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Around The World In Eighty Days

1215 words - 5 pages

In the nineteenth, it seemed impossible to circumnavigate the world in only 80 days. That is, however, exactly what Phileas Fogg did in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. This novel follows the journey of the eccentric Englishman Phileas Fogg as he races around the world on a bet. Accompanied by his faithful servant, Passepartout, and a scheming detective, Fix, he encounters many challenges he must overcome in order to return in time. In Around the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne demonstrates the increased industrialization of the nineteenth century, while also exploring the growing movements of nationalism and imperialism.
Phileas Fogg’s journey is made possible by the growing industrialization of the time. One example of industrialization is the extensive use of trains in the novel. During the nineteenth century, rail lines were expanding all over the world. For example, when Phileas Fogg reaches India, the change from old forms of transportation to new industrialized forms is described, “Formerly one was obliged to travel in India by the old cumbrous methods of going on foot or on horseback, in palanquins or unwieldy coaches; now, fast steamboats ply on the Indus and the Ganges, and a great railway, with branch lines joining the rail line at many points on this route, traverses the peninsula from Bombay to Calcutta in three days” (32). This demonstrates how the methods of transportation have become more advanced and industrialized throughout the century. Again, the industrialization of railways is shown when the party reaches America. “The journey from New York to San Francisco consumed, formerly, under the most favourable conditions, at least six months. It is now accomplished I seven days” (110). This also shows how industrialization has made travel more efficient and speedy. Trains were able to connect many cities in many countries, making travel easier and faster. They could increase speed when needed and overcome many obstacles. This was demonstrated when one of the trains Phileas Fogg was traveling on approached a rundown bridge it needed to cross. “They perceived that the whole train, rushing on at the rate of a hundred miles an hour, hardly bore upon the rails at all” (125). This shows that trains were capable of reaching extreme speeds in order to arrive at a destination faster, or to clear obstacles. Overall, because trains had become more industrialized, they were able to connect more cities together to make travelling faster and more efficient.
Another example of industrialization that appears in the novel is the use of boats. The “Mongolia” is one of the main boats that the party travels by. It is supposed to be one of the fastest steamers in the world, at the time, and indeed proves to be by completing its journey two days ahead of schedule (31). This is one example of the improvements made to boats because of industrialization. They are now able to hold more people and travel faster and...

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