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Thread: Madman or Misunderstood?

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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Madman or Misunderstood?

    I have recently finished reading "The Invisible Man" and I have to admit that towards the end of the book I really felt sorry for Griffin. I am discussing the book with a group I belong to it, and it seems to me that I am the only one whom feels any sympathy for Griffin and that most people view him as being this completely mad man who got what he deserved in the end.

    But I felt that he was driven to his madness by the constant harassment and persecution of others and that his bouts of violent temper were provoked. And while I do not agree with or condone some of his actions, I can understand how the need for self-preservation drove him to committing acts of desperation. After his struggles to try and survive his need to inspire fear in others was his last final act of self-defense.

    With the exception of the people whom had robbed which I do find to be the most inexcusable of his actions, though I can still understand the desperation to what led him to such actions, it seems that all those whom he had harmed or sought out to harm was done in an act of direct self-defence.

    He did not in fact go around killing people willy nilly just for the pure joy of doing so, but those whom he did kill were people who directly impeded his own survival. As with the example of Kemp's servants, he had the opportunity to kill both Adye and the girl, if he were truly just a sadistic, psychotic madman than there would have been no reason for him to spare thier lives, but he lets the girl go unharmed, and he gave Adye the opportunity to spare his own life but only shot him when Adey attempted to attack him. He had no interest in harming them becasue they did not pose a threat to him and had done nothing directly against him.

    His acts of violence were provoked by other people seeking to inflict some harm against him first.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    I read The Invisible Man a year ago so the details aren't very clear to me anymore, but I remember I also felt very sympathetically toward Griffin. Usually when I read I tend to sympathize with the "villain." Even if Griffin had been unprovoked, by nature-nurture, while some people have an asocial tendency the tendency can be strengthened by maddening circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cl154576 View Post
    I read The Invisible Man a year ago so the details aren't very clear to me anymore, but I remember I also felt very sympathetically toward Griffin. Usually when I read I tend to sympathize with the "villain." Even if Griffin had been unprovoked, by nature-nurture, while some people have an asocial tendency the tendency can be strengthened by maddening circumstances.
    I think one of the reasons why I myself am inclined to be sympathetic towards Griffin is because I can relate to him on some level because I myself am in fact quite anti-social by nature.

    A part of me felt that really all he wanted was to be left alone, and after all of his struggles and is efforts he was driven to the conclusion that the only way he could achieve that was by creating fear in others.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    My main reason for sympathizing with Griffin is, I think, that over the last year my circumstances have become increasingly "maddening" and I have resorted to behaviors that quite frighten me.

    I agree that he wanted to be left alone. Unfortunately, however, it's nearly impossible to be left alone nowadays ...

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Griffin was certainly irascible. He was a very cantankerous man. I wondered whether his increasing anger was a side effect of the experiment he had put himself through. When he told Kemp his story, at one point he said he was taking drugs to keep himself going, only I think the drug he was using was strychnine. Strychnine is a poison, but presumably he was using it in small doses. On the other hand, he did bad stuff even before starting his experiments. He stole money from his father.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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