Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne-Free Book Summary|
The train continues on its path. Passepartout steps down at a station, when he sees an interesting man-tall, very dark, who looked like a parson. This man goes from one part of the train to another and announces that he will give a lecture on Mormonism in car No. 117. Thirty people are drawn by the attraction of a lecture, including Passepartout. The Mormon missionary-Elder William Hitch turns out to be a fanatic and one by one, people start leaving the lecture room. Passepartout is the last to escape the tedious preaching. During the lecture, the train had made rapid progress and the landscape is outlined. The train stops at Ogden for a few hours and so the travelers alight. The town is described through the visiting travelers’ eye and the voyagers do not feel sorry about leaving this City of Saints. Just as the train starts, a breathless Mormon man runs up and he is late because of a domestic fight. Passepartout asks him how many wives he has and they learn that he has only one wife unlike other Mormons.
A major part of this chapter is devoted to Mormonism-the theory, its culture, a Mormon missionary and his fanaticism as well as a Mormon town. Passepartout goes to attend the Mormon missionary’s lecture out of curiosity but finds it very boring, as the others do too. Verne does have a large landscape in the background of his story and apart from various places various religions are described too-Mormonism is one such practice. But we can feel that the author is not too appreciative of this way of life.
Ogden is another American City that we are led through. We are also told that the travelers are not sorry to leave it. This city of Saints is not exactly a very colorful place and Mormons on the whole are a simple lot.
This is one chapter in which the focus is not on the hero and his experiences, but on his valet, Passepartout’s experiences. Apart from that, the emphasis is also on Mormonism and the chapter ends also with a Mormon rushing into the train. He is late because of a domestic fight. Verne seems to underline at the end that one wife is more than enough to make a man go crazy, he doesn’t need to have two-three to make him mad. It does look like a chauvinistic viewpoint to present.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on Around the World in Eighty Days".
. 10 May 2008