Characters make up the skeleton of a story. They convey the author’s ideas, beliefs, and relationships of the world as well as of the human beings around them. Major characters in The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells are not only interesting but also deeply disturbing for the readers on account of their obsessive desires, longing for power and indifference toward relationships. Some of the major characters of The Invisible Man have been discussed below.
Characters in The Invisible Man
Griffin, The Invisible Man is the anti-hero. He is a former chemistry student of the University College London who had an obsession with light and optics. He leaves the university without graduating to conduct experiments. His experiments making living creatures are successful when tries it on a neighboring cat. Later, he tests it on himself his powers. Despite having made such a wonderful discovery, Griffin discovers that he would not face the consequences for anything he does. He becomes violent and commits crimes such as his burglary in Iping.
After his transformation as The Invisible Man, he realizes that life is difficult. Even basic needs prove difficult for him. He becomes bitter over his wrong choice. Yet, he becomes indifferent toward his own relations and other humans. He also turns extremely violent, injuring a policeman and a colonel as he plans to continue to murder people. Finally, he is caught and killed by a mob and is visible at the time of death.
Mrs. Hall is the first person to contact with Griffin and to suspect him. While the proprietor of the Coach and Horses Inn’s sole purpose is to earn money, Mrs. Hall remains polite and careful about her. Hence, she charges extra when Griffin makes a noise or shatters glass bottles. Though she seems greedy in a sense, she follows business protocol to earn money. Despite her early suspicions about Griffin, she does not believe in rumors. Later, she confirms her suspicions.
Thomas Marvel is a homeless man, living in the Sussex countryside area where Griffin meets him for the first time. At first, he refuses to assist Griffin, later he agrees. Marvel agrees without thinking of the consequences for himself. He helps him to some extent but later on, he changes his mind and steals Griffin’s money and notebooks. After Griffin’s death, he becomes a wealthy man. He continues to decode Griffin’s research in vain.
Dr. Kempt is a rational, stable and intellectual person with a well-built physique. He was Griffin’s classmate at the University College London. Dr. Kemp welcomes Griffin when he breaks into his house and introduces himself. Griffin narrates his discovery of making living things invisible and interest in optics, assuming that Dr. Kemp would align with him to launch a “Reign of Terror.” Dr. Kemp is disturbed with the criminality of Griffin’s nature and advises him to make his research known to the scientific community. He also tries to stop Griffin’s death. However, he is too late.
Teddy Henfrey is a clock repairman, who visits the Coach and the Horses Inn. Mrs. Hall has formally commissioned him to repair the clock of the parlor of the inn. He comes across Griffin’s figure and is disturbed. He secretly listens to the heated exchange between Mrs. Hall and Griffin, he slows down his work out of curiosity. Later he spreads the rumor that the police are after that man and Griffin is concealing his identity.
Mr. Cuss is a physician who desires to have a conversation with Griffin. He depends on speculations to ascertain the facts. However, he soon realizes after meeting Griffin he has actually witnessed an emptiness without having anything to call it a man. When Griffin pinches his nose, Cuss leaves in horror. Later, he invents horrible stories about Griffin and his invisibility.
Mr. Wicksteed is an innocent and harmless person in his forties with a limp. He worked as a steward to Lord Burdock and becomes Griffin’s victim. However, to the people, his murder seems an ambiguous accident with no evidence. Though, there are speculations that Griffin might have used an iron rod to kill him.
Mr. Bunting is a local vicar of Iping, also respectfully called Rev. Mr. Bunting. He is a friendly and loving man. He is embarrassed when people ask him about his knowledge of the ancient Greek. He becomes famous among the people when Griffin steals from the church house.
Colonel Adye is a local colonel who befriends Dr. Kemp because both live at the same place in Port Burdock. Griffin later shoots him when he tries to grab him. He survives Griffin’s attack but is eventually killed when Griffin is killed by the mob.
Fearenside is a cartman. He has keen observation and strong nerves. He sees the dark skin from the torn pants of Griffin and comments that he should have pink flesh instead of dark skin. He uses the term “piebald” for Griffin to support his argument.