Around the World in Eighty Days | Study Guide

Jules Verne

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Around the World in Eighty Days | Chapter 18 : In which Phileas Fogg, Passepartout and Fix all go about their business, but separately | Summary

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Summary

The raging storms the Rangoon endures create such havoc Passepartout fears the ship will have to turn back. At best they are sure to miss their connection to Yokohama, Japan. Fix is thrilled with the delay. Phileas Fogg never falters, retaining his tranquil demeanor even though he stands to lose his fortune. Finally, the storms cease, and the Rangoon races to Hong Kong. Much to Fix's dismay, Fogg doesn't miss his connection. The Carnatic is delayed for repairs and will leave early the next morning. After securing a room at the Club Hotel, Fogg tries to locate Mrs. Aouda's relative, Jejeeh, but discovers the man moved to Holland two years earlier. He convinces Mrs. Aouda to travel to Europe with them. He sends Passepartout to the Carnatic to reserve three cabins.

Analysis

The gale encompassing the Rangoon works as a metaphor for Passepartout's passionate personality. The wild wind and raging seas slow their progress and threaten their connection with the steamship to Yokohama, Japan. This so upsets Passepartout that he storms around the ship, scales the rigging with the agility of the acrobat he once was, and toils beside the crew in an effort to ensure the steamship not only survives the storm but also reaches port in time for them to catch the steamship Carnatic. His actions demonstrate both an intense anger and an indomitable effort to prevail, exactly like the furious tempest. As always, Phileas Fogg remains serene as the winds and waves lash the steamship. Passepartout's personality is once again the antithesis to Fogg's. Passepartout's emotions, be they jubilant or outraged, balance Fogg's, allowing them to make wise decisions that ensure their success.

When Fogg discovers Mrs. Aouda's relative is no longer in Hong Kong, he puts her needs before his own. He couches his concern for her in his logical request for her to continue on with them. Since rescuing her, he has made every effort to ensure her physical needs are met by asking Passepartout to purchase clothes, toiletries, and whatever else she might need to travel in comfort. He spends hours listening to her stories instead of playing his beloved whist. He puts her needs first and the wager's success second. At the beginning of the story, Fogg's exacting lifestyle, where a two-degree error in water temperature led to his firing his servant, seems to show Fogg treating his own needs with the utmost importance. In India he put Mrs. Aouda's and Passepartout's needs first. His attention to his companions shows his compassion.

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