Study Guide: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne|
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20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA: ONLINE LITERATURE SUMMARY
Captain Nemo suggests to Aronnax that they go to the Gulf of Mannar at Sri Lanka, where men fish for pearls. Nemo warns Aronnax that they will probably encounter sharks, but tells him not to fear. The crew is used to deal with sharks, and they are fun to hunt.
Land and Conseil approach Aronnax, excited about the upcoming adventure. Nemo has only told them of the pearls, not the sharks. The men discuss pearls and their value. Ned Land tells them how he bought a pearl necklace for his fiancée, but she married another man. Aronnax tells Land that the pearls he gave her were fake.
The men turn to talking of finding a great pearl, like that of Captain
Nemo’s--displayed in a case. Nonchalantly, Aronnax asks the men if they
would be frightened by sharks. Though taken off guard, Land boasts his
harpooning skills. Conseil , the ever faithful manservant, says that he
will go anywhere Aronnax will go.
Aronnax spent a fitful night dreaming of sharks. He was awakened at 4 a.m. and met Captain Nemo who told him they would soon be leaving.
When the men reached the pearls, by way of a smaller boat, they donned their diving suits. These were the same suits they wore on their other excursions below the surface--a much more advanced method of diving than the local fishermen employed.
When Aronnax asked for his gun--to defend himself against sharks--Nemo gave him a knife and told him he was better off.
The men saw new and exciting life below the surface. Nemo led them to a submarine crypt in which resided an oyster weighing six hundred pounds. The was a giant pearl, the size of a coconut, inside the oyster. Nemo would not let Aronnax touch the pearl. By leaving the pearl in the oyster, Nemo was allowing it to grow even larger.
Later the men stopped to watch a diver collecting oysters. While the diver was working, a shark came upon him and knocked him out with its tail. Before the shark could eat the diver, Captain Nemo attacked it with his knife. Nemo and the shark battled, until the shark knocked Nemo to the ground. Ned Land sprung to action and killed the shark with his harpoon. Once freed, Nemo went to the Indian diver and brought him to the surface, saving his life. When the man came to, Captain Nemo gave him a string of pearls.
Back on the Nautilus, Aronnax reflected on the captain’s actions,
noting that he was not devoid of human emotion. When he mentioned this
to the captain, Nemo said that the Indian was his compatriot, a member
of that oppressed country.
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. 09 May 2017