Study Guide

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 1 Chapter 11

By Jules Verne

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Part 1 Chapter 11

The Nautilus

  • The tour begins in the library, which is lined with large shelves that are filled with books. In the middle of the room, there's a big table piled high with magazines and old newspapers. Seems like Nemo hasn't had a chance to renew his subscriptions.
  • Aronnax is impressed by Nemo's collection of books, and the complete peace in which he can read and study them. We guess there are some benefits to being held captive undersea after all: endless reading time for us literature nerds.
  • Nemo tells him that his library holds 12,000 books—and they're all Aronnax's for the reading.
  • Aronnax examines the shelves, and finds that there are an extra lot of science books.
  • At this point, Nemo reveals that the library isn't just for reading. It's for smoking too. He passes Aronnax a very special cigar, one made of seaweed. Which sounds kind of gross to us, but we're just going with it.
  • The next room Nemo takes Aronnax to is something of a museum. Nemo's got it stocked with paintings by Da Vinci and Raphael and all those other old masters, along with some newer pieces. He's even got the scores to music by the likes of Beethoven and Mozart.
  • But that's not all. This is no simple art museum. It's also a natural history museum. Nemo's got cases filled with rare specimens drawn from the seas of the world: corals and shells and starfish galore. Oh, and pearls. Lots and lots of pearls.
  • His collection is, in short, priceless.
  • As much as Aronnax enjoys all of this, he's dying to know how the Nautilus works.
  • So Nemo takes him to his (that is, Nemo's) bedroom—which is really pretty bare for the captain's cabin—and sits him down for a chat.

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