The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance by H. G. Wells

The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Download The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Griffin, the Invisible Man. He arrives at a village inn and takes a room. Wearing dark glasses and bushy side whiskers, and having a completely bandaged head, he causes much curiosity in the village. Later, it develops that these are a disguise for his invisibility. Getting into trouble over an unpaid bill, he escapes and begins to terrify the people with his mysterious thefts. Wounded, he flees to a former acquaintance’s rooms. He reveals that, to get money for his experiments in invisibility, he robbed his father of money belonging to someone else; as a result his father committed suicide. Going thoroughly mad, he sends his former friend a note announcing that he plans to kill a man each day; his friend is to be the first victim. After a grotesque struggle, the Invisible Man is held by two men and struck with a spade by another man. As he is dying, his body slowly becomes visible.

Dr. Kemp

Dr. Kemp, a physician. Griffin knew him when both were university students. To Kemp, Griffin reveals his story. Later, he says that he plans to use Kemp’s rooms as a base for his reign of terror, and he threatens Kemp’s life. Kemp goes to the police, with whose aid he finally succeeds in destroying Griffin.

Mr. Hall

Mr. Hall, the landlord of the Coach and Horses Inn, where Griffin takes a room.

Mrs. Hall

Mrs. Hall, his wife. The Halls are the first to be puzzled by unexplainable activities on the part of their guest. Unintimidated, however, Mr. Hall swears out a warrant for Griffin’s arrest after the lodger becomes abusive because of ill feeling over an unpaid bill. After a struggle, Griffin at last unmasks and escapes in the ensuing horror and confusion.

Colonel Ayde

Colonel Ayde, chief of the Burdock police. Kemp goes to him with his information about Griffin. Ayde is wounded by his own revolver, which Griffin has snatched from his pocket.


Marvel, a tramp whom Griffin frightens into aiding him. Griffin’s turning on Marvel is the occasion for some eerie scenes of pursuit.

Mr. Wicksteed

Mr. Wicksteed, who is found murdered. A weird manhunt for Griffin follows.


The mad and foolish Griffin is the main character of The Invisible Man . A poor man, he seeks wealth and power. Although his motivation is understandable, he is a scoundrel who invites little sympathy. Gifted with a wonderful intellect, he degrades it by making it serve his baser nature. Capable of great achievement, he narrows his world to one no larger than that of the tramp Thomas Marvel. The other characters are primarily stereotypes who populate a country village. Incapable of understanding the significance of Griffin's achievement, they respond to his deviltry as...

(The entire section is 693 words.)