illustrated portrait of the Invisible Man, whose features are obscured by black cloth

The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance

by H. G. Wells

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What is the thesis of The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells?

Griffin's arrogance, the abuse of science, and his "victory" over his fellow man are the themes.

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One possible thesis is the arrogance of man, how in his desire to control nature, he often ends up causing pain and suffering. Science is an instrument of that control and can be used for both good and ill. Griffin, in his arrogance, has deliberately chosen to use his scientific knowledge and skill to wreak a terrible revenge on a world he's come to hate. As with Frankenstein, The Invisible Man shows us what can happen when we abuse science, when we see it as an instrument of control over others, instead of harnessing its wondrous power to make life better for everyone. Wells is suggesting that we must approach scientific research with the right attitude, with an appropriate attitude of humility and respect for our fellow human beings. As Griffin has neither of these qualities, science becomes a dangerous weapon in his hands.

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One of the major themes of a number of H.G. Wells' works is that of the way that science can be worshipped like any other god and in many ways this worship can come at a great cost. His portrait of Griffin who at first is thrilled by his discovery and seeks to find its limits and how to manage his invisibility is not always totally convincing but it serves to highlight these conflicts between the drive for discovery and advancement and the loss of humanity or concern for humanity that Wells believed could follow an unfettered drive for scientific advancement.

So as Griffin continues to separate himself from humanity, this theme of Wells' work becomes more and more evident. Griffin begins to look on all other humans with disdain, disgusted by their weakness and by the great power he has found by gaining control over invisibility. Eventually brought to heel by his confidante Dr. Kemp, Griffin is stopped and killed. But Wells's message comes through quite clearly in the story.

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