Here we find the crux of Wells', the father of Science fiction, point of the invisible man. Being invisible is not a crime, yet is often treat as a crime.
Through fiction we can talk about things that matter without being branded in any particular grouping, in this instance what is being addressed is a mix of racism and the social exclusion people can feel by being 'different' in some way.
The invisible man, Griffin, is described throughout as a blackman, piebald and half-caste. Griffin even declares he has been working like a nigger!
This may seem strange coming from a 6' Albino, but the social rejection and exclusion is nonetheless the same. Society rejects the unusual, the deformed, disabled, coloured and even the invisible.
The story opens with Griffin entering a hostelry looking for a room to conduct his further experiments, wearing shades and bandages covering his head, he ensures he is covered head to toe to hide his self imposed deformity.
However in a small village, where the yokels like to know everybody's business, he soon finds he has no hiding place.
An experimental physicist he toiled 3 long years on the art of invisibility, finally perfecting it upon himself, urged on by the delights of being able to come and go unseen as he pleases, only after the the event does he realise that unlike the personal utopia he had hoped for, he instead has imposed a prison sentence upon himself.
Even so it is hard to feel pity for this anti-hero, one gets the feeling and the intent is written in the book, that his work was for purely selfish reasons. The possibility of Godlike powers, to steal, pillage, rape and murder without consequence was too much for Griffin's egoistical nature to turn down.
He was driven not out of a sense of altruism, rather one of self gratification, no matter what the cost to his fellow man. After years of social exclusion as an albino he grabbed his chance at vengeance against a Society that was not accepting of someone 'different' from the norm.
Yet this novel has deeper undercurrents, if we look past the veneer of racism we can see that Wells' may well have been writing about himself, his feelings.
As a writer he secluded himself, or perhaps felt secluded from society and in his seclusion wrote many great and underrated works. Also as a professional journalist he would make scything attacks one moment, passing praise the next.
I consider 'The invisible man' one of Wells' most important works, not only for the pace and suspense, nor the short, pointed chapters, but for the meanings imparted the morals and ethics of a society that have learned to shun those that are different from ourselves.
Wells holds a moral mirror to our face and forces us to take an honest look at how we would react.