The Invisible Man

by

H. G. Wells

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The Invisible Man: Chapter 28 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Doctor Kemp’s nearest neighbor is a man named Mr. Heelas, who is asleep during the commotion at Kemp’s house. Heelas is one of the few people who still do not believe in the Invisible Man. When he wakes and first sees what is going on at Kemp’s, he cannot believe his eyes. He sees Kemp and the housemaid struggle with the air, and sees Kemp run and hide behind a tree. Heelas immediately starts screaming that “the Invisible Man is coming!” and locking the doors. He sees Kemp running toward the house and tells him he’s sorry that Griffin is after him, but that he won’t let him in.
This passage suggests that skepticism is much flimsier than is often assumed. People who are skeptical may seem extremely certain, particularly when they are in the minority, as Mr. Heelas is. However, one encounter with Griffin is all it takes for Mr. Heelas to change his mind and believe in the Invisible Man with such certainty that he selfishly will not allow Kemp to seek shelter in his house.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Kemp attempts to get into the house another way, before giving up and running out of Heelas’ sight. Kemp runs through town and finds all the houses locked. A tram is pulling into the station, and as Kemp runs toward the police station people gather around. Kemp shouts: “The Invisible Man!” He decides against going to the police station and keeps running, and sees a man coming out of a shop holding a stick. Just as Kemp announces that Griffin is close, he is hit on the ear and strangled by the air. Kemp manages to wrestle Griffin into submission, at which point many other people descend on Griffin.
For a moment it seems as if Griffin will literally outrun Kemp, and that all hope of Griffin being overpowered by the other characters has been lost. However, ultimately it is not possible for Griffin to successfully combat such a large group of people working together, even if he is invisible. Alliance and teamwork prove to be stronger than isolation and anonymity.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
The crowd beats Griffin until there is a cry for mercy, at which point Kemp demands that they step back because Griffin is hurt. While some of the men hold him down, Kemp approaches Griffin and realizes that his face is wet. He then notices that Griffin is not breathing. A woman points out that Griffin is becoming visible again. Slowly, his body is revealed. On his face is an expression of “anger and dismay.” Someone demands that Griffin’s face be covered, and his body is carried into the Jolly Cricketers. This is the end of the “strange experiment of the Invisible Man.”
In death, Griffin loses all his power—including his power of invisibility. The fact that his body can be seen again reminds us that even though he was able to conquer certain laws of nature, he never came close to overcoming his own mortality. In some ways, the sight of Griffin’s beaten body and brutal expression recalls the revelation of the hideous and deformed portrait in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Themes
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon