The Invisible Man

by

H. G. Wells

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The Invisible Man: Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Griffin leaves Doctor Kemp’s house in such a hurry that he breaks the ankle of a child he pushes past on the way. He disappears until 2.30 pm. While he is gone, men all over the countryside get to work trying to catch him. Armed groups accompanied by dogs search the roads and fields, while police officers warn people to stay inside and lock their doors. Copies of Kemp’s testimony, signed by Adye, are posted all over the district. A “thrill of horror” runs through the area, as people learn about the murder of Mr. Wicksteed.
It is still highly uncertain whether Griffin will be caught. Not only is he invisible, he is also aided by the fact that he has no moral principles, and is even happy to harm children if they get in his way. On the other hand, everyone in the surrounding area has now finally united in their efforts to bring him down, and this might make all the difference.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
No one knows for sure, but it is believed that Griffin must have been carrying an iron rod as a weapon when he encountered Mr. Wicksteed near a gravel pit close to the gate of Lord Burdock’s lodge. Mr. Wicksteed’s body was found with many wounds, and his walking stick was splintered. He was in his mid 40s, the steward to Lord Burdock, and a completely “inoffensive” person. The last person to see him alive, a young girl, testified that she saw Mr. Wicksteed hitting something on the ground with his walking stick, before disappearing out of sight.
Although Griffin has harmed countless people and attempted or threatened to kill many more, Mr. Wicksteed is the first person he actually succeeds in killing. This is all the more tragic considering that Wicksteed was apparently a kind and seemingly physically vulnerable man (as shown by the fact that he used a walking stick).
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
There is much speculation about exactly how and why Mr. Wicksteed died. The only certain evidence is Wicksteed’s battered body and the bloodstained iron rod that was found nearby. In the aftermath of the murder, some reported hearing a voice wailing and sobbing. Griffin must have found everywhere the evidence of Kemp’s testimony and the pursuit of him that ensued as a result. During the night he likely ate and slept, before his “last great struggle against the world” the next day.
This part of the story is told only through glimpses, rumors, and other forms of partial information that the local people collectively gather. No one knows definitively what Griffin did during these hours, which emphasizes his absolute isolation from the world, which has now united against him.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon