Around the World in Eighty Days | Study Guide

Jules Verne

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Around the World in Eighty Days | Chapter 36 : In which shares in Phileas Fogg are back in demand on the stockmarket | Summary

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Summary

The actual robber of the Bank of England, James Strand, was arrested on December 17. As soon as this news hits the papers, Phileas Fogg's name is cleared. With a few days left in the wager, betting on Phileas Fogg's chances once again resumes. Meanwhile, Fogg's five Reform Club friends are spending the remaining days of the wager anxiously wondering about the man's whereabouts. Andrew Stuart believes Fogg would have come straight to the club once he was back in London. Samuel Fallentin reminds the men Fogg is exact about time. They anxiously watch the clock hands creep slowly toward 8:45 p.m. At precisely 8:44:57, the club room doors open, and Phileas Fogg calmly strolls in and says, "Here I am, gentlemen."

Analysis

Jules Verne uses this chapter to show how reputation contributes to gaining or losing money. In Chapter 5, when people were enthralled with the unique nature of Fogg's wager to circumnavigate the world in 80 days, bets piled up in his favor. When newspapers denounced the possibility of his success and he was named the Bank of England robber, his followers abandoned him, demonstrating their fickleness and fanatic attention to "news." After his name is cleared and he is not presumed dead, the possibility of his success remains. Bets in his favor once again pour in. Only Lord Albemarle has remained faithful the whole time. As the clock ticks down to 8:45 p.m., Andrew Stuart is quick to assume that because he has not shown up, Fogg has missed the deadline. Since each Reform Club member has wagered £4,000 against Fogg, four of the men agree with this conjecture, but Samuel Fallentin reminds them of Fogg's mathematical preciseness and his promise to see them at 8:45 p.m. on December 21. With three seconds left, Phileas Fogg enters, exuding his perennially unflappable composure.

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