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Amazing character CAPTAIN NEMO
Sep 10, 2019 12:29 AM 168 Views (via Android App)

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French author Jules Verne, first serialized from 1869 to 1870 in a French periodical and published in 1870. Part of Verne’s fifty-four novel sequence Voyages Extraordinaires, it focuses on a group of scientists embarking on a dangerous voyage in a submarine piloted by the eccentric Captain Nemo in search of a giant monster. As the journey wears on, the crew encounters dangerous life forms, but the biggest threat to their safety may be their increasingly mad captain. Considered one of the greatest science-fiction novels ever written, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea explores themes of culture, class, grief, and the preservation of the environment. It is considered one of the forerunners of the ecology movement and displays a great respect for the life of the sea. It is also said to be in some ways a modern updating of many of the themes in Homer’s Odyssey. Wildly successful and critically acclaimed, it has remained widely read and consistently in print since its release, and is one of Verne’s most enduring novels. It has been adapted many times into film, TV, stage, and opera, with the most famous adaptation being a 1954 Disney adaptation starring Kirk Douglas.


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea begins in 1866, when ships of several nations see a mysterious sea monster in the water. The United States government assembles a team in New York to find and kill the monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and the narrator, is invited to join, as is Canadian whaler and weapons expert Ned Land and Aronnax’s servant, Conseil. They board a Navy frigate and travel to Cape Horn, where they encounter the beast, believed by some to be a giant Narwhal. However, the beast attacks the ship and breaks its rudder, causing the three men to be hurled into the water. They grab the creature’s body, and are shocked to find that it is not a creature at all, but a highly advanced submarine. They are captured and taken inside, where they meet the commander, the eccentric Captain Nemo. Now aboard the submarine, named the Nautilus, they learn it was built in secret by Nemo and roams the seas free from any Government law. Nemo, motivated by both a thirst for knowledge and disgust for organized civilization, has designed it to be electrically powered and uses it for advanced marine biology research. Although he is glad to have a fellow scientist like Aronnax on board, he never plans on letting them leave to preserve his secrets. Aronnax and Conseil are excited for the adventure, but the blue-collar Ned Land is desperate to escape.


Along their journey, they visit the corals of the Red Sea, the shipwrecks in Vigo bay, the Antarctic ice shelves, and the submerged kingdom of Atlantis. Using diving suits, they hunt sharks with air guns, and have an undersea funeral for a crew member, who dies under mysterious circumstances. Another crew member dies in the book’s most famous scene when they return to the Atlantic Ocean and a group of giant squid attack the Nautilus. Captain Nemo, an Indian man, is implied to have exiled himself from the world after a confrontation with the forces occupying his land that destroyed his family. After the incident with the giant squid, it becomes clearer that Nemo is not well. He suddenly begins avoiding Aronnax; Aronnax becomes more suspicious of him, plotting with Ned Land to escape. Towards the end of the book, a warship attacks the Nautilus, and Nemo is enraged, seeing it as the same army that destroyed his land and his family. He rams the Nautilus into the ship, sinking it and killing everyone on board. Nemo becomes more and more obsessed with a solitary picture of his wife and children, and all three men realize they have to escape before it is too late. Ned’s health is deteriorating; Aronnax and Conseil wait for the ship to surface. They make a fast escape, despite Aronnax feeling some guilt about leaving Nemo behind. As they exit the ship for the last time, Aronnax realizes that Nemo has been piloting it directly into a maelstrom. The three men find refuge on an island near Norway, but the Nautilus sails on into the storm, never to be heard from again. However, Nemo returns in Verne’s later novel, The Mysterious Island.


Jules Verne was a wildly successful and prolific French novelist, and is considered the father of modern science fiction alongside his British contemporary H.G. Wells. Best known for his Voyages Extraordinaires series, which includes the classics, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in Eighty Days, he also wrote two additional novels and twenty-four short stories, as well as a collection of nonfiction geography books and essays. He wrote fourteen plays, including one adapted from his most famous works. With many of his works widely read today, he remains influential and has been cited as an inspiration by some of the most famous science-fiction writers. In addition to many monuments in France, he is honored with a crater on the far side of the moon named after him.


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