The Invisible Man | Study Guide

H.G. Wells

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The Invisible Man | Epilogue | Summary



It is some time later, and Marvel has become a landlord of an inn in Port Stowe. He regales anyone who asks with tales about his experiences with the Invisible Man and afterward. Because the lawyers could not prove "whose money was which," he was able to keep the money Griffin stole, and he used it to buy the inn. But if anyone asks about the "three manuscript books," he "cuts off the flow of his reminiscences abruptly" and says he does not have them. Yet, every Sunday, he locks his bar and pulls out the three books and tries to interpret their secrets.


Marvel is the only person to benefit from Griffin's actions. He has transformed himself from a tramp to an innkeeper. In another case of situational irony, he, an unlearned man, not Griffin, the genius scientist, has gained a reputation for wisdom. Marvel lacks education, but his cunning has allowed him to attain a status in life—and the accompanying benefits—denied to Griffin. Marvel is using that same cunning to conceal his possession of Griffin's research notes. When he vows to himself that he "wouldn't do what he did" should he discover "the subtle secret of invisibility," his inability to express what he would do if he uncovered them suggests he doesn't know what he would do if he possessed the same secret Griffin did. He has already proven himself to be dishonest by concealing books of great value to the scientific world and keeping stolen property. H.G. Wells forces the reader to consider: Do those actions make him immoral? And if so, to what degree? Would he become corrupt if he possessed the secret of invisibility? Would he, too, lose his humanity? And what does his denial about his possession of the books reveal? He is keeping the books to satisfy his personal desires, when they are of great value to scientists. Does that make him corrupt, inhumane, or both? Perhaps, Wells suggests, gaining power is too tempting for any human to fully resist.

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