Around the World in 80 Days is a story that has captivated readers for over a century with its daring escapades and the thrill of a seemingly impossible challenge. Want a short summary of the book’s epic plot? Here it is!
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Short Summary of Around the World in 80 Days
Around the World in 80 Days begins with Phileas Fogg, a wealthy and enigmatic Englishman, who wagers half his fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days – a feat that seems more than ambitious in the 1870s. Accompanied by his newly employed French valet Passepartout, Fogg sets out from London on this race against time.
Their journey is far from straightforward. They travel by steamship, railway, elephant, and even sailboat, overcoming various obstacles, including rescues, cultural experiences, and even an arrest. Fogg maintains his characteristic composure throughout, making precise calculations and using his wealth to overcome setbacks, such as purchasing an elephant or bribing ship captains to go faster.
The duo ventures through exotic locales like Egypt, India, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States. In India, they rescue Aouda, a young widow about to undergo a sati ritual, who then accompanies them on their journey.
As they progress, the trio faces increasing challenges. Fogg is mistakenly pursued by Detective Fix, who believes Fogg to be a bank robber. It’s only upon reaching England that Fix realizes his error and releases Fogg, who believes he has missed his deadline. However, due to a calculation error arising from traveling eastward and gaining a day, Fogg actually arrives on time and wins the wager. He gains more than just money, though; he finds love with Aouda and a renewed spirit for life.
- The Rigidity and Flexibility of Time: The novel examines time as a rigid structure that dictates the rhythm of society, yet also as a flexible concept, highlighted by the surprise ending due to a time zone error.
- Cultural Differences and Imperialism: Through Fogg’s eyes, the novel presents various cultures, critically assessing the imperialist views of the time and showcasing the protagonists’ encounters with diverse traditions.
- Technology and Progress: The story celebrates the 19th-century technological innovations that made Fogg’s journey possible, representing the period’s belief in relentless progress and the shrinking of the world through travel.
- Verne’s inspiration for the novel came from the technological progress of his era, particularly the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal.
- The book had a tangible impact on society, changing perceptions of travel and inspiring real attempts to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days.
- The novel is part of Verne’s “Extraordinary Voyages” series, which explores the theme of adventure using the science and technology of the 19th century.
- Unlike many of Verne’s other protagonists, who are engineers or scientists, Phileas Fogg is depicted as a wealthy English gentleman, highlighting Verne’s exploration of character diversity within the framework of adventure and discovery.
✅ Worth checking out!
- Verne, Jules (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 252 Pages - 01/16/2019 (Publication Date) - SeaWolf Press (Publisher)