Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study


Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study


Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study

Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study

Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study

‘The Invisible Passenger’ is a short story by Lord Halifax. Crime for money is the main Theme of the story.

The story is about a Technician in the Railway Department of a small city in England. One day, a passenger set out to go somewhere by train. He was a businessman. With him, there was a lump of documents. He wished to examine them on the train and hence, being asked for, he was provided for a lonely compartment by the Rail Manager. He boarded the train and began to study the papers. After sometime an aged gentleman opening the door from outside got into the compartment. The first passenger felt a disturbance. The second passenger gazed at him and said that he was a technical officer of the Railway Department. He had been authorized to construct a new Rail Line and he was going there with the salaries of the labourers. There were about one hundred thousand pounds in the case. Then he asked the first passenger where he was going. He said about his destination. Then the second passenger said that where the first passenger was going to stay, the hostess of the household was his niece. He asked him to convey his greeting to them. The train was going in full swing. After running for some hours the train stopped at a station where the second passenger got down the train and began to walk on. After sometime suddenly the first passenger happened to find a cigar box. Being sure that it belonged to the First Passenger, he got off the train and began to search him. Looking around, he found that the first passenger was standing away under a light post talking with a man. The man with whom he was talking bore golden hair round his head and the top of his head was bald. The first passenger, being seen there, walked fast unto him. But suddenly he found that the man had left the place and become invisible. Already the train made its whistle and he ran into the train. At times the first passenger reached his destination. Going there he found that the house was full of some invitees. Then he conveyed his greeting to the hostess sent by her uncle (the first passenger). The hostess and her husband hesitated to hear the message. After sometime two of the invitees came near him and asked about the uncle (the second passenger) of the hostess of the household. From the two invitees, the first passenger came to know that the technician of the Railway Department whom he met on the train had been missing after taking off about one hundred thousand pounds. They also requested him to give an interview if needed to find out the clue about the missing officer. Subsequently, the first passenger was summoned to the department. Then he gave a detailed account of what he knew about the man whom he met in his compartment. Then all of a sudden his eyes fell on the cashier and pointed out that he saw the cashier that day with the technician under the light post. The Cashier denied it. But he observed him well and became sure that he was the very man with whom the technical officer had been talking under the light post. The doubt of the railway department rested on the cashier. After investigation, it came out that the cashier murdered him and had taken off the entire money.

There are three principal characters in the story ‘The Invisible Passenger’as- the First passenger, the Second Passenger and the Cashier. The first passenger is a businessman. He is simple and candid. It is for him the mystery of the missing of Technical Officer came to light. The Second Passenger is in charge of constructing a new Railway Line. He is free-frank to all and had the ability to make intimacy with people easily. He became the victim of the greed of the Cashier for his frankness. The Cashier is the anti-hero (villain) in the story. He murdered the First Passenger for money only.

In narrating the story the author has employed the Objective Method with skill. In this method, an author keeps himself away from his story and delineates his story objectively.

The story, in Structure, is a perfect one. It bears visibly all the stages of a good short story. The opening is direct. In the opening, the storyteller introduces the main characters. The climax of the story seems to occur when the first passenger saw the second passenger to have vanished suddenly with the bald man under the light post.  

The Setting of the story ‘The Invisible Passenger’ is consistent with the events and situation.

The Dialogue employed in the story is very logical as he uses them sparingly but all the dialogues have taken his story ahead and unfolded the inner nature and motives of his characters.

The Philosophy of Life is also found in the story ‘The Invisible Passenger’. The author has not expressed it directly but leaves it to be drawn out by his readers after reading it that greed for money leads one to commit a crime.

The Language of the story is very simple as it is characterized by the use of concrete and formal (not unfamiliar) words and phrases and it is free from poetic imagery and much emotional expression.

All the Qualities of a good short story as —unity of purpose, brevity, spontaneity and universality are present in this short story. The brevity which is taken of as the soul of a short story is also maintained throughout the story as all the component elements of a good short story are employed in the story with possible economy without causing any harm to the perfectness of the story. Thus the universality is gained by means of the reliable representation of the theme and event. The story begins and ends with a spontaneous logical order and the author seems not to use any force in bringing about the end of his story through proper stages.

 It is a short story of ideal Length as it is neither so short nor so long.

As the entire component elements along with required qualities of a good short story are present in it, in a logical order, so it may be called that it is a short story of the first grade.

Note: The original English text of the short story ‘The Invisible Passenger‘, being unavailable, this analytical study has been written basing on the Assamese translation of the story done by Zatin Barman. I am sorry for the digression, if there is any, as in the spelling of the author’s name, in using textual phrases and in entitling the story from Assamese Translation.0 0 0

Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study

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N. B. This article entitled ‘Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘World Short Story Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus. Lord Halifax | The Invisible Passenger | An Analytical Study

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period
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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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