Read and Find Out
How did the invisible man first become visible?
The invisible man (Griffin) first became visible after he slipped into a big London store for keeping warm and overslept there while wearing some clothes taken from the store. The clothes made him visible to the shop assistants when the shop opened in the morning. To escape from them, he had to shed all his clothes to become invisible again.
Why was he wandering the streets?
Though he was a brilliant scientist, he was a lawless person. His landlord disliked him and wanted to evict Griffin. In revenge, he set fire to the house. To escape, he removed his clothes, becoming invisible. Thus he became homeless and was wandering the streets of London.
Why does Mrs Hall find the scientist eccentric?
Mrs Hall found the scientist eccentric
because of his strange appearance and also, when she tried to be friendly with him, he rebuffed her by saying that he hacLcome there for solitude and did not wish to be disturbed in his work.
What curious episode occurs in the study?
Very early one morning, a clergyman and his wife were awakened by noises coming from their study. Then they heard the sound of coins being taken from the desk there. However, when they entered the study, they did not find anybody there, which was curious.
What other extraordinary things happen at the inn?
At the inn, Mrs Hall and her husband went into the scientist’s room on finding its door open. However, he was not seen in the room, but Mrs Hall heard a sniff and the hat on the bedpost leapt up and dashed into her face. Then the bedroom chair sprang into the air and pushed them both out of the room. This made Mrs Hall think that her furniture was haunted.
Think About It
“Griffin was rather a lawless person.” Comment.
Griffin was not bothered if he had harmed anybody in the fulfilment of what he wanted. He set his landlord’s house on fire because the landlord tried to make him leave. Then his robberies at shops and later in the village indicate that he was a lawless person. When he encountered the landlady of the inn, he threw a chair at her and her husband. Lawless persons like Griffin never think about the safety and well-being of others. They are only concerned about themselves.
How would you assess Griffin as a scientist?
Griffin is a brilliant scientist, as he discovers how to make himself invisible. But he seems to enjoy the feeling of power which he gets out of his invisibility. The power to hurt anybody without getting noticed can give sadistic pleasure to some people. A true scientist should make discoveries for the larger benefit of society, not just for his own benefit.
Talk About It
Would you like to become invisible? What advantages and disadvantages do you foresee, if you did?
It can be an exciting idea for most people. Like two facets of a coin, invisibility can have many advantages and disadvantages. For a child, invisibility may mean a licence for all kinds of pranks without getting caught. Like a Hindi movie, invisibility can help you beat all the villains black and blue and get rid of them. Once you become invisible, nobody would notice you. Within no time, the sadness of isolation will take over the excitement of being invisible. You will have no friend. You will tend to behave like the eccentric scientist in this story.
Are there forces around us that are invisible, for example, magnetism? Are there aspects of matter that are ‘invisible1 or not visible to the naked eye? What would the world be like if you could see such forces or such aspects of matter? ‘
Magnetic forces and electrostatic forces are examples of invisible forces. The atoms and molecules in a matter are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye. Similarly, heat energy is invisible. Similarly, sound is invisible to us. While the idea of seeing invisible things can be very exciting, their visibility would create too many problems. For example, if we are able to see all the sound around us, that would be too irritating for us.
What makes glass or water transparent (what is the scientific explanation for this)? Do you think it would be scientifically possible for a man to become invisible, or transparent? (Keep in mind that writers of science fiction have often turned out to be prophetic in their imagination)
The fact that light can pass through glass or water makes them transparent. When light falls on an object, the reflected light from that object makes it visible to us. If some device can be made which can prevent reflection of light from the human body then the human body can be made invisible.
Class 10 English Chapter 5 Footprints without Feet Important Questions
Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1. Why were the two boys in London surprised and fascinated?
Answer: The two boys in London saw fresh muddy footprints appearing on the steps of a house but the barefooted man was not visible. So, they were surprised and fascinated.
Question 2. Why did Griffin decide to slip into a big London store? [CBSE 2011]
Answer: Griffin decided to slip into a big London store, because the season was mid-winter, due to which it became difficult to wander around without clothes in London.
Question 3. How was Griffin a lawless man?
Answer: Griffin was lawless because he had committed many anti-social deeds for which he never felt guilty. He set fire to his landlord’s house and ran away, he stole foodstuffs and clothes from a London store, stole other goods from a theatrical company and also stole money from a clergyman’s house to pay his bills.
Question 4. What did Griffin do in the shop of a theatrical company? [CBSE 2012]
Answer: The second time Griffin tried the stock of a theatrical company in the hope of finding not only clothes but also something like side whiskers, glasses, false nose, bandages, hat etc that would hide the empty space above his shoulders.
Question 5. How did Griffin find himself invisible but naked in the chill January air for the second time?
Answer: As he had overslept in the big London store, when the store opened in the morning the store assistants came in. Griffin panicked and ran, chased by the assistants. He had to take off his newly found clothes to become invisible and escape, so that he found himself invisible but naked in the chill January air for the second time.
Question 6. What did the Halls see in the scientist’s room? [CBSE 2013]
Answer: As the door of the room was open and nobody appeared to be inside, the Halls entered the scientist’s room. They saw that the bedclothes were cold, showing that the scientist must have been up for some time; and stranger still, the clothes and bandages that he always wore were lying about the room.
Question 7. How did the visible man become invisible? What did he do then? [CBSE 2014]
Answer: The invisible man got angry with Mrs Hall for asking an explanation for the mysterious happenings and threw off all he was wearing on his head so that he became a man without a head. Soon the constable Jaffers arrived to arrest him, but the invisible man threw off all his clothes to become invisible and, in the ensuing scuffle, knocked Jaffers unconscious and escaped.
Question 8. What happened to Jaffers when he tried to catch the invisible scientist?
Answer: When constable Jaffers tried to catch Griffin, he became invisible by removing his clothes. Jaffers found himself struggling with someone who couldn’t be seen. He was hit blows by Griffin and soon was knocked unconscious.
Question 9. What did the scientist do when he became furious? Why were the people in the bar horrified? What happened to the constable?
Answer: The scientist took off his bandages and spectacles and became headless. The people in the bar were shocked to see a headless man. Griffin hit the constable Jaffers hard and made him senseless.
Question 10. How do you assess Griffin as a scientist?
Answer: Griffin was a brilliant scientist. He invented some drugs and made himself as an invisible person. But he misused his scientific discovery and became a lawless person. Griffin was, thus not a true scientist.
Question 11. Why were they surprised when they opened the room?
Answer: Both the clergyman and his wife were surprised because the room was empty. They searched everywhere but couldn’t find anyone. Yet the desk had been opened and the housekeeping money was missing.
Question 13. What did the scientist do when Mrs Hall confronted him?
Answer: When Mrs Hall confronted the scientist he threatened her and threw off his bandages, whiskers, spectacles, and even the nose in a minute. The people were horrified to see the headless man.
Question 14. How did Griffin escape?
Answer: Griffin began throwing off his bandages, whiskers, spectacles and even the nose. Then he became even more invisible by throwing off all the garments one after another. There followed a male and none knew where he was.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1. Griffin was not a true scientist as he misused his scientific discovery. Illustrate this point by giving two incidents from the story.
Answer: A true scientist is a law-abiding person. A scientist is also called a ‘natural philosopher’. Griffin was not a true scientist as he did not use his discovery of how to make himself invisible for good uses. He lost control of himself and behaved like a criminal. First, he set fire to his landlord’s house and ran away. Then he stole food without paying for it in a London store. Besides, he robbed the owner of a theatrical company and stole money from a clergyman’s desk.
Question 2. Describe the landlord’s and his wife’s experience with the strange scientist. [CBSE 2016]
Answer: Both Mrs Hall and her husband were surprised to find the scientist’s room door open because normally it was always locked. So they peeped in, but found nobody there. The clothes and bandages that he always wore were lying about the room. Suddenly Mrs Hall heard a sniff close to her ear and the hat on the bedpost leapt up and dashed itself into her face. Then the bedroom chair sprang into the air and pushed them both out of the room and then appeared to slam and lock the door after them. Mrs Hall became hysterical and almost fell down the stairs. She thought that her furniture was haunted. They decided to confront the scientist next time when they met him.
Question 3. What impression do you form of Griffin after reading the lesson, “Footprint,without Feet”?
Answer: Griffin was a brilliant scientist, as he discovered a drug due to which his body became transparent as a sheet of glass after swallowing it. This made him invisible. But he was a lawless person. Because of his misdeeds, he became a homeless wanderer without clothes and money. He was an introvert with a desire for solitude. He was always seeking adventure, being fond of mysterious things. However, he was unscrupulous, as he robbed various people to finance his work, besides he got angry very quickly, which caused him to become a fugitive.
Question 4. If, somehow you discovered how to become invisible, how would you use that opportunity? [CBSE 2015]
Answer: If I discovered how to become invisible, I would use this opportunity to punish all those people who cause trouble to others for their own selfish motives. I would catch them and hand them over to the police without letting them know that I was behind them. I will also help the law-enforcing agencies when they conduct raids on criminal hideouts, as I will be able to move in the open without fear of being seen. This will help the people of the country to become more law-abiding citizens.
Question 5. ‘Brilliant scientist though he was, Griffin was a lawless person. Does this statement approve the apprehension that science in wrong hands is Devil’s Pandora Box?
Answer: Griffin was a brilliant scientist. He had discovered a rare drug that could make a human body invisible. This made Griffin an arrogant lawless person. He broke the law more them once but never for a good reason. He could dedicate his discovery to his country but he didn’t do that. His lawlessness made the law helpless. All his actions prove that science in devil’s hand is disastrous.
Question 6. “Scientific discoveries have made life easier but insecure.” Explain with reference to the story ‘Footprints without Feet’ written by H.G. Wells.
Answer: There is no doubt that scientific discoveries have made life easier. Take any sphere of human activity, electricity, telecommunications, electronics, computer, etc, these have totally changed man’s life. We can interact and walk on moon. Trip to Mars is next on our agenda. We can fly like birds. Supersonic planes fly at more than the speed of sound. Wonderful drugs can overcome deadly diseases.lSurgery can replace defective limbs.
Despite all these discoveries, human life is becoming insecure. Weapons of mass destruction are a constant danger. The fear of chemical, or biological warfare looms large. Diseases like AIDS and SARS can destroy human race.
Question 7. “A lawless scientist is a curse to the society.” Discuss.
Answer: It is true, that a lawless scientist is a curse to the society. A true scientist uses
his discoveries for the good of the society and welfare of the people. It helps the nations to progress. A lawless scientist increases the miseries and sufferings of society. In this story, we find how Griffin misuses his discovery.
He causes pain and suffering to others. He causes destruction. Suppose the nuclear weapons fall in the hands of a lawless scientist, he can cause widespread destruction. He may ruin the achievements of other scientists. That’s why the leaders of the world are worried about chemical weapons falling into the hands of lawless heads of governments or terrorists. If this happens, all the scientists of the world will be doomed.
Question 8. How did the invisible man first become visible?
Answer: Griffin was completely invisible until he happened to step in some mud, which caused him to leave footprints as he walked. Two boys noticed these footprints and followed him as long as the prints were visible. Griffin, after getting rid of them, went into a big London store to put on some warm clothes. After the store was shut, he got himself dressed in an overcoat and a wide-brimmed hat. He also put on a pair of shoes. This made him visible to the people who came to work at the store the next day.
Question 9. Why does Mrs Hall find the scientist eccentric?
Answer: The arrival of a stranger at an inn in winter was in itself a strange occurrence. In addition, the stranger had an uncommon appearance. In spite of Mrs Hall’s repeated attempts to be friendly, he would respond in a closed manner. He told her that he had no desire to talk and wanted to live in solitude. He did not wish to be disturbed in his work. For all these strange reasons, she regarded him as an eccentric scientist.
Question 10. What curious episode occurs in the study?
Answer: A clergyman and his wife were awakened by some strange noises in the study very early in the morning. Creeping downstairs, they heard the chink of money being taken from the clergyman’s desk. He and his wife looked under the desk and behind the curtains, and even up the chimney. There wasn’t a sign of anybody. Yet the desk had been opened and the housekeeping money was missing.