In the novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Vern, Phileas Fogg is in conflict with time in a man versus nature conflict. Phileas Fogg is a very precise and honorable Englishman who made a bet that he could circumnavigate the world in eighty days. He is in a conflict with time, trying to transverse the world in eighty days, and not let the setbacks stop

him. When Phileas Fogg first makes the bet with the members of the Reform Club, the members are assessing the possible setbacks, one of which at least will occur, that will make Phileas Fogg’s odyssey impossible. So, he departs from London that very evening. After Phileas Fogg makes up two days, it appears that the members of the Reform Club are wrong, until Phileas Fogg reaches India.

While crossing India by train, the train is not able to completely cross India because the track is not entirely complete, missing a section of the track 50 miles long. So, Phileas Fogg buys an elephant for a huge sum, allowing him to travel these 50 miles. While traveling, Phileas Fogg finds out that an Indian princess, who was educated in Europe, is going to be sacrificed unwillingly with her dead husband. Phileas Fogg gives up some precious time rescuing the princess and then continues on to Calcutta. Upon reaching Calcutta, Phileas Fogg has lost no time and is right on track to travel the world in eighty days.

As the story progresses, the conflict intensifies. An unexpected delay occurs when Phileas Fogg is detained in Calcutta. He is detained by being thrown into prison with Passepartout, because Passepartout has desecrated a temple while he was in Bombay. Since Phileas Fogg is sentenced to 15 days in prison, it appears that Phileas Fogg will lose the bet, however, right as Phileas Fogg is about to leave, the clerk offers bail, which Phileas Fogg pays and thus, makes it onto the Rangoon, a steamship, to sail to Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Phileas Fogg again appears about to lose the bet by being delayed and losing time, intensifying the conflict. Phileas Fogg sends Passepartout to buy passage across the ocean to Yokohama.

While Passepartout is buying the tickets, he learns that the ship is leaving early, and is going to tell his master, but is made drunk by the detective, Fix. As a result, Phileas Fogg misses the ship, increasing the conflict. Fogg overcomes this setback by bribing the captain of another ship to sail him to the ship. Once in Japan, he stays for a few hours, then departs for the US on the steamer, the General Grant, bound for San Francisco.

While in the US, Passepartout is captured by Indians. Phileas Fogg leaves the train to go rescue Passepartout, giving up precious time, and intensifying the conflict. When he returns after saving Passepartout, Phileas Fogg hires someone with a land sled to carry him to the next train station. While traveling, the sled is caught in a snowstorm, but they manage to get through.

After crossing the US, Phileas Fogg reaches London, where he is arrested by Fix because he is believed to be a bank robber who stole £55,000. This final setback, according to Phileas Fogg’s well-kept record, sets him back enough that he does not get to the Reform Club on the day he thinks he needs to.

The climax of the story takes place at the Reform Club in England. Passepartout has just told Phileas Fogg that they gained a day by going eastward around the world. Phileas Fogg is rushing to get to the Reform Club, before a quarter before nine, the exact time that Phileas Fogg had made the bet. Phileas Fogg walks into the Reform Club just as the clock changes to a quarter before nine. Thus, Phileas Fogg wins the bet that he could traverse the world in 80 days, and won the £20,000, approximately the amount he used.

One might say that Phileas Fogg won nothing in traveling, but indeed he brought back his former wife. The result of this is that after traveling around the world, Phileas Fogg is a changed man who has found his future wife and is now married.

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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