Around the World in Eighty Days | Study Guide

Jules Verne

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Around the World in Eighty Days | Chapter 7 : Which proves once again that passports serve no useful purpose in police matters | Summary

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Summary

Fix shows up at the British consul's office ahead of Passepartout and Phileas Fogg and asks the consul to refuse to stamp their passports as a favor. Fix is waiting for an arrest warrant, and he needs more time. The British consul mentions to Fix that Fogg is not required to have his passport stamped, and if Fogg is a criminal, he probably won't show up since criminals prefer not to leave clues. Their disagreement is interrupted when Fogg appears. The consul signs Fogg's passport and informs him it isn't necessary. Fogg explains he wants the official's signature as proof he stopped in Suez. He then sends Passepartout off to buy more clothing while he waits in the cabin of the steamship Mongolia, where he makes specific notes on the dates, times, and places comprising the first leg of their expedition. They are exactly on schedule.

Analysis

The British consul and Detective Fix still disagree whether Phileas Fogg is the notorious gentleman robber. The consul continues to take the stance that Phileas Fogg does not follow the usual characteristics of a criminal. Although the consul's argument was humorous and unfounded in the previous chapter, in this chapter his argument makes sense. His proof is Phileas Fogg's decision to have his visa stamped when he legally doesn't have to. Fix interprets this act as another cunning decision in his suspect's elaborate deception. Fix makes another assumption, this time based on a stereotype, when he says about Passepartout, "He's French, which means he won't be able to hold his tongue."

Even though the British consul is only a minor character, the fact that he does his job honorably by following the law, refuses to take matters into his own hands, and does not jump to the same conclusions as Fix—who is supposed to represent the law—highlights to what lengths Fix will go to prove his assumption, even going outside the law to do so.

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