Around the World in Eighty Days | Study Guide

Jules Verne

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Course Hero, "Around the World in Eighty Days Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed October 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Around-the-World-in-Eighty-Days/.

Around the World in Eighty Days | Chapter 2 : Where Passepartout is convinced that he has at long last found his ideal | Summary

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Summary

Jean Passepartout, Fogg's new valet, is thrilled to work for such a systematic man, having worked for so many unpredictable men in his previous jobs. Passepartout spends Chapter 2 familiarizing himself with his employer's home, habits, and schedule. He is thrilled to see every clock in Fogg's house ticking in exact unison. His employer only sleeps, dresses, and takes care of his personal hygiene needs at home, structuring his every action to begin and end at precisely the same time each day. Passepartout concludes Fogg is a "well-ordered man" and the type of employer he desires.

Analysis

Phileas Fogg's and Jean Passepartout's personalities complement each other. Fogg is a scrupulous man whose actions make him seem like a clock wrapped in a human shell; he is "perfectly calibrated and finely balanced." He is almost a caricature of the stereotypical British aristocratic gentleman who presents himself as an emotionless automaton; he is a "cool-headed Englishman." Fogg is not an introvert. He is reserved but not shy. He prefers to examine situations and events factually and pragmatically instead of infusing them with personal interpretations and meanings. He is a minimalist in his thinking, movements, and social situations, interacting with other people when they fit into his preset time frame.

On the other hand, Passepartout is gregarious and loves meeting new people and exploring new locales. Instead of a passive face as bland and cold as an eggshell like his employer's, his is an array of every emotion from joy to sorrow, depending on the situation. Intense emotions define him, although as a valet in an aristocratic British home, he must learn to hide them. He is excited to be a part of Fogg's life, where every detail is logical and lucid. He says, "I'm not sorry in the least to be working for someone who functions like clockwork!"

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