The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells vs Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
The revolutionary and iconic novels The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, and 1984 by George Orwell, have had a large impact on English literature, and have become somewhat of a standard to be compared to in their respective genres. While dealing with a significantly different subject matter, both deal with similar ideas, such as the influence of power on individuals and society, the impact of social isolation, and the potential for knowledge to be used for evil purposes. Nevertheless, these similar ideas are developed from different perspectives in both novels.
Both novels develop the idea that power can be a dangerous influence to individuals and society.…show more content… In 1984, Winston is an incredibly isolated individual. While he has regular contact with other people, the mass surveillance employed by the party makes him unable to have genuine, intimate relationships with others. This isolation causes a significant sense of emotional frigidity, not only among Winston, but with all the other characters. It is only once Winston rebels against the party with Julia that he is able have a meaningful relationship with another person, and thus lose his sense of isolation. Ultimately, the party conquers Winston, and he regains his burden of isolation after his torture by O’Brien. In The Invisible Man, Griffin is similarly isolated from others, but this is a result of individual differences that make him unacceptable to society, rather than externally forced isolation as in 1984. Due to his invisibility, Griffin is rejected by society, and because of this withdraws inwards, and further isolates himself, rebuking any well-meaning attempts at socialisation from the residents of Iping, and maintaining no “communication with the world beyond the village” (IM, p4). Griffin at first revels in the isolation granted by his invisibility, saying that “as a rule, I like to be alone and undisturbed” (IM, p15). He believes that his isolation from others is a source of power, and claims that “in all of my greatest moments I was alone” (IM, p95). However, as events unfold, he realises that he made “a huge mistake, in carrying this thing through alone” (IM, p126) and laments “how little a man can do alone” (IM, p126). In both novels, isolation is damaging to individuals, and causes a significant lack of intimacy and empathy for