Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Topics: Jules Verne, Runic alphabet, A Journey to the Center of the Earth Pages: 4 (1381 words) Published: April 21, 2006
Journey to the Center of the Earth is an 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne (published in the original French as Voyage au centre de la Terre). The story involves a professor who leads his nephew and hired guide down a volcano in Iceland to the "center of the Earth". They encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy. From a scientific point of view, this story has not aged quite as well as other Verne stories, since most of his ideas about what the interior of the Earth is like have since been proven wrong. However, a redeeming point to the story is Verne's own belief, told within the novel from the viewpoint of a character, that the inside of the Earth does indeed differ from that which the characters encounter. Compared to his previous works, Verne takes a radically different approach to storytelling by making the main character and narrator a 16 year old boy who relates to the events as his own adventures. It is unknown whether this was done under the influence of his publisher Hetzel who wanted to distribute Verne's work as aimed towards growing teens, but the result is quite remarkable. While his previous novel and many of his later works are in fact fictionalized science, this is a grippling story of the adventures of an adolescent boy, the science taking a backdrop against his own experiences. As a result, even today the story still feels fresh and enjoyable for young and old likewise. The story is narrated by Axel Lidenbrock, nephew of the eminent German geologist and naturalist, Professor Otto Lidenbrock. The story begins on Sunday 24th May 1863, in the Lidenbrock house in Hamburg, with Professor Lidenbrock rushing home to peruse his latest purchase, an original runic manuscript of an Icelandic saga written by Snorri Sturluson. While looking through the book, Lidenbrock and Axel find a coded note written in runic script. (A first indication of Verne's love...
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