Iping is a real village in West Sussex, in the English countryside. After turning himself invisible and leaving London, Griffin travels to Iping in hopes of isolating himself and focusing on his work. In contrast to the business, affluence, pollution, and anonymity that characterize life in life in London, Iping is quiet, rural, and provincial. The villagers are relatively poor and uneducated, and Griffin has a disdainful view of them, calling them “fools.” On one level, the novel’s portrayal of Iping is not entirely positive. For example, Iping is shown to be a place dominated by gossip and superstition. On the other hand, the residents of Iping embody values that have arguably been lost in the transition to modern, secular, urban life. Residents of the village look out for and take care of each other; there is an atmosphere of communal unity, with everyone feeling a sense of responsibility for everyone else. There is a contrast between this communality and Griffin’s self-imposed isolation. Echoing Doctor Kemp’s advice to Griffin, the novel suggests that acting as a “lone wolf” is not the right way to have a successful or happy life. Griffin may be poor and provincial, but it is also shown to have important good qualities, representing the value of the past and rural life that is often scorned by those looking only towards the future and urbanity.
Iping Quotes in The Invisible Man
After the first gusty panic had spent itself Iping became argumentative. Scepticism suddenly reared its head,—rather nervous skepticism, not at all assured of its back, but skepticism nevertheless. It is so much easier not to believe in an invisible man; and those who had actually seen him dissolve into air, or felt the strength of his arm, could be counted on the fingers of two hands. And of these witnesses Mr. Wadgers was presently missing, having retired impregnably behind the bolts and bars of his own house, and Jaffers was lying stunned in the parlour of the Coach and Horses. Great and strange ideas transcending experience often have less effect upon men and women than smaller, more tangible considerations.