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Free Study Guide-Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne-Free Synopsis
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OVERALL ANALYSES

CHARACTER ANALYSIS

Major Characters

Phileas Fogg

This precise and intelligent man is one to the most memorable characters of Verne. When we are introduced to him, he is an English man who lives a very regularized life. He is impeccable in his manners and is very punctual as well as particular about what he wants. If it weren’t for the title we would never have guessed that he makes a plan to go around the world. What is most distinct about his character is his eccentricity and even his trip around the world results out of a stubborn quirk and not out of a greed for the wager money.

While Fogg does travel around the world he does not really bother to find out more about the possible sources of tourist interest that he passes through. Surprisingly if anyone had a conversation with Fogg regarding the very same places, he would know a lot about them. It is the volatility and fire beneath the calm exterior that makes Fogg so very attractive.

Another outstanding trait of Fogg is his large heartedness. He decides to help the sacrificial victim, Aouda and risks his own life in the bargain. The same attribute in Fogg enables him to pardon Passepartout despite the latter’s many blunders. Towards the end of the novel, Fogg even forgives the detective who had put so many hurdles in Fogg’s path. Fogg goes to the extent of giving Fix some money, while anyone else in Fogg’s place would have been livid with anger.

As the protagonist of the story, Fogg demands a great deal of attention. It is he who sets most of the action rolling and it is he who initiates the entire adventure. He never gives up despite all odds and hires boats, captures ships, rides on a snow mobile and even hires a train in order to attain his goal.


Verne adds an unexpected twist in the story when the precise Fogg slips up and mistakes the time. He thinks he has reached London late, when in fact, he reaches it a full day earlier. The entire England and the readers too cheer, when Fogg wins the wager and manages to go around the world in the stipulated period.

Verne shows growth in Fogg’s character. While Verne celebrates Fogg’s rationality and his detachment at the end Verne maintains that Fogg attains nothing but love through his entire endeavor. He may have won a wager, which is good for his pride but more than anything else he finds lasting love, which is wonderful for his heart. Aouda would have kept Fogg very happy and we are glad that the ex-shipman marries the exotic Indian princess.

Passepartout

Fogg’s valet, Passepartout is a foil to Fogg’s character. This interesting Frenchman is an integral part of the story, from the very first chapter. He is shown as a man, who is on the lookout for some peace and quiet after having had a very exciting and adventurous life. It is for this reason that he decides to serve the impeccable Fogg, who comes across as a meticulous man, who will not undertake travels. Passepartout soon realizes that he is completely wrong for Fogg suddenly plans a journey around the world and Passepartout is tugged along. This journey is not undertaken at a leisurely pace but is completed at a hectic gallop complete with many bumps.

While Passepartout is very loyal, it is he who serves to delay his master several times. Passepartout is naïve to a certain extent and tends to get carried away at several occasions. While Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout are at Hong Kong, Passepartout gets opiated in the company of Fix and is unable to inform his master about the change in the departure time of the Carnatic. Fogg is thus forced to hire a special boat to Shanghai. Later in the story while the group is traversing America, Passepartout is taken captive by the Sioux. Fogg’s journey is delayed yet again, while he decides to rescue his menial-Passepartout. But the worst blow comes when Fogg is arrested by detective Fix in England. Passepartout can be greatly held blame for this arrest. He should have warned his master about Fix’s suspicions regarding the robbery, but he didn’t. Passepartout does feel guilty that he is a major source of delay as well as financial loss to his master. On the other hand, he makes up for his errors by his jovial nature and his unflinching love and loyalty for his master. Moreover it is Passepartout who takes the most crucial step in the rescue of Aouda. It is he who manages to lift her from the sacrificial pyre by pretending to be the dead Rajah reawakened. Thus while Aouda’s rescue is Fogg’s idea, it is Passepartout who makes it possible.

At the end of the book Fogg is grateful to Passepartout again. It is Passepartout who goes to the Reverend Samuel Wilson, of the Parish of Marylebone, in order to tell him about Fogg and Aouda’s planned wedding. When he requests the priest to marry the couple, he realizes that the next day is Sunday, not Monday. He rushes back to his master and drags him to the Reform Club. Fogg wins the wager as a result of his menial’s last minute realization of their joint mistake.

Both Fogg and Aouda are fond of the funny Passepartout. Fogg gives Passepartout a part of the money he wins, while Aouda gives this French man her affection and care.

Passepartout serves to add a comic touch to the story with his antics. He is all the more interesting because he has been an acrobat before. His little role as a long nosed acrobat in Japanese clothes is a very bright cameo. His lightheartedness and his blunders are in complete contrast to Fogg’s seriousness and meticulousness. Together they make an unforgettable pair. Passepartout enthralls the audience and the readers grow to like this crazy, eccentric Frenchman.

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