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Free Study Guide-Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne-Free Synopsis
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CHARACTER ANALYSIS

Minor Characters

James Foster

He has practically no part to play in this adventurous story. Through the reference to him what we do learn is that Fogg is a exceedingly precise and eccentric man. Foster had been Fogg’s valet but was fired from service for bringing shaving water, at the wrong temperature. Passepartout proves to be more fortunate than Foster, for he commits many blunders but is still retained in service by his master.

Phileas Fogg’s partners at whist

The five gentlemen who play whist with Fogg can be clubbed together to form one characteristic group-the group that challenges Fogg to go around the world. In contrast to Fogg’s heroic nature, these men are shown as slaves of mischance and those who do not have much faith in human endeavor and determination. They believe that it is completely impossible to go around the world in eighty days, but Fogg proves them wrong. In further contrast to Fogg’s precision and confidence, these men are shown as scared and vulnerable. We see how they watch the seconds of the clock move as they wait to see whether Fogg will make his appearance in time. Their waiting has a panic stricken quality to it and in that they can be said to be united. They are worried about the financial aspects of losing the wager unlike Fogg for whom it is more important to accomplish a task than to be bothered about the loss or gain of money.

Phileas’ partners at whist gain importance in that, they provide a thrust to the story but they are not of great value in terms of any character development. They serve to highlight Fogg’s heroism with their cowardice and their animal like huddling together in a group. They are not precise and objective as Fogg is and belong to diverse and unimpressive careers.


Lord Albermale

He is the symbol of the kind of man that would support a figure such as that of Fogg. He is not a man, who stays with the mob and he has his own individualistic opinions. While most of England is convinced that Fogg will be unable to travel around the world in eighty days Lord Albermale alone has faith in Fogg’s endeavor. This lone man seems to be the older version of Fogg. He has the same adventurous spirit as that of Fogg. He would have happily undertaken the exercise of going round the world if he had had the youth and energy of Fogg. The reader immediately begins to respect Lord Albermale and we see that this old noble is proved right, for Fogg does win the challenge.

British Consul at Suez

We first get to see the British Consul in chapter VI. He is waiting for the arrival of the ‘Mongolia’ ship at Suez, along with detective Fix. His character serves no special purpose except perhaps to illustrate the fact that the British respect for rules is severe. That is the reason this British Consul refuses to detain Fogg, though the detective Fix requests him to. This man seems to be a sensible and logical person and it is he who points out to Fix that Fix’s suspected culprit of the robbery sounds like an honest man. Later, in the Seventh chapter, the fair minded Consul validates Fogg’s passport because he sees no logical reason not to. The Consul is right when he comments that Fogg looks like a perfectly honest man. The British Consul at Suez is indeed an intelligent and sane man. His qualities can be easily contrasted with those of detective Fix.

Whist partners on the Mongolia

While the author explains how the whimsical Fogg passed his time on the Mongolia, he writes that this precise man played a whole lot of whist with partners who were just as passionately fond of the game. They all played on for hours as silently absorbed as Fogg himself. This entire whist-playing group is not very significant in itself except perhaps in its illustration of the fact that Fogg manages to find his own like-minded people whenever and wherever he wants to. Only one of these players is actually developed as a character later and that is the brigadier- general of the English Army, who was going to rejoin his brigade at Banares. In fact, he is a part of Fogg’s group who take it upon themselves to rescue Aouda.

The guard on the train to Calcutta

It is this guard who informs the brigadier general and Fogg that the train from Bombay to Calcutta has an unfinished rail line on the route too. The guard states this matter of factly in a way that is typically Indian, in that it accepts interruptions without much questioning. The guard’s excuse is that all the passengers are aware that they will have to find means of transport from Kholby to Allahabad. The guard’s words to them eventually lead them into an exciting adventure that includes Aouda.

Parsee guide

The Parsee, who was an expert mahout, leads the elephant that transports Fogg and his companions from Kholby hamlet to Allahabad. He covers the elephant’s back with a sort of saddlecloth and fixes on either side a couple of rather uncomfortable litters. The guide is presented as a very reliable and trustworthy man, who is also very courageous. He agrees to help Fogg’s group in their attempt to rescue the princess Aouda. Later, it is he who facilitates the hurried escape of this adventurous group on the elephant-Kiouni. We are glad to see that Fogg repays the guide’s excellent service by giving away Kiouni, the elephant to him. We can see that even Passepartout had grown fond of the guide as he is disappointed when he thinks that his master Fogg is only paying the guide-the agreed amount of money and not anymore. Of course, the gift of an elephant to the Parsee, makes Passepartout very happy. The guide is one of the few Indians who are painted in positive and bright colors.

The priests and fanatics who try and force Aouda into committing suttee

While Fogg’s group is traveling from Kholby hamlet to Allahabad on an elephant, they come across a procession of priests and fanatics, who are forcing a young Indian princess to give up her life for the sake of the old dead husband Rajah. These priests and fanatics are painted in a typically single viewed European point of sight. They are the ‘negative characters’, those who forcefully imprison a young beautiful woman. When Fogg realizes the seriousness of the crime that they seek to commit, he urges his friends to save the princess Aouda together. When these travelers approach the fanatics’ camp they see that most are intoxicated with opium. But, despite the opium the guards are so vigilant that the adventures have no way of getting through to the princess. When all seems to have been lost, it is Passepartout who exploits the priests’ and fanatics’ superstitions to walk away with Aouda in his arms. When they see a figure rise from the pyre, they assume that it is the ghost of the dead rajah and bow in reverence. When reality dawns, it is too late and the adventures have already escaped with Aouda. Fogg and his companions are sure that they will be persecuted by the fanatics in Calcutta but they manage to escape India, without being caught.

Judge Obadiah

He is the judge who sits over the case against Passepartout’s crime at Calcutta. He seems stern and non-compromising. He is amazed when Passepartout cries that the priests must confess what they were going to do at the pagoda of Pillagi. The judge obviously knew only about one offence-that which Passepartout committed when he entered the pagoda of Malabar Hill with his shoes on.

He is surprised by this obscure reference to sacrifice and the pagoda of Pillagi. When Fogg and Passepartout admit the facts in the Malabar case Judge Obadiah states the crime that Passepartout has committed and then relates the punishment that both master and servant shall undergo. Fogg claims his stake to paying bail instead and Judge Obadiah allows them to leave. Judge Obadiah represents the severity of English Law and is a characteristic Anglo Judge.

John Bunsby

He is the extremely reliable and heroic master of the boat Tankadere. As a skipper he is a fearless man, the kind who will venture out in any kind of weather in search of ships in distress. A man of forty-five or so, sturdy, sunburned, keen eyed, with a strong face, thoroughly steady and devoted to his business he would have inspired confidence in the most timid. It is this Bunsby’s boat that takes Fogg and his companions from Hong Kong to Shanghai. The Tankadere was a beautiful little schooner of twenty tons and looked like a racing yacht. Bunsby kept her seaworthy and smart. The voyage of eight hundred miles undertaken by such a small craft was a dangerous venture and one that only a person such as Bunsby would take up. The boat is swept into a typhoon but Bunsby’s precautions see it through. Mr. Bunsby as a courageous man is one who can match Mr. Fogg and when Fogg decides that they will stop at no other port than Shanghai, Bunsby understands perfectly. Finally Bunsby’s Tankadere reaches close to Shanghai despite all odds. Mr. Fogg asks Bunsby to signal the ‘Carnatic’ and he and his companions manage to board the other huge ship.

John Bunsby remains in our minds as an extremely smart sailor a heroic personality definitely worth remembering.

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