- By H. G. Wells

Name of the characters:-

  1.  Griffin ( the scientist who became invisible by using his invention)

  2.  Mrs. Hall (The landlord's wife)

  3.  The Clergy Man ( One who was robbed)

  4.  Jaffers (The constable)


                 The story,  "Footprints without Feet" by H.G. Wells is about an eccentric scientist named Griffin who discovered the method of how to make oneself invisible and experimented the same in himself. The story starts with the two boys who noticed some footprints in the middle of London in the stair of a house and got shocked  as there was no man around except them. They tried to follow the footprints which were full of mud and continuously increasing but disappearing as well. In actual the footprints were of the same scientist who had invented the method of how to become invisible. Griffin was a brilliant scientist but also a lawless person and because of his nature his landlord disliked him and also tried to eject him. In revenge Griffin Set Fire to the house of his landlord and to get away without being noticed by anyone he had to remove all his clothes. Now he became a homeless wanderer without clothes, money and completely invisible. On his way, his footprints were noticed by two boys in London but he could escape from them somehow. But the time was not according to him as  it was mid-winter and was bitterly cold. So he entered a big store, took the clothes from there and from the kitchen of the restaurant he had  meat and coffee  and finally slept there. But in the morning he woke up late and was seen by the staff, but somehow escaped from there. Next night he entered a theatrical company and spent the night so calmly.. He took some things besides the clothes to hide the empty spaces above his Shoulders. In the daytime, he attacked a shopkeeper from behind and robbed all his money. He also took a train to the village of Iping. He booked two rooms at a local hotel and also gave the rent in advance to Mrs. Hall, the  landlord's wife. Because of the advance rent, Mrs. Hall couldn't ask him anything despite being a very peculiar kind of person. Few days later a clergyman and his wife, who were also living in that Hotel, had a strange noise and found that the money from their desk had been stolen. But there was no sign of any human being in their room. The landlord and his wife were also shocked when the next morning, they found the door of the scientist's room was open and when they entered there, the chair of the room began  to spring into the air and pushed them out of the room.They were not able to understand anything, but when suddenly the scientist paid his next rent, the doubt raised  to their mind as the scientist had told earlier that he had no money to pay the next rent. They understood that behind this strange theft as well as the strange activity of flying chair, there might be the hands of this scientist. They called the police and when the constable Mr Jaffers came there. Griffin removed again all his clothes and became invisible. The constable, with other villagers tried to catch Griffin but were all beaten by him. They tried a lot but couldn't even touch him as he was completely invisible.



Read and find out

Q.1. How did The Invisible Man first become visible ?


The invisible man (Griffin) first appeared after entering a supermarket in London to stay warm and overflowing while wearing clothes taken from the store. The clothes made him visible to the shop assistants when the store opened in the morning. To escape, he had to strip off his clothes so that they could  be invisible again.

Q.2 Why was he wandering the streets?


Although he was a brilliant scientist, he was a lawless man. The landlord did not like him and wanted to evict Griffin. He set fire to the house to escape and he stripped off his clothes and became invisible. He thus became homeless and roamed the streets of London.

Q.3. Why does Mrs. Hall find the scientist eccentric ?


Mrs. Hall found the scientist eccentric because of his strange appearance and also when she tried to be friendly with him, he also told her that he had come there to live alone and did not want to be disturbed in his work.

Q.4. What curious episode occurs in the study ?


Early in the morning, the pastor and his wife were awakened by a noise from their study. Then they heard the sound of money being taken from the desk there. However, when they entered the study, they did not find anyone there who was curious.

Q.5. What other extraordinary things happen at the inn ?


At the inn, Mrs. Hall and her husband entered the scientist's room when they found his door open. However, he was not seen in the room, but Mrs.  Hall felt compensation and the hat on the corner of the bed jumped and slipped into her face. Then a chair went into the air and  took them out of the room. This led Mrs. Hall to think that her furniture had been haunted.

Think About it

Q.1. "Griffin was rather a lawless person.” Comment.


Griffin did not bother to hurt anyone in fulfilling his wishes. He set fire to the landlord's house because the landlord tried to make him leave. After that his robbery in shops and later in the village shows that he was an illegal man. He threw a chair at Mrs. Hall and her husband. Lawless people like Griffin never think about the safety and well-being of others. They think only of themselves.

Q.2. How would you assess Griffin as a scientist?


Griffin is a wealthy scientist, as he discovers how he can make himself invisible. But he seems to enjoy the feeling of power coming out of his invisibility. The power to injure anyone without being aware of it can be harsh to the happiness of some people. A true scientist has to find what is best for the general public, not for his own benefit.

Talk About it

Q.1. Would you like to become invisible? What advantages and disadvantages do you foresee, if you did?


( This answer is completely suggestive as a hint for your answer. Students are advised to write their own opinion )

It would be an interesting idea for most people. Everyone would like to have this power. Like the two aspects of a coin, the invisibility can have many benefits and risks. For a child, visibility can mean a license for all types of pranks without being caught. Like Hindi movies, invisibility can help us to  beat all the villains.

If you don't show up, no one will notice you. Sooner or later , the grief of isolation will overwhelm you. You will have no friends. You will tend to behave like a scientist.

Q.2. Are there Forces around us that are invisible, for example magnetism ?  Are there aspects of matter that are invisible or not visible to the naked eye?  What would the world be like if you could see such forces or such aspects of matter ?


Magnetic forces along with Electrostatic, Gravitational and Nuclear forces are some examples of invisible forces. The atoms and molecules in a matter are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye. While the idea of seeing invisible things can be very exciting, their visibility would create great advancement in Science and  technology. Moreover, this can create problems too. For example, if we are able to see the atoms, molecules, Radiations and sounds around us, we start thinking before every single step if we want to move and that would be too irritating for us.

Q.3. What makes glass aur water transparent ( what is the scientific explanation for this ).  Do you think it would be scientifically possible for a man to become invisible, or transparent  ? (Keep it mind that writers of science fiction have often turned out to be prophetic in their imagination!)


The fact that light can transmit through glass or water makes them transparent. When light falls on an object, the reflected light from that object falls into our eyes and that makes it visible to us. If some devices can be made by which the light is passed through the body without reflecting through it, can  make the human body  invisible.



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