The Invisible Man

by

H. G. Wells

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Griffin’s Notebooks Symbol Analysis

Griffin’s Notebooks Symbol Icon

Griffin’s notebooks are his only record of his scientific theories and experiments. They are written in “cipher,” or code. Griffin is highly protective of them, both because he values the information inside and because he is worried that other people will find it and take credit for his findings themselves. Crucially, Griffin refuses to publish them himself. He does not seek recognition for making himself invisible within the academic community; rather, he wants a broader kind of glory and fame from the world at large. Although he uses his invisibility to steal money and items such as food and clothing, Griffin’s notebooks are the only possessions he seems to truly value. This is why he is so devastated when they fall into the hands of Marvel, resolving to get them back at any cost (even if this means killing Marvel). Griffin is ultimately unsuccessful in this mission, and is killed before he can get the notebooks back. At the end of the novel it is revealed that they remain in Marvel’s possession, although he cannot read them. The notebooks thus come to symbolize both scientific advancement and the ways in which many ordinary people are prevented from accessing scientific knowledge.

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Griffin’s Notebooks Symbol Timeline in The Invisible Man

The timeline below shows where the symbol Griffin’s Notebooks appears in The Invisible Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Thousand and One Bottles
The Future vs. the Past Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
...“remarkable” luggage to the inn in his cart. The luggage includes a box of enormous notebooks filled with “incomprehensible handwriting” and many crates of scientific equipment. When Fearenside arrives, Griffin demands... (full context)
Chapter 10: Mr. Marvel’s Visit to Iping
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
...Huxter can see that Marvel is holding a blue tablecloth filled with items, and three books tied together with what are later discovered to be Bunting’s braces. Huxter shouts: “Stop thief!”... (full context)
Chapter 11: In the Coach and Horses
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
The Future vs. the Past Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
...permission to search Griffin’s belongings; almost immediately after beginning the search, Cuss found three large notebooks labeled “Diary.” Cuss was initially excited, convinced that the diary would help them learn about... (full context)
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
...find his clothes. He says that he needs his clothes, “other accommodation,” and the three notebooks they are holding. (full context)
Chapter 14: At Port Stowe
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
...panting, on a bench outside an inn in Port Stowe. He is still carrying the books, but has abandoned the bundle. A mariner sits next to him and makes small talk... (full context)
Chapter 20: At the House in Great Portland Street
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
...not have enough time or money to move house. He left the house, carrying three notebooks and his check book, and sent them to a Post Office in Great Portland Street... (full context)
Chapter 22: In the Emporium
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
...himself up in clothing so that people won’t notice his invisibility, acquire money, collect his books and papers from the post office, find somewhere else to live, and experiment with the... (full context)
Chapter 24: The Plan That Failed
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
Greed and Self-Interest Theme Icon
...when Marvel betrayed him, and now Griffin needs to find a way to get his books back. Kemp tells Griffin that Marvel asked to be locked up at the police station,... (full context)
The Epilogue
Freedom, Anonymity, and Immorality Theme Icon
The Future vs. the Past Theme Icon
Skepticism vs. Belief Theme Icon
Humans, Science, and Nature Theme Icon
Sometimes when he is alone, Marvel takes out the notebooks he stole from Griffin, which he keeps locked away. He observes to himself that the... (full context)