Footprints Without Feet: Summary and Analysis

Footprints Without Feet is a thought-provoking story about a scientist named Griffin misusing his discovery. The story is about a unique formula of invisibility that the scientist develops. With this, he becomes invisible. He starts to misuse his powers, indulges in theft.

Footprints Without Feet Summary

The story Footprints Without Feet, written by Herbert George Wells, is an interesting story about a brilliant scientist, Griffin. He developed a drug that can make people invisible. He successfully conducted the experiment and developed a formula that carried the power of invisibility. When one consumed the drug, they would become transparent and would not be visible to the naked eye.

Griffin conducted the experiment on himself. As he had the drug, his body became transparent like a sheet of glass. He stepped in mud and left the muddy imprints of his feet all over the place. This was first noticed by two young boys who followed the footprints as they fainted and disappeared. Griffin was an impeccable scientist but a lawless man. He was disliked by his landlord, who had asked him to empty the house. In anger, Griffin set the house on firm and roamed around the streets with no food, money, or clothes.

Given that he was invisible, no one could see him walking down the street. He started to feel cold and entered a shopping center to warm himself. After the stores were closed, he got something comfortable to wear and fed himself with some coffee and cold meat. He slept in the store. The next morning, associates were approaching him, but he discarded all the clothes and became invisible again.

Also Read:  The Gift of India: Analysis

Griffin was wandering around with no clothes in the chilly weather. He decided to take some apparel from the theatre company. He found a shop, wore bandages around his forehead, put on a false nose, big glasses, whiskers, and a hat. Living in a populous city like London could be risky in such circumstances, so he thought of moving to a village, Iping. 

In the village’s local inn, Griffin booked two rooms and reached there via a train. The villages found it strange that an outsider with such a strange appearance came to stay there during winter. The landlord’s wife, Mrs. Hall, tried to be nice to him, but Griffin did not want to talk to her. He did not have enough money and had to resort to stealing to sustain himself. Given his strange appearance, the inn’s owner and his wife went to check his room in his absence.

In anger, Griffin damaged the inn’s furniture and threw it across the room. The owner and his wife were scared that there were spirits around, and Griffin was responsible for the chaos. Mrs. Hall requested Mr. Jaffers, the town constable, to ask around about Griffin’s identity and arrest him for damaging her furniture. This annoyed Griffin, and he revealed his identity. He started to remove the bandages, whiskers, spectacles, and nose. Everyone was surprised to see that there was no one behind the bandages. They could not catch Griffin as he became invisible and disappeared in thin air.

Footprints Without Feet Analysis

This is an interesting story about a man who successfully developed a formula that can make people invisible. The scientist, Griffin, becomes invisible. He stepped in mud and was initially noticed by two boys who followed his footprints till they disappeared. He walks on the roads and enters the shopping centers to feel warm. After the stores shut down, he gets some clothes to wear and food to eat.

Also Read:  You Are Old Father William Analysis by Lewis Carroll

The next morning, there was a possibility of him getting caught. He had to remove his clothes and leave the shopping center. Griffin had to walk around without clothes in the chilly weather. He decided to steal clothes from a theatre company. He stole glasses, nose, hat, and some bandages. He stole all the shopkeeper’s money. He realized that he could not live in London like this and moved to a village.

He booked rooms in the hotel and reached there. The villagers found his appearance and him coming at such a time unusual. Griffin exhausted his money and started stealing. The owner of the inn and his wife came to check his room in his absence. They could not see anyone and thought there were spirits in the inn because of their unusual guest. They request the constable to inquire about his identity. This annoyed Griffin, and he shows his identity as a headless man. They could not catch him because he becomes invisible.

Footprints Without Feet Theme

The story is about a rather brilliant scientist, Griffin, who degenerated into a lawless person. He has the power to make humans invisible. He misuses the greatest discovery. Instead of using the powers of invisibility for humanity and society’s welfare, he misuses it to threaten, trouble, rob and beat innocent people. He made illegal entries in shops and stole from there. He robbed the clergyman’s house in Iping. 

The lesson is that the misuse of science and technology can make even the most brilliant scientists like Griffin, who managed to make great discoveries of all time, a monster and a threat to humankind. It highlights the human tendency to misuse creativity, which was meant for the common good, and creating a menace by its misappropriation.

Also Read:  Figures of Speech in The Gift of India OR Poetic Devices in The Gift of India

Footprints Without Feet Analysis Key Points

This story by H.G.Wells is about a scientist named Griffin and his unique formula of invisibility. He made a drug that could make one invisible. He misuses his powers to steal. With such capabilities, it becomes difficult for him to stay in London, so he moves to a small village. The villagers are skeptical about the strange-looking man, and some incidents take place in the inn he lives in. Griffin does not have any more money and has to steal again. He hits the owner of the inn when they suspect something is wrong. In the end, he has to reveal his identity. However, no one can catch him because he becomes invisible.