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In H.G. Wells' story The Invisible Man, what is the summary of Chapter 23, entitled...

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sadanandam | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:22 PM via web

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In H.G. Wells' story The Invisible Man, what is the summary of Chapter 23, entitled "In Drury Lane?"

I need some questions in Chapter 23, "In Drury Lane," answered to understood the story.

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 29, 2009 at 7:24 AM (Answer #1)

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The chapter entitled "In Drury Lane" opens with the Invisible Man relating to Kemp "the full disadvantage" of the condition of invisibility. Clothing, snow, even dirt returns him to a state of partial and grotesque visibility, and he cannot even eat lest the "unassimilated matter" in his stomach be weirdly detectable to the human eye. The Invisible Man goes to a shop in Drury Lane with the intention of stealing clothing, a wig, and a mask so that he can at least move about in some semblance of normalcy. When he enters the shop, however, he finds that its owner, "a short, slight, hunched, beetle-browed man," is exceptionally perceptive, and senses the presence of the Invisible Man even though he cannot see him. The hunchback plays an unwitting game of cat-and-mouse with the Invisible Man, starting at his every movement and sound, and eventually fetches a revolver with which to accost what he suspects is an intruder. In frustration, the Invisible Man finally hits the hunchback over the head, binds him, and stuffs him in a bag. He then takes the items he had been seeking and ventures out into the street.

The Invisible Man is heartened to find that his disguise is credible and no one on the street pays him any mind. He revels for awhile in the idea that he has "impunity to do whatever (he chooses);" whatever the consequences of his actions might be, he can get away with it by simply discarding his garments and vanishing. He goes to a hotel and orders "a sumptuous feast," but is aghast to discover that he cannot eat it without "expos(ing) (his) invisible face." He begins to ruminate upon "what a helpless absurdity an Invisible Man (is)," and realizes that although invisibility might allow him to get the things he wants, he will be unable to enjoy them once they are attained.

The Invisible Man then confides in Kemp that he was struck with an idea of how he might get back to his original state, once he had "done all (he) mean(t) to do invisibly." On his way back to Iping, however, he apparently had been hampered in his journey by a constable and a grocer, among others, and had gone into a rage in his attempt to continue on his course, leaving in his wake a trail of destruction (Chapter 23 - "In Drury Lane"). 

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