Study Guide: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne|
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20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA: FREE BOOK NOTES / PLOT SUMMARY
The natives advance toward the vessel and fire arrows at it. Aronnax and Conseil escape down the hatch to tell Captain Nemo. Nemo closed the hatches and remained very calm. Aronnax was afraid that the next day, when they had to open the hatches for air, the natives would invade. Nemo still was unshaken. Nemo becomes upset with Aronnax when he mentions that the Nautilus is run aground. Nemo sharply replies that it is not and that it will be prepared to leave tomorrow at 2:40 p.m.
The next day, before departing, Nemo ordered the hatches open. When
the Papuans tried to enter, they were thrown back by some invisible force.
Apparently, Nemo used the metal staircases leading to the hatches as a
metal conductor of electricity--shocking anyone who dare enter. The Papuans
retreated and the Nautilus sailed away as planned.
Captain Nemo tells Aronnax of his various experiments with water density and temperature. Aronnax, Land and Conseil are amazed when they enter, far below the surface of the sea, an area of phosphorescence.
One morning, just when life on the Nautilus began to feel normal, a strange thing happened. On the platform, Aronnax did not hear the typical phrase from the crew to which he had grown accustomed. Instead, when he looked up he saw land. When Aronnax tried to look through his telescope, Captain Nemo grew angry. He was a much different Nemo. Nemo was not angry with Aronnax, but was consumed by a hatred produced by something on the shore. Captain Nemo told Aronnax that he and his companions had to be locked up until further notice.
The men occupied their original cell and ate lunch. When the meal was
finished, the lights of the vessel suddenly went out. Then, they fell
asleep--sleeping tablets had been put in their food.
The next morning the men awoke to find they had been placed into their beds. They were once again free to move about the cabin. When Aronnax finally sees Nemo, he seems distracted and depressed. Nemo asks Aronnax if he is a doctor, since he knows many of his colleagues were. Aronnax says that he was for a while before he joined the museum. Nemo asks him to look at a wounded crewman.
The man’s injuries are terrible. His brain is exposed and he is approaching death. Aronnax is surprised to see Nemo cry when Aronnax tells him the man will die.
The next day Nemo asks the men to go on another underwater excursion.
This time they go to the coral kingdom, where among the coral Nemo’s men
bury the dead man--in an underwater cemetery.
In this section Aronnax, Conseil and Land encounter savages. In the 19th century, savages were people who did not live in what many Europeans (and many people of European descent) believed was a civilized manner. This meant that the people did not wear Western clothes, or live in the same types of houses as westerners, or follow the same social protocol.
In these chapters we experience a new and evil side of Nemo. He drugs the
men into sleep. It is apparent from the dead crew member that something
horrible has happened. However, we also see Nemo cry at the man’s death.
Nemo is an excellent example of a round character. He is multifaceted.
His many sides include capacity for compassion, malice, sorrow, and joy.
At the conclusion of Part II, the reader should be aware that the Nautilus
and Nemo are involved in something very sinister. At the conclusion
of this section there is a definite break in the relationship between
Nemo and Aronnax. Aronnax previously believed in the possibility that
Nemo was a misunderstood scientist. He revered Nemo’s genius. After the
incident in which he was drugged and a man died, Aronnax is convinced
that Nemo has an evil underlying purpose of revenge. The next section
begins with an air of fear and uncertainty. The captain of this mysterious
vessel cannot be trusted.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".
. 09 May 2017