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Footprints Without Feet | NCERT Solution | CBE Questions |Board Exam 2024

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Lesson Architecture

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  • Story-At-A-Glance

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  • The story has been taken from the novel of H. G.Wells’ ‘The Invisible Man’.

  • The story suggests how Science can be a bad master of human beings if handled by a wrong person.

  • The lesson is the story of Griffin, a Scientist who conducts various experiments to make the human body invisible.

  • In spite of being a brilliant scientist, he is not a law-compliant person. He uses his own impulse to execute any kind of work.

  • The story describes his adventures and lawless spree of activities aimed at resorting activities to gain advantage at the cost of violence and robbery.



  • The lesson opens with two boys following muddy footprints that seem to form without feet.

  • They are the footprints made by the invisible scientist and he starts roaming the streets of London invisibly to avoid getting caught.

  • Griffin, the Scientist, started carrying out a series of experiments to prove that it was possible to make the human body become invisible.

  • Eventually, he swallowed some rare drugs and his body became as transparent as a sheet of glass.

  • In spite of being a Brilliant, Griffin was rather a lawless person. His landlord did not like him and tried to drive him out of his house.

  • In revenge Griffin set fire to the house. In order to escape being caught, he had to take off his clothes.

  • Thus he became a homeless wanderer, without clothes, without money, and quite invisible — until he happened to step in some mud, and left footprints as he walked!

2. Griffin tries to survive by robbing a store:

  • He escaped easily enough from the boys who followed his footprints in London. . It was mid-winter.

  • The air was bitterly cold and he could not manage without clothes. Instead of walking about the streets in bitter cold he decided to slip into a big London store for warmth.

  • He enjoyed the food, wine and clothes. , but is he is traced and chased by the store assistants the next day.

  • In the end he was able to escape only by quickly taking off his newly found clothes. So once more he found himself invisible but naked in the chill January air.

3. Griffin arrives in Iping:

  • He stole some cash and items like bandages, a false nose an side-whiskers from a theatre supply shop and went to a village called Iping in order to avoid crowded London crowd.

  • He booked two rooms at the local inn. He made it clear to Mrs. Hall, the landlady that wanted himself to be left alone and did not wish to be disturbed.

  • He explained that his bandaged face was the outcome of an accident that he recently met with and which has left his face disfigured.

  • Mrs. Hall excused his strange ways and irritable behavior thinking that he was an eccentric scientist. Moreover, he paid her in advance, which pleased her.

  • However, the arrival of a stranger in winter with such a strange appearance made the villagers gossip about him.

4. Burglary at Clergyman’s House:

  • A case of burglary at the clergyman’s house further raised suspicion about the stranger coupled with the incidence of some eerie happenings to Mrs. Hall’s furniture.

  • Shortly after his arrival in Iping village, s a curious episode occurred. Very early in the morning a clergyman and his wife were awakened by noises in the study.

  • Creeping downstairs, they heard the chink of money being taken from the clergyman’s desk. The clergyman 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.

5. Mysterious Incidence at Mrs Hall’s Residence:

  • On finding the Scientist’s door wide open one morning, Mr. and Mrs Hall entered the room to investigate.

  • Griffin was nowhere around and his clothes and bandages were lying about the room. All of a sudden Mrs Hall heard a sniff close to her ear.

  • A moment later the hat on the bedpost leapt up and dashed itself into her face.

  • Then the bedroom chair became alive. Springing into the air it charged straight at her, legs foremost.

  • As she and her husband turned away in terror, the extraordinary chair pushed them both out of the room and then appeared to slam and lock the door after them.

  • Mrs Hall almost fell down the stairs in hysterics. She was convinced that the room was haunted by spirits, and that the stranger had somehow caused these to enter into her furniture.

  • The successive incidents in the neighbourhood confirmed suspicion of the villagers on Griffin. Suspicion grew even stronger when he suddenly produced some ready cash, though he had admitted not long before that he had no money.

6. Mr. Griffin’s Reaction at Mrs. Hall’s Enquiry:

  • On being asked by Mrs. Hall as to what Griffin had been doing to her chair upstairs and how Griffin came out of an empty room and how he entered a locked room, Griffin lost his temper.

  • He threw off bandages, whiskers, spectacles, and even nose.

  • It took him only a minute to do this. The horrified people in the bar found themselves staring at a headless man!

7. Arrival of Jaffers for Griffin’s Arrest:

  • Mr Jaffers, the constable, now arrived, and was quite surprised to find that he had to arrest a man without a head.

  • There followed a remarkable scene as the policeman tried to get hold of a man who was becoming more and more invisible as he threw off one garment after another.

  • Finally a shirt flew into the air, and the constable found himself struggling with someone he could not see at all.

8. Griffin Escapes :

  • In the end Jaffers was knocked unconscious as he made a last attempt to hold on to the unseen scientist.

  • Griffin had shaken himself free, and no one knew where to lay hands on him.

  • Some people tried to help him, but found themselves hit by blows that seemed to come from nowhere. Griffin had the last laugh.


  • Griffin was a brilliant scientist, but he was also a lawless person.

  • He struggled hard to become a scientist and went on to experiment till he found the way to become invisible.

  • He was so passionate about his invention that he even experimented on himself by swallowing certain rare drugs.

  • But on the flip side, he lacked the professional ethics and values that every scientist must have because he misused his power to gain things such as clothes, food and money in the most unethical manner.

  • Towards the end, he even escaped the law because he had become invisible.

  • Thus from this story we can learn that Science is both a blessing as well as a bane. It is up to us to decide which way we shall use it….

NCERT solution

Read And Find Out ( Page 26)

1. How did the invisible man first become visible?

Ans: The invisible man wore clothes from a big London store and became visible. After the store closed for the day, he broke pen boxes and wrappers and fitted himself out with warm clothes. With shoes, an overcoat and a wide-brimmed hat, he became a fully dressed and visible person.

2. Why was he wandering the streets?

Ans: The invisible man had no home of his own. After the landlady asked him to leave the house, he set fire to the house. In order to escape being seen, he had to remove his clothes which made him invisible. Thus he was wandering the streets without any clothes or a home.


1. Why does Mrs Hall find the scientist eccentric?

Mrs Hall, the landlord’s wife, made every effort to be friendly with Griffin. But he had no desire to talk, and told her that he had come to Iping to stay in solitude and therefore, he should not be disturbed. Thus Mrs. Hall found the scientist eccentric.

2. What curious episode occurs in the study?

Ans: Early one morning a clergyman and his wife were awakened by noises in the study. Creeping downstairs, they heard the chink of money being taken from the clergyman’s desk. Without making any noise and with a poker held firmly in his hand, the clergyman flung open the door. But to their surprise they could not see anybody in the room. But the housekeeping money was missing from the desk.

3. What other extraordinary things happened at the inn?

Ans: The landlord and his wife were up very early, and were surprised to see the scientist’s door wide open. The opportunity seemed too good to be missed as his doors are usually shut. They peeped round the door, saw nobody, and decided to investigate. The bedclothes were cold and the clothes and bandages that he always wore were lying about the room. All of a sudden Mrs Hall heard a sniff close to her ear. A moment later the hat on the bedpost leapt up and dashed itself into her face. Then the bedroom chair sprang into the air and hit her. As she and her husband turned away in terror, the extraordinary chair pushed them both out of the room and then appeared to slam and lock the door after them.

Think About It

1. ‘Griffin was rather a lawless person. Comment.

Ans: In spite of being a brilliant scientist, Griffin was lawless. He had hardly any sense of moral values. The following incidents stand testimony to his lawless nature.

1. He set fire to his landlord’s house because his landlord disliked him and had tried to evict him from the inn.

2. He stole clothes and food from the London store.

3. He then broke into a theatre company at Drury Lane to get some clothes for him.

4. At Iping he sneaked into the clergyman’s house and stole money from his study. He then paid his bills at the inn with this money.

5. He attacked Mr. and Mrs. Hall when they entered his room to investigate.

6. At the time of his arrest, he hit out at people and knocked the constable, Mr. Jafferes, unconscious.

2. How would you assess Griffin as a Scientist? ( HOTS Question)

Ans: Griffin was a hard-working scientist. He kept on experimenting till he discovered how to project himself invisible to others. Finally, he swallowed certain rare drugs and his body became as transparent as a sheet of glass — though it also remained as solid as glass. A true scientist works for the good of humanity. He wants to make man’s life easier, more comfortable and enjoyable. He does not misuse his discoveries for personal gains or selfish ends. But Griffin, though a brilliant scientist, misuses his discovery.

By his experiments, he has been able to make his body transparent and invisible. He uses this discovery to cause harms to others. The following are the instances of his harmful acts.

  • He enters stores and shops unseen.

  • He robs people of their money or things and escapes.

  • He sets fire to the house of his landlord who tried to eject him.

  • He steals food, sweets and wine.

  • Griffin brought a bad name to science by misusing his invention. He lacked the values of sensitivity and social behaviour.

Invisibility also posed a host of challenges for Griffin.

  • He could not wear clothes as they would cover his body and make him visible to others.

  • During cold weather day, it is very inconvenient to remain invisible.

  • Eating food is another hurdle for Griffin. If he ate food, people will be able to see the food being chewed, swallowed and digested.

Thus we can conclude with the judgment that Griffin although a brilliant Scientist, he was not altogether successful in rendering himself invisible. The pursuit of science without adequate precautions or without taking counter measures to ensure safety, becomes a failure and inflicts pain and suffering to humanity. We got evidence of this when Griffin had to face to certain inconveniences owing to being invisible. He therefore, became disappointed and resorted to committing a series of crimes. Thus Griffin’s brilliant discovery proved to be incompatible with the welfare of the society.

Extra Questions

1.What kind of experiments did Griffin conduct? What was the outcome of these experiments?

Ans : Griffin conducted many experiments and discovered a drug which if swallowed could make a person invisible.

Griffin made bad use of his invention for his personal gains. He resorted to a spree of anti-social and unethical activities and caused harm to the people of the society.

2. How did the invisible man react when a constable went to catch him?

Ans : The invisible man threw one shirt after another in order to be completely invisible. A shirt flew into the air and the constable found himself difficult to catch the invisible man. When some people tried to help him, they were hit by blows that appeared to come from nowhere.

3. Why did Griffin slip into a big London store? What did he do inside the shop?

Ans : Griffin was wandering on the streets of London in mid-winter. The air outside was chilling cold and he needed clothes to save himself from this unbearable weather. Griffin decided to enter a London store. Griffin broke open the boxes and wrappers and dressed himself in warm clothes. He ate cold meat and had coffee in the restaurant followed by sweets and wine from the grocery store.

4. Why were the landlord and his wife surprised to see the scientist’s door wide open?

Ans : The landlord and his wife woke up very early in the morning and were surprised to see the scientist’s door wide open. Usually it was shut and locked, and he was furious if anyone entered his room. Thus they became surprised on finding the door wide open.

5. Three extraordinary things happened in the room. What were they?

Ans : The following three things happened in the room

• Mrs Hall heard a sniff quite close to her ears.

• The hat on the bedpost leapt up and dashed into her face.

• The bedroom chair sprang into the air and pushed them out of the room.



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