20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Exile Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
I saw the enigmatic individual as essentially pitiless and cruel, as he was forced to be. I felt him as being beyond the pale of humanity, insensible to feelings of pity, the remorseless enemy of his fellow beings, against whom he must have sworn an undying hatred. (1.9.63)
Having known the captain for all of an hour, Aronnax already guesses that Nemo's hatred is what keeps him apart from man. This dude hasn't been banished in any traditional sense; he exiled his darn self.
I caught a glimpse of a frightening past in this man's life. Not only had he placed himself outside humanity's laws, but he had made himself independent, free in the strictest sense of the word, out of all reach! Who would dare pursue him to the bottom of the seas, given that he could foil any efforts made against him on the surface? (1.10.21)
One of Nemo's really big achievements is turning what would be a terrible, or, well, impossible place to live, into the perfect hideaway. Especially given that he's hiding himself away in a metal-plated warship that, as we have seen, can kick total warship butt.
No man alive could demand from him an account of his works. God, if he believed in Him, and his conscience, if he had one, were the only judges to whom he could answer. (1.10.21)
Since his self-exile puts Nemo beyond society's reach, he's not subject to man's laws anymore. But Aronnax hopes that he will be accountable to both God and his conscience… the thing is, he's not sure Nemo believes in God, and he's not sure he's got a conscience, either.