The Invisible Man


H. G. Wells

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The Invisible Man: Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Two men chatting in The Jolly Cricketers pub are interrupted by a commotion coming from outside. The barman suggests that it might be a fire, when suddenly Marvel bursts inside. He attempts to shut the door behind him, but it remains open. Marvel is in tears, and shrieks for help, saying that the Invisible Man is coming after him. One of the men in the pub, an off-duty policeman, requests that all the doors be shut. Marvel is hysterical, saying that the Invisible Man promised to kill him and that he certainly will.
There is something especially terrifying about the fact that Marvel knows he is being chased, but cannot actually see Griffin or know where he is. He wants to secure himself inside the Jolly Cricketers, but cannot be sure that Griffin hasn’t followed him inside. This again shows the frightening power of invisibility.
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There is knocking and loud shouting at the door, and the policeman asks who’s there. Marvel pleads that they do not open the door, and the barman offers Marvel a place to hide behind the bar. Suddenly, the window of the inn smashes. The policeman observes that as soon as the door opens, the Invisible Man will come in, and the men inside beg him not to open it. Marvel declares that the Invisible Man is now circling the house, and explains: “He’s as artful as the devil.”
Marvel’s comparison of Griffin and the devil highlights the extreme extent of Griffin’s malicious behavior. He is now behaving in a truly demonic fashion, not only threatening Marvel personally but wreaking havoc on the public at large.
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Suddenly, the door to the pub bursts open. Marvel starts squealing, and the men run behind the bar to help him. Marvel is forced into the kitchen, where he is punched in the face. Two of the men grab the air and declare that they have caught the Invisible Man. Griffin yells and knocks the men aside. Griffin escapes, and all the men rush out into the yard. One of the men from the pub shoots five bullets into the air, and then asks for someone to bring a lantern so he can feel around for the Invisible Man’s body.
Here the story takes an even more violent turn, and the stakes of Griffin’s horrifying presence are heightened. Thus far, Griffin has only been threatening to kill people and has not made any serious efforts to do so. However, after the man in the pub attempts to shoot Griffin, it seems likely that at least one person is going to end up dead in the end.
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