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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

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)

The key word here seems to be forced. Aronnax suggests that Nemo can't help but hate whomever or whatever caused his pain.

Quote #2

Would I ever know to what nation this strange man belonged, that boasted of belonging to none? Who had produced the hatred he had sworn for the whole of humanity, the hatred which might perhaps seek a terrible vengeance? Was he one of those unrecognized scientists, one of those geniuses 'who had been hurt' to use Conseil's expression, a modern Galileo; or he was he one of those scientists […] whose career was ruined by a political revolution? (1.14.24)

Aronnax is kind of canonizing Nemo here. This quote points to Aronnax's strongly ambivalent relationship with the dude. On the one hand, he's suspicious of the captain from the start. On the other hand, he's so impressed with the captain's inventions and daily life that he reveres Nemo in a scary, Celebrity Worship Syndrome way.

Quote #3

Captain Nemo joined us.

"Well, Master Land?" he enquired.

"Well, monsieur," replied the Canadian, whose enthusiasm had diminished; "it was a terrible sight indeed. But I am not a butcher, I am a hunter, and this was just butchers' work."

"It was a massacre of evil animals," said the captain, "and the Nautilus is not a butcher's knife."

"I prefer my harpoon."

"To each his weapon," replied Nemo, staring at Ned. (2.12.117-122)

Nemo is more than a misanthrope. He evidently hates some other "evil" animals as well. This quote shows us just how far Nemo takes his division of the world into the "oppressors" and the "oppressed"; he's even willing, quite crazily, to apply this dichotomy to whales.

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