20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Is Nemo really such a bad guy, or is he just misunderstood?
- Aronnax may be a scientist, but is his account of the voyage as objective as we might expect?
- Verne never bothers answering the big questions about Nemo. We don't know his nationality, his real gripe with mankind, etc. Why do you think Verne leaves us in the dark?
- At the story's end, Aronnax writes, "So, to the question which the Book of Ecclesiastes posed 6,000 years ago, 'hast thou walked in the search of the depth?', two men, amongst all men, now have the right to reply. Captain Nemo and I." That is, Aronnax claims to have the same knowledge of the ocean depths as Captain Nemo. Do we believe this claim? Why or why not?
- Let's assume that Nemo was terribly wronged—that he was driven from land because of some awful tragedy, and that he and his crew endured the worst possible punishments and humiliations. Would Nemo's actions be justified then?
- Is the Nautilus's plunge into the Maelstrom really an accident? Is an experienced captain like Nemo likely to make such a mistake?
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