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What is a character sketch of the Anarchist in the story "The Stolen Bacillus" by H. G. Wells?

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the beginning of the story the Anarchist is described repeatedly as "pale-faced," and also as "haggard," which suggests illness, tiredness or lifelessness. Only when he speaks of the deadly potential of the bacteria does he become animated, with "a gleam of satisfaction,' or with eyes that, metaphorically, "devour . . . the little tube" of said bacteria.

Later in the story, when the Anarchist has in his possession the deadly bacteria, his mood is described as "a singular mixture of fear and exultation." The Anarchist is afraid that he will be caught but excited at the possibility of infecting the city's water supply with the bacteria. Anyone who is "exulted" with the possibility of mass murder is clearly psychopathic. At this point in the story the reader might begin to wonder what has happened to this man to make him so intent on, and so excited about killing so many people. And then the Anarchist begins to think about other Anarchists "whose fame he had envied." This line implies...

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