Study Guide

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 2 Chapter 1

By Jules Verne

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Part 2 Chapter 1

The Indian Ocean

  • And so begins the second half of our journey through the seas.
  • Aronnax finally realizes—duh—that maybe Nemo doesn't just want freedom from man, but also a chance at revenge.
  • He debates whether or not he should try to escape. One part of him wants freedom, but the other part wants to keep studying the ocean.
  • Now it's the end of January. They've already covered an impressive 6,000 leagues of sea.
  • Once again, Aronnax finds himself on the Nautilus's deck. He checks out the sub's light, then heads back down below.
  • They all spend the next few waves cruising through the Indian Ocean. Not much goes on except for a bunch of eating and fish-classifying.
  • Ned knows that they're coming closer to India. He begins talking about escape again.
  • Aronnax advises him to wait until they get to Europe before doing anything. Really, he's just stalling; he wants to see more cool sea stuff.
  • Still, not much happens. Conseil and Aronnax see a ship one night, and observe an interesting mollusk called a nautilus or Argonaut.
  • One day, some sharks appear. Ned wants to harpoon them. The next day, they encounter a bunch of dead bodies. These incidents are totally unrelated. The bodies have floated down from Ganges river, because they were put in the river during funerals. The sharks do make an appearance to do some tidying up, though.
  • That night, the Nautilus passes through a white sea, called a "sea of milk." It's really just filled with tiny glowing creatures.

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