Study Guide

Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days

By Jules Verne

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Phileas Fogg

Looking for SWM w/ OCD

He's tall, dark, and handsome, and he has wads of cash in that carpetbag—line-up ladies because behind door number seven on Saville Row is Phileas Fogg, eligible bachelor, and English gentleman extraordinaire. Shmoop's all over this one The Bachelor-style, so get behind us if you want a red rose. Mr. Fogg's quite the catch—if we can stand him and his idiosyncrasies.

Not much interests the protagonist of Around the World in Eighty Days, unless you happen to be the deuce of clubs on a whist card or the face of his favorite clock. With a borderline obsessive-compulsive complex and a demeanor that could crack the polar glaciers, he's not much in the way of a heart-to-heart kind of guy, "He was, in short, the least communicative of men" (1.5). Think he'll be spending the evenings curled up next to us drinking cocoa and crooning Ed Sheeran songs? Think again. The dude spends pretty much every waking hour at his club, playing cards with other dudes.

Dating a Man Means Dating His Best Friend

Sadly, if we want to date Fogg, we'll have to consider the other man in his life. Passepartout may be a loyal servant, but we know he's really Phileas Fogg's BFF. The bromance going on between these two is something no girl is ever going to come between. As Passepartout says, "Ah we shall get on together, Mr. Fogg and I! What a domestic and regular gentleman!" (2.10). If Phileas is to remain on our eligible bachelors list then we'll have to make room in our lives for Passepartout, too.

But there's an unexpected bonus here: Fogg's loyal to his friends—once he takes to someone, he sticks with them—so our groom-to-be will surely be loyal to us as well. He's a pretty forgiving person, so if (and when) we mess up, we can count on him to let things slide. "'I hope that this will not happen again,' said Phileas Fogg coldly, as he got on the train" (5.17), expressing his displeasure with Passepartout in an icy way, and yet continuing on his journey with him.

Getting at the Warm Gooey Center

If you're feeling like reserved forgiveness isn't enough warmth and fuzziness, don't get too bummed out yet. If you can appreciate a little eccentricity your life, Phileas still might be the one for you. He has plenty of redeeming attributes underneath his icy exterior, plus he'll never be totally boring.

Perhaps a closet adrenaline junkie with a debatable sailing past, "Phileas Fogg was a bold mariner and new how to maintain headway against the sea" (33.12). Phileas offers that quiet, heroic leadership so many people go gaga for. Dashing and debonair, he does things in style, taking time out of his day for damsels in distress, and always looking out for a woman's wardrobe (oh how we'd love to be Aouda on that shopping spree he sends her on).

We at Shmoop like a positive man, and nothing fazes Phileas Fogg. He'll try anything once: eating cat, riding an elephant, or even creating a mutiny on board a ship. So while his personality might not heap on the warmth and enthusiasm, his actions convey a real interest in being alive and making the most of it.

As a romantic partner, we're thinking Phileas Fogg would be our rock; he's just that impassive and immovable. He gives a whole new world of meaning to the phrase "steady boyfriend." Speaking of rocks—the kind that sparkle on fingers—he'd probably hook us up with a pretty sweet one, because while PF is loaded, he's not greedy or ambitious for money. Heck, he'd also probably set us up with a hefty check for one of our favorite charity cases: elephant rescue.

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