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What is an example of rising action and falling action in The Invisible Man by H. G....

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snicker95 | eNoter

Posted July 26, 2011 at 12:02 PM via web

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What is an example of rising action and falling action in The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells?

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

Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:44 AM (Answer #1)

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An important rising action that leads up to the climax is the occurrence in Chapter XIX in which Griffin, the Invisible Man, has a conversation with Kemp over breakfast. His identity has been revealed; his secret is uncovered. Kemp believes Griffin to be mad and homicidal: “he said, ‘but he's mad! Homicidal!’" This conversation occurs while Kemp is awaiting the results of whatever he wrote in his note to Colonel Ayde of Fort Burdock; it was apparently a plea for help and the apprehension of Griffin: "’For instance, would it be a breach of faith if--? No.’ ....”

The climax occurs in Chapter XXIV after Griffin has told Kemp his story. Sounds are heard indicating Ayde’s presence. Griffin in a rage realizes what has come to be and furiously yells while removing his clothing--Kemp tries to secure him in the belvedere but loses the door key. Griffin overpowers him and attacks his would be captors, escaping over Kemp’s fallen form:

the dressing-gown came wedging itself into the opening. [Kemp's] throat was gripped by invisible fingers, and he left his hold on the [door] handle to defend himself. He was forced back, tripped and pitched heavily into the corner of the landing. The empty dressing-gown was flung on the top of him.

The following chapters detail the various elements of falling action that lead up to resolution in which Griffin materializes to reveal his albino coloring:

glassy bones and intricate arteries, then the flesh and skin, first a faint fogginess, and then growing rapidly dense and opaque. ... His hair and brow were white ... with the whiteness of albinism—and his eyes were like garnets.

An example of falling action is the episode during which Kemp flees for his life with the Invisible Man in hot pursuit. He ran for his life, "though his face was white and wet, his wits were cool to the last," and was locked out of every house along the way--because he had order they all keep their doors locked:

"You can't come in," said Mr. Heelas, shutting the bolts. "I'm very sorry if he's after you, but you can't come in!"

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