CBSE Class 12 English The Invisible Man H G Wells Assignment Set B. Students are advised to refer to the attached assignments and practice them regularly. This will help them to identify their weak areas and will help them to score better in examination. Parents should download and give the assignments to their children for practice.
Summary: A stranger arrives in Bramblehurst railway station. He is bundled from head to foot with only the tip of his nose showing. He enters the Coach & Horses Inn and demands a room and a fire. Mrs. Hall, the owner prepares a supper for him and offers to take his coat and hat, but he refuses to take them off. When he finally removes the hat, his entire head is swathed in a bandage. Mrs. Hall thinks he has endured some accident. She tries to get him to talk about himself, but he is taciturn with her, although not particularly rude. Notes: This introduction to the Invisible Man through the eyes of the town people is actually about midway through his own story. He has already gone from place to place trying to keep his cover and has committed two acts of violence, one against his own father and the other against the proprietor of a costume shop whom he tied and gagged in order to be able to steal clothing and money. Nevertheless, his intention at this point is simply to find a quiet place and work as quickly as possible to find an antidote to the invisibility. The primary thread of the story-that of the growing rumors and suspicions, which eventually contribute to his exposure-has begun.
Q1. H.G Wells has called Mrs. Hall’s guest ‘A Strange Man’ in the title of the first chapter. Justify.
H. G Wells is absolutely justified in calling Mrs. Hall’s guest a strange man. The things that made him strange included his appearance which was far from that of a normal person. His big blue spectacles with sidelights, head swathed in bandages and his thick black hair peeping from here and there made him peculiar. His shiny pink nose stood out as a prominent feature of his otherwise nondescript face. His body language too, was unusual for he spoke from behind a table napkin. He smoked a pipe with the lower part of his jaw securely wrapped with a silk muffler. All this definitely made him strange and abnormal. His insistence on not allowing Mrs. Hall to take away his wet coat and hat for drying also made his behavior questionable. In addition, his disinclination to get into any sort of conversation with his inn-keeper also lent an air of eccentricity to his personality. His curt and concise remarks to cut short Mrs. Hall’s narration of the story of her sister’s son’s accident sounded equally strange. Hence, H G Wells has appropriately termed Mrs. Hall’s guest as ‘a strange man’.
Q2. Why did Mrs. Hall consider the stranger’s arrival in the ‘Coach and Horses’ as her ‘good fortune’?
Iping was a very small village which hardly ever saw any visitors during the winters. It was a very lean period for business. Mrs. Hall, the inn keeper of the ‘Coach and Horses’, was therefore elated to have a guest at her inn. His arrival was a pleasant surprise. However, she quoted the peak season price for boarding and lodging because as a shrewd business woman she expected the man to haggle. Surprisingly, he agreed to her terms at once and placed a couple of sovereigns as advance. This was indeed Mrs. Hall’s good fortune. But, apart from being a shrewd business woman, she was also conscientious and efficient. She did not let any expression of delight surface and proceeded to promptly to give her guest a perfect service and a very comfortable stay in her inn. She was keen to deliver full worth of the money that the stranger was spending. This episode reveals the lady’s professionalism and her will to carry out the responsibility as a good hostess.
Q3. Describe the appearance of the stranger when he arrived at the inn.
Mrs. Hall was a very observant person. Hence, despite all her joy at getting a client for her inn during the winter season, none of the oddities of his appearance and behavior escaped her notice. When he appeared at the inn, Mrs. Hall found her guest all wrapped up from head to foot in his coat, hat, muffler and gloves. The brim of his soft hat hid his face considerably. Only his shiny, pink nose stood out conspicuously on his nondescript face. Later, when he removed his hat, she found his head bandaged all over. His thick black strands of hair showed themselves here and there lending him a very shabby and strange appearance. His big blue spectacles with sidelights completely concealed his eyes. Apart from his strange appearance, his behaviour was also eccentric. He refused to part with his wet clothes, talked to the lady from behind a table napkin, and displayed an utter reluctance to enter into any sort of conversation with her. Thus, she formed a very negative impression about the appearance and behaviour of the stranger.
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