Focalization, Embedded Narrative, Readers’ Responses: Narrative Strategies in H. G. Wells’s The Invisible Man
Recognizing the peculiarity of the narrative of H. G. Wells’s The Invisible Man, this essay explores the novel’s narrative strategies and the effects they serve. Within Mieke Bal’s narratological framework, it shows that the story is split into two narratively distinct parts which, nonetheless, serve one and same function with respect to the protagonist. This function is moreover shown, firstly, to have a bearing on the question of how form and meaning are related, and, ultimately, to provide an explanation for the strikingly uniform responses of literary critics to the protagonist of The Invisible Man. Methodologically, the paper thus makes a case for the combination of structuralist and reader-response criticism, and illustrates how such an approach can proceed.