This sensational novel is an adventure novel consisting of an enterprising Englishman touring the globe. Woven within are historical facts, such as the British Empire and colonies around the globe, as well as historically accurate locations.
The theme of this breathtaking novel is one of daring and persistence. On the whim of a wager, Fogg is sent around the world in the impossible time span of eighty days. Throughout the work, Fogg's limitless persistence, entwined with his stereotypical English composure, astound the reader. Fogg represents this boundless daring in the audacious wager he makes. He has promised his arrival back in London in eighty days, regardless of the wilderness, delay, or other problems that may arise on his journey. The reader is, perhaps, driven to the conclusion that Fogg is a madman, who takes lightly to large sums of money. This is not so, as Fogg (although the wager seems unfeasible) is a reserved man, calm and collected at all times atop the punctuality Verne expresses within him in just the first chapters. Verne expresses the stereotypical Englishmen, the seeker of adventure, popular in his time. Almost jokingly does Verne come to this conclusion, he being a Frenchman, in which all Englishmen will go to the corners of the Earth to find an area to "Europeanize", find a wild beast to market from, or a project to throw their pounds at. Fogg's endless persistence, is further shown in his composure while great delays push him back, tragedies occur around him, and loved ones are lost repeatedly. His endless hope was a flood during a great drought within the circumstances he was found in. Train delays were compensated through elephant purchases, steamer delays through chartering yachts, stubborn foreigners subdued through a handful of bank notes even the weather seemed to fall before Fogg. His devotion to his ultimate goal, not that of the money but of the accomplishment, was infinitely expressed throughout the work.
The setting for this novel was a constantly shifting one. Taking place during what seems to be the Late Industrial Revolution and the high of the British Empire, the era is portrayed amongst influential Englishmen, the value of the pound, the presence of steamers, railroads, ferries, and a European globe. The novel begins in London, but quickly changes eastward, from Paris, to Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Yokohama, San Francisco, Omaha, New York, Queenstown, Liverpool, and back to London a complete circumnavigation around the glove condensed into two hundred-odd pages. Within these locales, the area is constantly in transportation areas, that is to say, railroad stations, quays, and carriages.
Around the World in Eighty Days begins in the Reform Club in London, where whist players of different disciplines have challenged the news of a circumnavigation conquered in eighty days. Phileas Fogg, a daring individual, wagers with his comrades he can accomplish the trip in that specified time regardless of delay, bad weather, or other incidents and accidents. His fellow players, astounded at Fogg's brazen gamble, offer twenty thousand pounds to the winner, Fogg, or those at the Club. And thus, the incredible journey begins. Fogg returns to his home on Saville Row, where he asks his newly appointed servant to pack his essentials and prepare to voyage to France. Fogg, the punctual Englishman, tallies his gains and losses within a journal as the trip continues. The two voyagers arrive in Paris, and just as swiftly depart to Marseilles. There, hastily again, they steam to Suez. While in Suez, a certain Mr. Fix, an English detective, is on the wait for a warrant for the arrest of a bank robber. The supposed criminal is described exactly as Fogg's persona, and Fix is determined to arrest this eccentric man before he leaves English lands. Just as the detective feels ready for an arrest, the servant...