one at all. It seems like no matter where he finds himself, he's isolated from the larger community – he's as alone in Iping as he is in London. If the Invisible Man were just a hermit who lived alone by choice, that would be one thing. But our guy is a genius scientist who is surrounded by people; they just don't understand him. That might be the worst form of isolation: surrounded by people but always alone. And it's worth mentioning that some critics think that science becomes dangerous when it's isolated from the larger community; if we think of Griffin as a symbol for science-gone-wrong, this makes a lot of sense.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Are any of the other characters in this book isolated? Maybe the costume shop owner from Chapter 23? He's described as alone – but is "alone" the same thing as "isolated"?
  2. How is the Invisible Man isolated? Is it mostly because of his physical issues (i.e. he's stinkin' invisible)? Or is he mentally isolated, too?
  3. At first, the Invisible Man claims that all his best work happens when he's alone (19.37). Then he notes that a man can't accomplish much alone (24.22). Those ideas seem contradictory, but are they? Does the Invisible Man have a change of tune? And does Wells seem to take a particular side on the issue?
  4. Many critics think this novel shows us that isolation is a bad thing. Do you agree? Or are there some ways in which isolation is a good thing? Would the Invisible Man be better off, for instance, if there were no people around him at all?

Chew on This

<em>The Invisible Man </em>shows us that a person will become a monster when isolated from the rest of humanity.

Griffin is the cause of his own isolation. If he reached out to other people, he wouldn't be in the same position.

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