Around the World in Eighty Days

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Around the World in Eighty Days
Original Title: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
Written by: Jules Verne
Central Theme:
Synopsis: A man who has bet half his fortune that he can travel around the world in eighty days is chased by a police inspector who thinks he's a criminal.
First published: January 30, 1873
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One of the all-time great adventure novels and certainly the most famous non-science fiction one by Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days is about the eventful attempt by Phineas Fogg to travel the world in eighty days, along with his valet Jean Passepartout.

The book has numerous adaptations, first on stage and then on film and TV. The more noted works are:

Around the World in Eighty Days is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in Around the World in Eighty Days include:
  • Adventure
  • The Bet: Circumnavigate the globe in just eighty days. Keep in mind that the book is set during the nineteenth century, before the invention and use of commercial aircraft for traveling.
  • The Big Guy: Passepartout, one of whose odd jobs was a fireman. In the age when firemen needed to pull the burning houses apart by hand, and thus invariably were recruited from the men built like a brick outhouses.
  • The British Empire: "There is thus, so to speak, a trail of English towns all round the world."
  • But Not Too Black: Verne makes his mixed marriage easier to swallow for 19th century readers by describing Aouda as having "skin as white as a European's" and expressing herself "in perfect English".
  • Chekhov's Gun / Foreshadowing: Multiple references to Passepartout's watch falling further behind as they travel east, complete with an explanation in Chapter 11 regarding how the days are shorter when one travels eastbound.
  • Clock King: Phileas Fogg until the end, when he breaks his usual habits to win his bet.
    • Also Passepartout, whose watch keeps perfect time, and which he refuses to adjust for any reason, therefore allowing Verne to demonstrate the idea of time zones to his readers.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Passepartout, whom Verne seems to delight in embarrassing by seemingly out-of-nowhere situations.
  • Criminal Doppelganger: Phileas Fogg is wrongly pursued around the globe by Detective Fix because, in addition to the suspicious circumstances surrounding his sudden departure, he answers to the description of the gentleman who robbed the Bank of England.
  • Damsel in Distress: Aouda in her debut in the book. However after her rescue, Aouda more than pulls her own weight in the story. For examples, when their train is attacked by Indians, Aouda immediately gets a gun and starts shooting along with her companions and of course, she saves Fogg's future at the climax of the story.
  • Dub Name Change: Early English translations sometimes changed Fogg's first name to Phineas.
  • Epic Race: Possibly the Trope Codifier.
  • Idiot Ball: Passepartout does not tell his master about Fix or the fact that Fogg is suspected of bank robbery because...uh...
    • Somewhat justified actually. He barely knows anything about Fogg, since he basically was hired the day before the the trip around the world, so there is enough reasonable doubt in his mind Fix might actually be right, hence the delay.
  • Injun Country
  • Inspector Javert: Mr. Fix.
  • In Which a Trope Is Described: Verne's chapter titles.
  • Kick the Dog: Fogg's carriage is noted as running over two dogs on his way to the Reform Club, an inexplicably distasteful piece of writing.
  • Mapmaking Marches On: The climactic twist was rendered impossible by the institution of the International Date Line in the early 20th century.
    • While not defined, it was effectively still there, presenting something of a Plot Hole. For the ending twist to work, Fogg would have had to never notice the date (or day of the week) all through his trip across America, while looking at train and ship schedules.
  • Meaningful Name: Passepartout is French for "a key that open all locks"
    • Furthermore, the name sounds a mighty lot like "Passport", which is inseparable from the modern traveler.
      • It gets even better; the literal translation of the name is "Goes Everywhere."
      • He admits himself the name is fitting, as he went through several jobs in his past.
  • The Millstone: Aouda fears that her presence with the travelers cost Fogg his bet by delaying him. Fogg firmly denies she was any problem and any concerns she may still have are dispelled by the fact that she is then instrumental instead in saving the day.
    • Passepartout at times as well. Several large delays were caused by him, even if mostly indirectly -- like being lured into opium den in Shanghai by Fix, or being kidnapped by Sioux in America. Blundering into Hindu temple in Bombay and being dragged to court for this was totally his own doing, though.
  • Mysterious Past: Nothing about Fogg's Backstory is explained in the book: he's simply a wealthy gentleman living off the rent on his capital, doing nothing except reading papers and playing cards at his club. However during his journey we witness firsthand that he's able to handle a gun, to navigate a boat, knows a lot about engineering, etc. How We Got Here, though, remains a mystery even in the finale.
  • Opium Den: Passepartout wanders into one of them in Shanghai, at Fix's instigation, and in a drug-fueled stupor forgets to tell Fogg about their ship's schedule change, ending up in Yokohama alone, until Fogg gets there on a different ship.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Phileas Fogg of course!
  • Race Against the Clock: One of the most triumphant examples of this trope.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Phileas Fogg (Blue) is practically an automaton. Passepartout (Red) is a much more excitable fellow.
  • Rescue Romance: Phileas Fogg rescues Aouda from death by suttee.
  • Right on the Tick: Fogg has to be back at the club by 5:00 pm on the 80th day in order to win the bet. Not one second later.
  • The Savage Indian: A band of Sioux waylay Fogg's train.
  • Schedule Fanatic: Phileas Fogg until the end, where he misses a key detail and decides to heck with schedule fanaticism.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: How Fogg solves most of his travel difficulties. His luggage is comprised of one very oversized carpetbag stuffed with cash.
    • In fact, Fogg bets half his fortune (20,000 pounds) and takes the other half with him. So, as Verne himself notes in a chapter heading, he's just about even afterwards.
      • Note that 40,000 quid at the time is equivalent to roughly US$13 million as of now, on a gold price alone. The purchase power parity would yield even higher amount. Spending 6 megabucks in just 80 days would smooth the things up quite a bit.
      • Still, even though he stands to make an incredible amount of money or lose everything, it's not about the money. It's about the adventure, and Fogg's honor: for at the outset, he notes that "a gentleman never jokes about a bet".
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Phileas Fogg's basic personality until Aouda's heartfelt proposal at his darkest hour finally makes let himself go with love.
  • Super OCD: Phileas Fogg to the extreme. He fired a previous servant because of a very slight variation in the temperature of his shaving water. He stops having this in the ending.
    • Fogg's Mysterious Past and narration hinting that his super-ordered lifestyle stems from his chaotic early life may suggest that it's actually a form of PTSD.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Fix to a degree. He might be considered the bridge between Inspector Javert and this, being comical like a Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist is, but also unethical like an Inspector Javert.
  • "There and Back" Story: The novel is The Big Race and a Race Against the Clock on a global scale, with the participants tasked to circumnavigate the globe from London in under eighty days.
  • Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Phileas Fogg challenges Col. Stamp W. Proctor to a duel.
  • You Fail Religious Studies Forever: Aouda is repeatedly described as "Parsi"[1], which would automatically make her Zoroastrian. But suttee is a purely Hindu custom!
  1. the descendants of Iranians who fled to India from the religious persecution by Muslims