Study Guide: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne|
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20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA: BOOK SUMMARY / ONLINE NOTES
Aronnax became frightened in the water, afraid the ship would leave having not noticed his fall. He was saved by the ever-faithful Conseil, who jumped in after him. The screw and the rudder of the ship were damaged by the monster. Conseil informed Aronnax that the Abraham Lincoln had lost its ability to steer.
Aronnax and Conseil removed their clothes, which hindered their swimming, and took turns swimming and pulling the other man in an effort to locate the Abraham Lincoln which they believed had not noticed their disappearance. In desperation Conseil called out for help, after hours of swimming. The men were greeted with the reply of Ned Land.
Ned Land had also been thrown from the ship. He landed upon the creature, which he found was made of steel. Land pulled Aronnax and Conseil aboard the creature. The creature, it seemed, was a submarine. Land said that on the three hours he was on it, the boat did not move at all.
The vessel began to move, slowly at first, then gaining speed. Through
the night the men clutched the top of the boat, attempting not to fall
off. Ned Land stomped on the top of the boat upon day break. Eight men
appeared and pulled Land, Aronnax and Conseil into the vessel.
The men found themselves, alone, in a dark space. After half an hour, the cabin was illuminated by the electric white light, previously observed while on the Abraham Lincoln. Two men entered the chamber, dressed in sea-otter-skin and seal skin. They spoke a language that Aronnax could not understand. Aronnax, Land and Conseil relayed their tale in French, English, German, and Latin. The men understood nothing they said. They left the three alone again.
A steward returned with clothes and food. The food, much to their surprise,
was excellent. The plates and utensils were inscribed with the motto:
“Mobilis in Mobile N.” Still confused, the three men went to sleep.
Upon waking, Aronnax began to examine his surroundings. He pondered how the air was filtered and replaced to ensure that enough oxygen is present. He discovered an opening over the door of the cell, through which he presumed fresh air entered. As the men discussed their next meal and how long they slept, Aronnax tried to dispel Land’s fear that the men of the vessel were cannibals.
Land became angered by Conseil’s abiding calm. He wanted Conseil to become as angry as himself and demand to be fed, as they were all hungry again. Land continued in his fit of rage, saying that he thought it was best to try to take over the vessel--much to the dismay of Aronnax and Conseil. Land promised he would do nothing rash immediately.
As the time passed and the men grew hungrier, Land grew fiercer. He paced
the cell and screamed. When, at last, the steward appeared, Land attacked
him and grabbed his throat. Conseil was helping to save the steward from
Land and as Aronnax began to help, he was greeted with French, asking
them to calm themselves and listen.
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. 09 May 2017