Study Guide

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 2 Chapter 6

By Jules Verne

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Part 2 Chapter 6

The Greek Islands

  • The next morning, Aronnax tells his companions that they've made their way into the Mediterranean. Ned remains skeptical until he sees the coast of Egypt off in the distance.
  • Ned starts thinking about escape again, and Aronnax doesn't want any part of it again.
  • Ned says he's enjoyed the trip, that it's been cool and all, but he's ready to peace out.
  • Aronnax keeps telling him that everything'll be OK, and that they'll get out soon enough. Ned doesn't buy his arguments, though; he can tell Aronnax is stalling because wants more time to explore the ocean.
  • Jeez, we're getting pretty tired of this same old conversation, aren't you? Well, Ned is too.
  • So Ned puts it to him directly: would you leave right now if you could?
  • Aronnax says he's not sure.
  • Ned asks if he would leave right now if it were the only time Nemo would let him.
  • Aronnax doesn't answer.
  • Conseil has nothing to add.
  • Aronnax relents a little. He says they have to try to escape whenever they actually have a good chance of escaping safely. Otherwise the whole thing won't be worth it.
  • Ned lets him know how it'll all go down, in his mind. He thinks they could take the dinghy pretty easily and just row their way to the coast.
  • Aronnax agrees, but warns that one failure would ruin everything. Anyway, he doesn't think they'll ever get a good chance in the first place; Nemo's just too careful about getting close to Europe.
  • Aronnax seems to be right. While they're in the Mediterranean, Nemo keeps away from land and from the surface.
  • Aronnax figures out that Nemo's headed for Crete. He knows Crete was just beginning to revolt against the Turkish when the Abe Lincoln was heading to sea; still, he can't imagine that Nemo would know this. He decides not to mention it.
  • As usual, Aronnax spends his days looking out the windows at ocean life, and Nemo joins him.
  • But this day's a little different. He sees a man out the window, a man he thinks is shipwrecked and drowning. He cries out and tells Nemo that he must save him.
  • Turns out Nemo knows the dude. It's just Nicholas, a.k.a. "Pesce," a famous diver.
  • Nemo is unsurprised by his presence.
  • He walks over to a cabinet and opens it up. It's full of gold bars. Again, Nemo acts like this is no big deal. Aronnax's eyes are popping out of his head.
  • Nemo puts a few bars in a big chest—you know, just 1,000 kilograms of gold—and gets a bunch of crewmen to come carry it out. Then he leaves. No biggie.
  • Aronnax is so jazzed by the whole thing he can't sleep. Up above, he can hear the dinghy being removed and launched. A couple of hours later, he hears it return.
  • The next day, Aronnax tells Conseil and Ned. They wonder where he gets the gold, but they're flabbergasted.
  • After lunch, Aronnax starts feeling all hot and bothered. Literally. The Nautilus seems to be heating up. He thinks it might be on fire.
  • Nemo shows up.
  • Aronnax asks him why it's so hot.
  • Oh, he says, we're just floating over a jet of boiling water near the island of Santorini.
  • They're surrounded by underwater volcanoes. Oh. Em. Gee.
  • Nemo lets Aronnax roast some more; Dr. A. starts dripping with sweat. He asks Nemo if they can move.
  • Oh, yeah, sure, he says.
  • Later, Aronnax realizes that he, Ned, and Conseil would have been roasted alive if they'd tried to escape there. Coincidence? We think not.

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