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Discuss the argumentation in The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells.

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priya0007 | Student, Grade 11

Posted January 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM via web

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Discuss the argumentation in The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:54 PM (Answer #1)

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A discussion of the argumentation in Wells's The Invisible Man isn't an east one to have. Critics have puzzled over the success and meaning of the novel. One critic holds that the argument of the novel is that modern humanity was, in Wells's time, so beset with startling science and technology that the experience of being alive had become unnatural and untenable; it had become like trying to sleep while possessing eyelids too thin to block out light, therefore it was like trying to sleep with eyes wide open.

Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges: "The harassed invisible man who has to sleep as though his eyes were wide open because his eyelids do not exclude light is our solitude and our terror."

Therefore it could be argued that the above metaphor describes Griffin's experience and that he was driven mad by the glaring light of the possibilities of science. In this understanding, the light Griffin studies in order to reduce its power, its refraction and reflection, symbolically represents the blinding light of science and its power.

A different point can be made that Wells is arguing against the possibility of rampant immorality the can potentially come out of science and technology (technology is science applied to social and commercial improvements). One illustration of this is the science that led to the technology of the atomic bomb that had social implications and prominence in World War II. The light of this science when applied to technology wiped out the light of a whole civilization just as the light Griffin studied wiped out his sanity and morality.

Griffin said: I mean it. A Reign of Terror. [The Invisible Man] must take some town like your Burdock and terrify and dominate it. He must issue his orders.

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