Sunday, November 27, 2016
Around The World In 80 Days
In the 37 chapter book Around The World In 80 Days, rich and supposed thief Phileas Fogg and his servant, Jean Passepartout, embark on a journey around the world, due to a wager Phileas Fogg and his acquaintances agreed on. With 20,000 pounds (England's form of money) at stake, Fogg and freshly hired Passepartout leave London erratically, embarking on a journey to travel round the world in approximately 80 days, leaving October 2, 1872 and due back to London December 21st. But Fogg has a detective at his heels. A bank in London robbed by a said described gentleman a few days before Fogg leaves for his journey, Detective Fix has his suspicions of Fogg as the thief, and therefore follows Fogg and Passepartout on their journey, trying and failing many times to arrest Fogg. Along the way, Fogg and Passepartout encountered many roadblocks that withheld them from completing their journey in 80 days, and I believe these are the most important problems that Fogg and Passepartout stumbled onto, affecting the story the greatest.
During the trip, Fogg and Passepartout are startled to hear that the railroad they were expected to take in India, newspapers stating it was finally finished, seems to be anything but, and Fogg and Passepartout, joined by a Sir Francis Cromarty, a cards player that accompanied on the train, are stuck in Bombay. Due to quick thinking, Passepartout thinks of buying an elephant to cross the land between Bombay and Calcutta, their original stop. Fogg's wealth pays off as he buys the elephant from the original owner, and paying a Parsee to lead them to Calcutta. On their way, Fogg, Passepartout, and Sir Francis witness a Suttee, an Indian ritual of when the wife of a deceased husband is to be sacrificed, a sign of loyalty to her husband. Only, the trio notice that the widow isn't voluntarily sacrificing herself. Fogg proposed to save the woman, and that they did, Passepartout posing at the woman's dead husband in a quick thinking plan. The Indians bowed down to Passepartout, thinking it was the husband's spirit and acknowledging his presence, and Passepartout scooped up the woman and ran. This is a very important roadblock, because they attain the woman, named Aouda, as a travel partner. And, at the end of the story, her and Fogg get engaged, proving more to the journey than money.
Successfully traveling across Asia and now in America, the party (Fogg, Passepartout, Fix, and Aouda) board a train to New York from San Fransisco. During the ride, the train is attacked by Sioux Indians, many injured and some taken prisoner by the savages, as Passepartout described them. In a heroic attempt to save the passengers, Passepartout detaches the train's engine car from the rest of the train, leaving the train and its passengers moving slowly to Fort Kearney station, where the soldiers stationed at the fort fought off the rest of the Indians that weren't following the train engine. Because of this, Passepartout is captured by the Sioux. Aouda is devestated, Fix a bit shaken, but Fogg calm and content as he usually is. Fogg gathers a band of soldiers that assist him if rescuing Passepartout, as well as the three other passengers taken prisoner. This has importance because it develops the friendship between Passepartout and Fogg, and also displays Fogg's bravery, that infatuates Aouda.
The third and final roadblock I viewed as important was when the party (Fogg, Passepartout, Fix, and Aouda) finally return to England, where Fix fulfills his duty and arrests Fogg for robbery. Fog waits on a bench in a jail cell, where he watches the time, oddly realizing his watch was two hours fast. At 2:33, Fix released him from his cell, exclaiming that London had arrested the robber three days prior to Fogg's arrival. Fogg, not showing anger but evident in his actions, pushes Fix to the ground and leaves the Custom House. Fogg calculated the time in his head, and realized he would be five minutes late of his deadline. Weary, Fogg, Passepartout, an Aouda return home, where Aouda, noticing Fogg not leaving his room, and worried he isn't even sleeping, let's herself into Fogg's quarters on his request. He apologizes to Aouda for bringing her across the world when he has nothing left to give her in London, and Aouda asks for his hand in marriage, confessing that money didn't bother her, and that he did have people he could rely on, (finding out he has no family remaining and doesn't consider having any friends) and he says yes. Passepartout is sent to fetch a Reverend to carry out Fogg and Aouda's vows, when, to everyone's surprise, the Reverend informs Passepartout that it is Sunday, and, given this information, Fogg realizes that he has the minutes till the deadline of the wager.
In this action-pack novel, Phileas Fogg, his loyal servant Jean Passepartout, and Fogg's wife, Aouda, travel across the world, encountering many problems that are seen throughout. Some of the most important, in my opinion, are when Fogg rescues Aouda, the train, on its was to New York, is attacked by Sioux Indians, and Passepartout is taken prisoner then rescued by Fogg, and when Fix arrested Fogg in Liverpool, leading to Fogg and Aouda's engagement. In this fantastic story, wealthy Phileas Fogg finds love in his trip around the world, now enjoying life a bit more.