Study Guide

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Three-Act Plot Analysis

By Jules Verne

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Three-Act Plot Analysis

Act I

Aronnax and company go searching for a mysterious sea creature. They end up captives in the belly of the (mechanical, man-made) beast.

Act II

With the help of the enigmatic Captain Nemo, Aronnax explores strange underwater worlds. He's blown away by what he sees. Still, some troubling incidents lead Aronnax to doubt his host's intentions. Meanwhile, Ned gets homesick and begins to plan an escape.


Nemo's troubling behavior is brought into the open. He sinks a ship violently and without remorse. Aronnax is appalled, and decides to escape with Ned and Conseil. When the Nautilus gets caught in the Maelstrom—an epic whirlpool that threatens to devour them all—they make a break for it and end up safe in Scandinavia. Nemo's fate is uncertain.

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