Monday, September 03, 2012

The Invisible Man: Clearly Curious

People are naturally curious, and in Wells' "The Invisible Man", he explores the different kinds of curiosity that we have.  He shows that the answers we get are not always what we expect.

The townsfolk of Iping are immediately curious about the stranger in their midst.  His dress, his manner and his overbearing tone all excite their interest and there are multiple attempts to discover his story. They seem to be curious purely for the sake of entertainment, but as the story progresses we see that had they known what the stranger was, they could have been prepared for his behavior.  However, they had little warning of his anger and desperation, or of the risk he posed. In their situation, curiosity is a method of self defense.

This story behind the stranger is eventually revealed when the Invisible Man retells his experiments & adventures to Kemp. We learn at last that Griffin had been curious about the idea of invisibility and this alone drove his research.  Like Shelley's Victor Frankenstein, Griffin became obsessed with the process leading up to his goal, and did not stop to reflect on the moral or practical implications until after the experiments were complete.

The townsfolk of Iping (and, later, other regions) continue to be curious about the events surrounding the Invisible Man and to discuss it amongst themselves. They are able to share information and work together to attempt a defense against his rampage.  However, the wages of Griffin's curiosity are death; his lack of forethought and the absence of any trusted confidante end in tragedy when he is killed.  His pure scientific curiosity is very real, but ultimately unsustainable.

Peer response: form
student1 → In general the grammar is adequate. The sentence structure is very basic. Simple and clear sentences are not wrong, but they are also not outstandingly crisp. I scored this a two.
student2 → Clear writing style; easy to follow.
student3 → good essay with good use of words and paragraphs
student4 → The presence of a man in a small town where is his a stranger is a curious matter. People are bound to be a little anxious about a bandaged stranger. However the theme of curiosity seems a little weak. People are alarmed by the unexplained occurrences. The invisible man before invisibility has suffered a kind of derangement of mind brought on by the use of drugs. His odd behaviors his course unnatural reactions to the death of his father are examples of who his behavior progresses in such a bizarre manner. Curiosity explains much of the behavior in Ipling but further abroad when the invisible man is perceived as a threat fear and hatred are the moving forces. More importantly they should be afraid. The grammar in this is good and you stick to the point. Every occurrence can be explained by curiosity if you want it to be. In fact you might say it is the quality of being observant and practical that makes people suspect and then fear the invisible man.
peer review: content
student1 → This essay feels very much like a retelling of a portion of the story. I do not believe you addressed different types of curiosity or its importance in the story. I scored this a one for content.
student2 → Suggestion for next time: the point you are making here ("several forms of curiosity are depicted and not all of them end well") is understandable, but - to me - not very original in content. What I'm saying: next time you might go beyond the general reflection upon a theme ("curiosity") and make a bold statement that surprises the reader and makes him or her ponder on it afterwards.
student3 → is a good way to see this story and how you do the comparison between this and the work of frankenstain
student4 → . The content seems a little light. I would have liked to see more examples of curiosity and the quality of observant skepticism. I like the idea that these qualities might be found in a number of key characters. I would have to re read the story looking for it which might be a good idea for the essayist.

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