Study Guide

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 2 Chapter 9

By Jules Verne

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Part 2 Chapter 9

A Vanished Continent

  • The next day, Ned shows up in Aronnax's room.
  • Aronnax tells him about Nemo's "bank"—the treasure at the bottom of the ocean—and tries to convince him that maybe leaving isn't the best idea.
  • Ned doesn't listen. He's already planning for next time.
  • Soon, it becomes clear they're moving away from the coast. Ned skulks out. No escaping now. Aronnax is relieved. Now he's got more time to work.
  • Later that night, Nemo shows up and asks Aronnax if he wants to go for a nighttime jaunt.
  • Nemo and Aronnax suit up, and soon they're walking on the ocean floor.
  • During their walk, Aronnax spies a strange red glow off in the distance. He thinks that maybe Nemo's taking him to some kind of underwater city, a city filled with exiles like him.
  • They keep heading toward the light, up the slope of a mountain. Nemo keeps climbing without rest, and Aronnax can do nothing but follow.
  • After two hours of walking, our two dudes get near the top of the mountain, where they encounter some freaky crustaceans. Nemo's unfazed. They keep walking.
  • They reach a plateau. Off in the distance, Aronnax can see some piles of stones that look… unnatural. They look like the work of man.
  • Nemo waves Aronnax onward. Finally, they reach the summit.
  • Down below, Aronnax can see the crater of a volcano, spewing lava. Beyond that, he can see what looks like a city, an ancient city, built in the style of the Greeks or Romans. It has been destroyed, and it is crumbling.
  • Nemo picks up a piece of chalky stone and writes this on a rock: "ATLANTIS."
  • Say what? They're visiting Atlantis, the lost city, a mythical place that's apparently not so mythical at all.
  • Aronnax is bummed out that they don't have much time to explore the place.
  • They leave after an hour and head back to the Nautilus. As is the case with most vacations, the trip home seems to take forever.

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