Immorality in The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Satisfactory Essays
In The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells both demonstrates and criticizes

man's tendency to become moral or immoral with the acquirement of power.

Like many books of the same era, he uses science as the instrument of

retribution for the social crimes that have been committed.

Through invisibility, the Invisible Man gains triumph over science

and from this, great power; he can steal, kill, and abuse anybody without

fear of being caught, as he describes, "It's useful in getting away, it's

useful in approaching. It's particularly useful, therefore, in killing." He

also acknowledges the shortcomings of his invisibility, such as making

sound and being easily imprisoned once caught, vulnerable qualities which

eventually lead to his downfall.

The Invisible Man breaks into many people's homes, stealing money,

and leading eventually to physical abuse and killing. When faced with power,

such as invisibility, man becomes immoral and is willing to do anything for

personal gain and enjoyment. The Invisible Man's nemesis, Kemp, brings up

the immorality by saying, "But-! I say! The common conventions of

humanity." The Invisible Man just reinforces his arrogance by rebutting

with, "Are all very well for common people." He believes there is nothing

wrong with doing anything for his own survival since he is superior. He

also brings the situation one step further with his reign of terror, which

he describes as, "Not wanton killing, but a judicious slaying." He now

wants to have complete control over everybody through terror and wants to

start "the Epoch of the Invisible Man." This shows his complete thirst for


The use of science to give man superpower can likewise be found in

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Man should not create the invisible man or

the invincible man since they are too powerful and this gives them the role

of creator which, according to the society of the day, should only be a

god's role. He shows how science can accomplish great things and also how

it can cause great harm.

The harm that the Invisible Man's exploitation of power causes does

not go unpunished. Wells demonstrates the social need for a sense of

justice, as the Invisible Man is eventually captured and beaten to death

for the terror he both created and wanted to create.
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