The Invisible Man

by

H. G. Wells

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The Invisible Man: Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
While Griffin is threatening Cuss and Bunting inside the parlor at the inn, nearby Mr. Hall and Teddy Henfrey are sitting together talking. They hear sounds and smell a strange odor coming from the parlor, and ask if everything is all right. Bunting replies tensely that everything is fine, and that they shouldn’t interrupt. Henfrey and Hall declare that this is “odd” and continue to eavesdrop on the room. Mrs. Hall appears and, seeing the two men spying, tells them to stop. Disappointed, they tiptoe away.
Again the narrator switches perspectives, this time to follow Mr. Hall and Teddy Henfrey. They do not know what is going on inside the parlor room, and this ignorance creates mystery and suspense. Bunting’s assertion that everything is fine seems suspicious, but Hall and Henfrey do not have enough information to know what to do.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
Henfrey says he heard the window in the parlor room, and he, Mr. Hall, and Mrs. Hall stand listening closely. It is at this moment that Huxter comes running, shouting “Stop thief!” Henfrey and Mr. and Mrs. Hall run after Huxter, and see him tumble to the ground, bringing two other men with him. A crowd quickly gathers around, crushing the three men on the floor. The situation turns into an “indecorous sprawl,” and Cuss staggers away to the Coach and Horses. He hears Griffin’s voice; it sounds as if Griffin has been struck.
This is the exact same scene that was described in the previous chapter, just from a different perspective. Focusing on a different set of characters highlights a whole other side to the events that are transpiring, adding new information along with new layers of suspense and confusion.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Cuss shouts to Bunting, who is still in the inn, that Griffin is back and that he has “gone mad.” Panicked, Bunting climbs out of the window and runs up the hill as fast as he can. At this point Griffin’s temper becomes completely out of control. He breaks all the windows in the Coach and Horses, and then shoves a streetlamp through the window of a house belonging to another woman. He cuts the telegraph wire, and then disappears. Everyone in Iping is too frightened to come out of their houses for two hours.
This passage reveals the frightening extent of Griffin’s desire to cause harm, chaos, and destruction for its own sake. We do not know whether this desire predated his invisibility, but it seems clear that he thinks being invisible has given him a license to commit as much wrongdoing as he likes without facing consequences.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon