Study Guide

Around the World in Eighty Days Happiness

By Jules Verne

Happiness

He lived alone, and so to speak, outside of every social relation; and as he knew that in this world account must be taken of friction, and that friction retards, he never rubbed against anybody. (2.4)

Shutting people out might be safe, but it certainly is lonely. Phileas Fogg has a taste for adventure, but when it comes to personal relationships, he's kind of a scaredy-cat.

Having scrutinized the house from top to bottom, he rubbed his hands, a broad smile overspread his features, and he said joyfully, "This is just what I wanted! Ah, we shall get on together, Mr. Fogg and I!" (2.10)

Passepartout is desperate for a little vacation—he wants to serve someone with a predictable schedule and who isn't interested in adventure. Taking things slow and steady would make him super happy.

Happily, however, for Mr. Fogg, the animal's instruction in this direction had not gone far, and the elephant still preserved his natural gentleness. (9.20)

Here's something to consider: There are different kinds of happiness. There's the joyous feeling, but then there's also happiness as a sort of luck—and it's this second kind we may see at work here.

In the way the strange gentleman was going on, he would leave the world without having done any good to himself or anybody else. (11.2)

Sir Francis Cromarty is worried about Phileas Fogg. When Fogg kicks the bucket, will he have ever experienced any happiness? At the rate Fogg is zipping along, caring about nothing, Sir Francis thinks perhaps not.

He was passing methodically in his orbit around the world, regardless of the lesser stars which gravitated around him. (17.20)

If Phileas Fogg is an orbital moon, it might be good for him to be a bit more down to earth once in a while. He's missing out on what's happening here on his own planet, the one he's tripping on.

At the fifty-seventh second the door of the saloon opened; and the pendulum had not beat the sixtieth second when Phileas Fogg appeared, followed by an excited crowd who had forced their way through the club doors, and in his calm voice, said, "Here I am, gentlemen!" (36.11)

Phileas Fogg has won and there is much rejoicing. But what is Phileas most happy about? He certainly doesn't need the money…

Passepartout went on his errand enchanted. (37.2)

Sometimes we are happy for ourselves, but as we see here with Passepartout and his wedding errand, sometimes we are simply delighted for those we care about.

His object was, however, to be victorious, not to win money. (37.9)

Being victorious leads to an increase in reputation and respect, something Phileas Fogg is definitely after. Since he's rich already, a gigantic bunch of money is just icing on the cake.

It need not be said that the marriage took place forty-eight hours after, and that Passepartout, glowing and dazzling, gave the bride away. (37.11)

Passepartout deeply respects the two people getting hitched. Phileas and Aouda are perfect for each other and he's so excited to be a part of their happiness. Happiness can be contagious.

Nothing you say? Perhaps so; nothing but a charming woman, who, strange as it may appear, made him the happiest of men. (37.14)

Jules Verne asks us what Phileas Fogg has gained by going around the world. Shmoop's not going to lie: Dude looks like one happy bloke.

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