Around the World in Eighty Days | Study Guide

Jules Verne

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Around the World in Eighty Days | Chapter 22 : Where Passepartout comes to realize that, even on the other side of the world, it is sensible to have some money in your pocket | Summary

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Summary

Propelled by his sense of duty, Passepartout rouses himself from his drunken and drugged sleep in the Hong Kong opium den with just enough energy to reach the port and flop onto the deck of the Carnatic before it departs for Yokohama, Japan. The next morning, when he discovers Phileas Fogg and Mrs. Aouda are not passengers, he realizes they missed the ship because he never informed them of the earlier departure time. He is devastated for likely causing Fogg to lose the wager. Believing in Phileas Fogg's honesty, Passepartout hopes to someday run into Fix and avenge his employer's honor. Shaking off his despair, he leaves the Carnatic in Yokohama. For a whole day Passepartout, who has no money, wanders around hungry and uncertain what he should do.

Analysis

In comparison to Phileas Fogg, who remains emotionally frozen whether he is enduring a typhoon or enjoying a conversation with the comely Mrs. Aouda, Passepartout's feelings resemble a hurricane, blowing from dejection to joviality and every passion in between. A dutiful man, his devastation for causing Fogg to miss the Carnatic's voyage to Yokohama is understandable. Even though he partially blames Fix for causing his drunken, drugged state, he still takes responsibility for his actions. From their first train ride, when he remembers leaving the gas in his room burning, to Bombay and his disrespect of the Hindu temple or his failure to inform Fogg about the early departure of the Carnatic, Passepartout never invents excuses for the fiascos he causes. A pragmatic man with the integrity to support himself, he has always found work instead of relying on the generosity of others to take care of his needs. Now stuck on his own in a strange city with no money, he devotes his day to strolling through the crowded streets to think his way through his problem.

Verne's colonial mindset is on display yet again in his passing, slightly disparaging mention of Confucians: "followers of Confucius vegetated." Just as in India, where Verne never calls Hinduism by its name but only "religious fanaticism," here he unflatteringly describes the Confucians in Hong Kong and their practice of meditation.

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