In the nineteenth century, it seemed impossible to circumnavigate the world in only eighty days. That, however, was 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, after he bet he could race around the world in eighty days. Accompanied by his faithful servant, Passepartout, and a scheming detective, Fix, he encountered many challenges he had to overcome in order to return in time to win the bet. In Around the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne demonstrated how increased industrialization made a profound impact in travel, technology, and business. In addition, Verne shows how industrialization contributed to an increase of nationalism and European imperialism.
Industrialization was an important movement of the nineteenth century. Industrialization was the process of turning an agricultural society into an industrialized one, based on the manufacturing of goods and services. This meant new technological innovation and economical development. Industrialization was important because it led to the development of new technologies and inventions that vastly improved life, such as the steam engine. It also helped to grow businesses by letting them expand their networks and reach consumers in more distant areas. Industrialization also made an impact on Fogg’s journey.
Phileas Fogg’s journey was made possible by the growing industrialization of the time. One example of industrialization was the extensive use of trains in the novel. During the nineteenth century, nations all over the world built rail lines. For example, when Phileas Fogg reached India, the change from old forms of transportation to new industrialized forms was 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 demonstrated how the methods of transportation had become more advanced and because of the new techniques and inventions discovered through industrialization throughout the century that made transportation cheaper, faster, and more convenient. Again, the benefits of railway systems were shown when the party reached America. “The journey from New York to San Francisco consumed, formerly, under the most favourable conditions, at least six months. It is now accomplished in seven days” (110). This also showed how industrialization had made travel more efficient and expeditious. Trains were able to connect many cities in multiple countries. Advances in trains were demonstrated when one of the trains 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...