Intellect, Precision, Courtesy; The Makings of a Leader
The ocean swells around you like a dust devil in a sandbox. Salt water fills your nostrils. The ship that deemed this fate upon you sails into the distance. You wonder, how am I going to get out of this one? Suddenly, a large metal object plants itself beneath your feet. A porthole opens and men carry you inside the belly of the large iron beast floating nether you. What’s going to happen now? In Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, this is exactly what main characters M. Aronmax, his servant Conseil, and Ned Land the harpooner, were thinking. After a hefty six-hour wait of being locked in a dark cell, the door opens. A man who introduces himself as Captain Nemo, an obvious leader and a man of stature, claims to have built the submersible in order to travel the world without ever having to step back on the land which he so greatly rejects. Reflection on the qualities of leadership reveals how Captain Nemo’s character enabled him to do exactly this.
It is soon apparent that Captain Nemo a man of keen intellect. His knowledge of the sea, the many languages he speaks, and the education he has given his men all contribute the success of his ship’s goal, to explore. Examples of his intelligence are rampant throughout the novel. In a burial at sea the captain decided to envelop the body, not only in a coral reef, but also in byssus to seal it for eternity and protect it from sharks. The uncommon understanding of the effects of byssus, or other plant life, demonstrates his depth of research. Using one’s intellect to benefit practical concerns instills admiration and confidence in those serving you. His many years of study also contributed to a broad knowledge of languages: “ ‘Gentlemen’,” said he, in a calm and penetrating voice, ‘I speak French, English, German, and Latin equally well’ ”. Knowing many languages is...
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