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Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne is a novel that takes place in the late nineteenth century. The title summarizes the plot because one day Phileas Fogg is with some friends and he reads in a newspaper that it is possible to travel around the world in eighty days. But no one believes this to be true except Phileas. Then Phileas bets them that he could make the journey in eighty or under days, and then leaves along with his servant immediately. Throughout the journey Phileas and his servant Passepartout use every means of transportation possible such as steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, and even an elephant.
The protagonist in Around the World in Eighty Days is Phileas Fogg. Fogg’s most important character quality is his determination to succeed. After Fogg read the article in the paper about how it is possible to voyage the world in eighty days Fogg knew he could prove it. So after he made the bet that he could do it he was so determined the whole way that he could make the voyage. Along the way, he tried not to let anything get in the way even though the trip was delayed by slow railway systems, rescuing an Indian maharani from a burning funeral pyre and being constantly followed and spied on by a detective named Mr. Fix. One important decision Fogg makes is when he got to a train station they told him that he couldn’t go on the train for another month. He was terrified but he did not panic. He saw an elephant in town and paid an Indian a considerable amount of money to travel to the next train station. Passepartout said of the price “Good Heaven, two thousand for an elephant!'; (Page 41). Fogg’s intelligence during the voyage got considerably better as his traveling techniques got better. He knew that in order to make the trip on time he must not waste any time at all and gain time if at all possible for the unexpected occurrences.
The antagonist in Around the World in Eighty Days is Mr. Fix. Mr. Fix is a detective who constantly pursues Phileas Fogg and Passepartout because he believes that Fogg is a bank robber who is making the trip just to escape reality. So Mr. Fix tries to slow down Fogg and find out if he is the bank robber.
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After Fogg made the biggest bet of his life there was no turning back. Either he came back in less than eighty days or his fortune would be gone. Throughout Fogg and Passepartout’s great journey they had to use steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, and an elephant to make it under eighty days. Also, the journey was even harder because Mr. Fix slowed them down many times. Even rescuing his future wife Aouda didn’t slow him enough to not make the journey in less than eighty days. But during the journey Fogg spent $19,000 and only won $20,000 from the bet. So he wondered if his trip was worth it and after all he did find his true love.
One literary technique that was evident in Around the World in Eighty Days was irony. One example is when Phileas Fogg fires his servant because the water he brought him to shave in was four degrees of the wrong temperature (page 3). Another example of irony is how Fogg, who is a very exact and precise person who lives a same routine everyday, goes out and makes a bet to go around the world.
I thought the book was fairly good. I enjoyed it at times because of the adventure and settings varied from chapter to chapter. I really liked how Jules Verne was imaginative with some of the technology and how he described the trips. The book affected me into thinking that we are a real lucky society because of the advancement in technology in that we can travel the world in probably a day now. I learned no to take our automobiles and aircrafts for granted. As a result of this novel, I better understand the hardships people had to make in order to travel a meek 9 or 10 miles.