Around the World in Eighty Days | Study Guide

Jules Verne

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Around the World in Eighty Days | Chapter 17 : In which various matters are dealt with during the crossing from Singapore to Hong Kong | Summary



During the voyage from Singapore to Hong Kong, Passepartout becomes suspicious of Fix's constant presence from Suez, Egypt, to his appearance on the ship Rangoon. He surmises Phileas Fogg's whist partners at the Reform Club hired Fix to spy on his employer to ensure he is following the rules agreed upon for the wager. He believes Fix will disembark with them in Hong Kong. Passepartout decides not to tell Fogg about his suspicions but sets out to tease Fix during their conversations. He questions the detective about the wager, but Fix adamantly states he does not believe Fogg will succeed. Passepartout uses this to prove his supposition. Passepartout also notices Mrs. Aouda's romantic feelings for Fogg and can't understand his employer's blindness to them.


The interaction between Fix and Passepartout hinder Phileas Fogg's success. Their baseless assumptions and conjectures add to the conflict and endanger Fogg's outcome. Passepartout's veiled hints about Fix's coincidental appearances cause Fix much trepidation. He thinks Passepartout knows he is a detective with the Metropolitan Police. He worries Passepartout has told Fogg that Fix plans to arrest him. Both men are victims of their speculations, choosing to believe only what fits their unsubstantiated conclusions. Most detrimental to Fogg's outcome is Passepartout's decision to keep his suspicions about Fix a secret.

Fogg is also blind to emotions and motivations. Mrs. Aouda's love for him is apparent in her words of gratitude and expressive eyes. He demonstrated his heroic side in rescuing Mrs. Aouda but is a complete coward when facing love.

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