Footprints Without Feet


The Footprints without Feet chapter narrates the story of a brilliant scientist, Griffin, who discovered a wonderful potion that could make a naked man invisible. He decided to take revenge from his landlord who didn’t like him. One day he set his landlord’s house on fire and drank the liquor that he had discovered. With this liquor, he became invisible. He could see everyone but none was able to see him. This story is about how instead of using that rare drug for benefit of people, Griffin misused it for his selfish purpose and troubled other people.

Summary of Footprints Without Feet

Footprints Without Feet is an excerpt from the famous novel “An Invisible man” written by H.G. Wells. The novel deals with the adventures of a scientist “Griffin” who discovers a way by which a human body can become invisible. He faces many hardships but overcomes each one of them in one way or the other. The chapter commences when two boys become surprised and fascinated on seeing muddy imprints of a pair of bare feet on the steps of a house in London. These imprints are of a brilliant scientist, Griffin, who discovers the method of making a human body invisible. He carries out many experiments and finally swallows certain rare kinds of drugs to become transparent. He is presented in the novel and our chapter as a lawless person. His landlord, being dissatisfied with him tries to expel him but he in return sets fire to his house and escapes by becoming invisible. He chooses to be a homeless rogue in mid-winter when it becomes unbearable for him to wander without clothes. He enters a big London store and uses various garments to wear, and feeds himself with food and wine. Then he sleeps comfortably on a pile of quilts. Next morning, when he does not wake up in time, the assistants of the store chase him and he escapes by removing the garments. Thus, he again becomes invisible.

Next, he enters a theatrical company and uses its stock to cover himself. Moreover, he knocks down a shopkeeper and robs him off his money. He then goes away from London to the countryside village of Iping, where he books two rooms in a local inn. His arrival surprises everyone because of his strange get up and appearance and awkward time of arrival. His landlady tries to be friendly with him, but he avoids her and tells her that his motive of coming to Iping is seclusion. So, his landlady excuses his irritable nature considering him an eccentric person and mainly due to his advance payment. Soon, Griffin’s stolen money finishes and he puts off his landlady for the payment of rent by pretending to expect a cheque. Shortly afterwards. a clergyman and his wife get awakened by some noises in the study. They creep downstairs and find the clergyman’s desk open and housekeeping money missing. Later, in the morning, Mrs And Mr Hall find the scientist’s door wide open and decide to investigate his belongings.

Suddenly, Mrs Hall hears a sniff close to her ear. Then Griffin’s hat leaps up and dashes itself in her face. A little later, the bedroom chair becomes alive and pushes the landlord and the landlady out of the room and slams the door behind them. Mrs Hall becomes very much emotional because of her mother’s furniture rising up against her. She blames Griffin for creating some evil spirits to enter her mother’s furniture. The neighbours believe the abnormal behaviour of the

furniture because of witchcraft but the news of theft at the clergyman’s house and Griffin’s presentation of ready cash create suspicion on him.

Finally, the village constable is called but Mrs Hall starts asking the scientist about the abnormal behaviour of her furniture. The scientist becomes very furious at these queries and removes his disguising costumes. In a moment, the people at the place find themselves staring at a headless man. Now the constable tries very hard to catch the person who goes on becoming more and more invisible. Finally, he is knocked down and Griffin shakes himself free by becoming invisible once again.

Footprints without feet

Main Highlights and Attractions of The Chapter

Footprints Without Feet is a story of a scientist who discovers how to make himself invisible. He discovers a special potion which could make a man invisible. But this brilliant scientist misuses his wonderful discovery. He uses it for selfish purpose and harms others.

The two boys saw the fresh muddy imprints of a pair of bare feet but they could not see the man who was leaving the footmarks.

The boys had been actually following a scientist who had discovered a wonderful potion that could make a man invisible.

The name of the scientist was Griffin who had carried out experiment after experiment to prove that the human body could become invisible. Finally, he was successful to discover the desired drug for the purpose.

He swallowed the special drug and became completely invisible.

Footprints Without Feet

This brilliant scientist became a selfish and lawless person. He misused his wonderful discovery.

His landlord disliked him and tried to throw him out of his house. Griffin set fire to his house in revenge and escaped using his ability of invisibility.

The scientist now became a homeless wanderer. He wandered invisibly without clothes and money until he happened to step in some mud and left footmarks which the two boys saw and were bewildered at. The two boys were not able to capture the scientist.
As the scientist wandered about London in cold winter, he could not bear the severe cold. He decided to step into a big store so that he could warm himself.

When the shutters of the store were shut, Griffin put on sufficient clothes and fed enough without any worry of expense. Lastly, he slept on a pile of comfortable quilts.
The next morning when the assistants arrived they saw him and they tried to capture him he escaped by undressing all of his clothes that he had newly put on. So, once again he was invisible naked in the chilly air.

Now, as he was badly shivering with cold, he hurried to Drury Lane which was the centre of the theatre world and instantly he found a suitable shop. He entered the shop. Inside there he used the stuff that was available there. He wore bandages around his forehead, dark glasses, false nose, elongated iskers, and a big hate. Finally, in order to escape he timidly attacked the shopkeepers from the backside and after that, he robbed off all the money from him.

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Now he wanted to escape from the crowded London. For that purpose, he took a train which took him to the village of Iping where he booked two rooms at the local inn.

At the inn, all the people were surprised to see a stranger of such uncommon appearance. They were also puzzled because it was winter and usually nobody visited the inn in winter. Mrs Hall tried to talk with him but Griffin had no desire to talk and told her that he did not want to be disturbed.

In the morning a curious episode took place. The clergyman and his wife were awakened by a noise in the study. When they went inside the room they found the room empty but the housekeeping money that they had kept in the desk was missing.

They were completely astonished.

After some time that morning, Mrs Hall saw the scientists door, which usually remained locked, wide open. She curiously went inside the room and saw nobody there. The scientist’s clothes and bandages were lying about the room.

Suddenly, Mrs Hall felt a sniff close to her ear. After a while, the hat on the bedpost flew up and dashed itself at her face. The bedroom chair became also alive as it sprang into the air and attacked her. She and her husband were terrified. The unusual chair pushed them out of the room and locked the door after them.

Mrs Hall was fainted and thought the room was haunted by spirits and the stranger had caused all this.

When the news of the robbery at clergyman’s home spread, the scientist was largely suspected for it.

Finally, the constable of the area was informed. His name was Mr Jaffers. He tried to get hold of Griffin but he received blows from the scientist which seemed to come from nowhere. Thus, the scientist again used the power of invisibility as he knocked down the constable and saved himself from him by putting off his clothes.

‘Footprints Without Feet’ is the first chapter of clas10th. It is a science fiction. Let’s therefore, see the definition of science fiction :


Important elements of science fiction

The story. which contains at least three of the below-mentioned elements is considered to be a science

1. Setting – Time and Place

*Remote Past


*Time Travel

*Outer Space

*Inside The Earth

2. Characters

*Aliens or extraterrestrial beings



*Homan Robots


*Futuristic Beings

3. Plot

*Use of science and technology

* Contain unrealistic parts of science

*partially true partially untrue

*Use of ray guns, teleportation machines, and other extraordinary gadgets

*Catastrophes usually mundane

4. Examples

*The Invisible Man by H. G.Wells

*Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

*The City of Ember a series by Jeanne Dupree

*Mrs. Friday and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. Of Brien

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Questions of Footprints Without Feet

1. How would you assess Griffin as a scientist?

Ans. Griffin was a brilliant scientist because after several experiments he was able to discover a wonderful drug that could make a human body invisible. But he misused the discover. Instead of using his marvellous drug for the betterment of the society, he used it for personal gains and advantage, and for hurting others. Thus, though he was a brilliant scientist he was not a true scientist in the real sense of the word. He was ignoble.


Ans. As a scientist, Griffin seems to be appreciable. He is a brilliant scientist who is very determined about his experimental skill. He strives very much to make his experiment, of making a human body invisible, a success. Ultimately, when he is not able to get his desired results from his experiments, he ingests several unusual and rare drugs and makes his efforts a success by becoming invisible.

2. The two boys in London were surprised and fascinated. Why?

Ans. The two boys were surprised and fascinated because they witnessed fresh muddy footprints of someone who could not be seen. They wondered who was leaving the footprints and what was the man doing in the middle of the London.


Ans. The two boys got surprised on observing the fresh muddy imprints of a pair of bare feet on the steps of a house in the middle of London. They were fascinated when they saw some new footmarks appearing one after the other without the feet being visible at all.

3. What did he do inside the shop?

Ans. Inside the shop, he gave himself the pleasure of clothing and feeding without any regard to expense. He had been naked and hungry. Now, he put on shoes, an overcoat, and a wide-brimmed hat. Then he ate meat and had some sweats and wine. Finally, he sat down on a pile of quilts for warmth.


Ans. Griffin slipped into a big London store and as soon as the shop was closed, he put on warm clothes, shoes, an overcoat and a wide-brimmed hat. Then he ate cold meat with coffee followed by sweets and wine. Finally, he settled down to sleep on a pile of quilts.


4. How did Griffin escape from the London Store?

Ans. When the assistants arrive the next morning, they saw Griffin there. On seeing them Griffin began to run out of the store. The attendants naturally chased him. Finally, he was able to escape only by throwing his clothes away as he became invisible once again.


Ans. In London store, Griffin took rest on a pile of quilts after feeding himself at night. He was fast asleep and was not able to wake up before the store was opened by the assistants in the morning.

On seeing them, the scientist got into a panic and began to run. The assistants gave him a chase. He quickly took off his clothes and escaped out of the store invisibly.

5. Griffin entered the shop of a theatrical company. What did he do there?

Ans. Griffin entered the shop of a theatrical company by making his way, invisible, upstairs. Inside there, he dressed up himself fully. He put on bandages around his forehead, dark glasses, false nose and a large hat. Subsequently, he cowardly attached the shopkeeper from behind and looted all the money from him.


Ans. After escaping from the London store, Griffin entered the shop of a theatrical company. He wore bandages around his forehead, put on dark glasses, false nose, big bushy side-whiskers and a large hat. Then he attacked the shopkeeper from behind and robbed him of all the money he had.

6. Why was the arrival of a stranger in the village in an unusual event? Give two reasons.

Ans. The arrival of a stranger was, in any case, an unusual event because of the following two reasons:

1. It was mid-winter and no one usually visited the inn in that season to stay there.

2. The stranger had an uncommon appearance due to the costumes that he had put on. Such an appearance made all the people there, gossip about him.


Ans. The arrival of this stranger in village inn was an unusual event because it was mid-winter and the atmosphere was very chilly and deserted. Moreover, Griffin had disguised himself in a strange way. So, his strange appearance and arrival surprised everyone.

7. How did the scientist look when he came to the inn?

Ans. When he came to the inn, the scientist looked queer and unnatural because of his uncommon appearance. His appearance was uncommon due to the costumes that he had put on for preventing himself from being invisible.


Ans. The scientist looked very strange when he came to the inn. He had his forehead covered with bandages, big bushy side-whiskers, dark glasses and talked to everyone in an irritable manner. He preferred solitude and thus appeared to be an eccentric person to everyone at the inn.

8. The landlord’s wife was convinced that Griffin was an eccentric scientist. What made her think of Griffin in these terms?

Ans. The landlord’s wife was convinced that Griffin was an eccentric scientist because of the reason that his arrival in the inn in winter was itself a strange occurrence. Besides this, his uncommon appearance also made him suspicious. Above all, in spite of Mrs Hall’s to be friendly with him, he responded in a cold manner. He uttered that he had no desire to talk with her and he didn’t wish to be disturbed in his work.


Ans. Griffin had an uncommon and a very strange appearance. Mrs Hall tried to be friendly with him but he avoided her and asked her not to disturb him. Besides this, his strange habits and irritable temper made her believe that he was an eccentric scientist.

9. What was the curious episode that took place in the clergyman’s desk?

Ans. The clergyman and his wife were awakened by the noises in the study very early in the morning. While creeping downstairs, they heard the chink of money being taken from the clergyman’s desk. They opened the room to find the robber but to their surprise, nobody was seen. They searched under the desk and behind the curtains, and even for the chimney. There was not a sign of anyone yet the house-keeping money was missing.


Ans. Very early in the morning, the clergyman and his wife heard some noises which revealed that someone was stealing money from the clergyman’s desk in the study. On entering the room, they were surprised to see it empty and the money was missing from the desk.

10. The landlord and his wife were surprised to see the scientist’s door wide open. Why were they surprised? What three extraordinary things happened in the room?

Ans. The landlord and his wife were surprised to see the scientist’s door wide open because the scientist usually kept his door shut and locked and he would get furious if somebody opened his door.

The three extraordinary things that happened in the room were:

1. The hat on the bed Post leap up and dashed at her face

2. The bedroom chair rose up in the air and pushed Mrs Hall and her husband out of the room.

3. The scientist mysteriously appeared from his empty bedroom.


Ans. The landlord and his wife were surprised to see the scientist’s door wide open because it was shut and locked all the time and the scientist used to get furious if anyone entered his room, as he preferred solitude. On finding the door open, Mr and Mrs Hall entered the room and started to investigate it. All of a sudden, Mrs Hall heard a sniff close to her ear. After a while, Griffin’s hat jumped on its own and hit her in the face. Then the bedroom chair moved, jumped and pushed them out of the room.

11. Mrs Hall fell down the stairs in hysterics. Pick out an example of humour from what follows this incident.

Ans. Mrs Hall almost fell down the stairs in hysterics. The best example of humour from what follows this incident is when the bedroom chair rose up and pushed her and her husband out of the room. Mrs Hall uttered that her mother used to sit on that chair and to think now the same chair rose against her.


Ans. Mrs Hall was terrified by the strange incident. She believed that Griffin had made her mother’s spirit enter the chair which attacked her and she felt quite disturbed on thinking that her mother’s spirit rose up against her. This is a humorous incident.

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12. The scientist was furious. What did he do in anger? Why were the people in the bar horrified?

Ans. The scientist was furious. In anger, he threw off bandages, whiskers, spectacles and all other worn costumes over the shoulders. with the result, he became a headless man. The people in the bar were horrified because they found themselves staring at a headless man.


Ans. Mrs Hall questioned Griffin and enquired about the incident that had happened in his room. He became furious. He shouted at her and told her that he would show her his real identity. Within just a minute, he threw off his bandages, whiskers, spectacles and false nose, due to which his head disappeared. All the people present in the bar were greatly horrified to see a headless man in front of them.

13. What happened to the constable?

Ans. The constable tried to arrest the scientist. He threw off his clothes one by one in order to become invisible. After some time he could not be seen at all. Then the constable was trying to get hold of the unseen scientist but he was getting back blows which seemed to come from nowhere. In the end, the constable was knocked down unconscious by the scientist.


Ans. The constable was called to capture Griffin. The scientist was putting off his clothes one by one and ultimately became totally invisible. The brave constable still tried to get hold of the invisible scientist, but he was hit by him and he fell unconscious.

14. The scientist was a man of irritable temper. Give an example to prove this.

Ans. It is clear from the lesson that the scientist was a man of irritable temper. Here are some examples:

When Mrs tried to be friendly with him, he neglected her and said that he had no desire to talk.

When Mrs Hall wanted to know from him how he entered the locked room, the scientist lost his temper and became violent and warned her.


Ans. The scientist was a man of irritable temper. It has been clearly shown in many incidents. One such incident is when Mrs Hall Interrogates him about the abnormal behaviour of her furniture; he loses his temper and discloses his identity. Moreover, he dislikes friendly atmosphere and prefers loneliness which depicts that he was unsociable and a man irritable temper.

Extra Questions of Footprints Without Feet

Q. Do you think Griffin misused his discovery? How?

Ans. Griffin is sketched in our perception as a brilliant scientist for he discovered the formula of becoming invisible, but he was a lawless person as well. He misused his discovery in many ways.

Firstly, he slipped into the London store and gave himself the pleasure of clothing and feeding illegally.

Secondly, he went to the shop bearing the stock of a theatrical company and disguised himself with its stock. He also attacked the shopkeeper mercilessly and robbed him of his money. He stole money from clergyman’s house and finally, he had an encounter with the constable, and finally, he escaped invisibly to further clarify his lawless nature.

Q. What is the moral of the story footprints without feet?
Ans. The story Footsteps Without Feet narrates a story of Griffin, a genius scientist, who discovered a wonderful drug which could turn a naked man invisible. The scientist became a lawless person by misusing the rare drug as he used it for selfish purpose. The lesson gives a message that the abuse of science and its wonderful discoveries will turn even a brilliant scientist like Griffin into a monster and a dangerous lawless person.

Q. What was the mystery behind the footprints?
Ans. The two curious boys followed fresh muddy imprints that appeared on the ground but they could not see the person who left the footprints which made it a mystery for them. The explanation of the mystery was that the two boys were actually following an invisible scientist who had recently discovered a wonderful drug having the ability to make a naked a human body transparent and, thus, invisible by swallowing that rare drug.

Q. Why were the landlord and his wife surprised that morning?
Ans. The estate owner and his wife got up early that morning. They were shocked to see the door of the scientist’s room wide open because it normally remained closed and locked. He was not allowing anyone to enter his house. … The room was full of clothing and bandages that he always wore.


Question: Write a short paragraph on the things you would like to do if you become invisible.

Answer: If I become invisible, my foremost attempt will be to help the poor, orphan and needy. Those who are dying of hunger, I will get them to feed. I would like to help those who suffer a lot in any respect. I would like to take care of orphans that they should not miss the basic amenities and requirements of life. I would like to rob those who rob the poor. I would like to use the ability to eliminate the anti-social elements of society. Those who are involved in robbery, rape, violence and corruption will be at my watch and I would not spare any one of them but will drag them to court for punishment. I believe we shall live but not at the cost of others rights but instead help others who are in pain of any sort. Helping others gives the real peace, joy and satisfaction, Thus, if I own the ability to become invisible I will use it for the betterment and improvement of society.

Word Bank: These words are in addition to the words given in the glossary of the textbook.

Brilliant………. genius

Imprints… ..Marks or impressions

Descending….. Coming down

Eject…………….Throw out

Invisible……….. Unseen

Bewildered….. Confused or surprised

Fascinated……Very interested

Wanderer…….. travelling without purpose

Revenge ….. Sth to do in order to make sb suffer because he has made you suffer

Burglary…….The crime of entering a building illegally

Panicked…… Anxious or feeling fear

Inn……A pub, restaurant or hotel where people stay usually in nights

Moaned…….Screamed, shrieked, yelled


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