Study Guide

Around the World in Eighty Days Time

By Jules Verne

Time

He breakfasted and dined at the club, at hours mathematically fixed. (1.7)

Phileas Fogg keeps a strict schedule, and we do mean strict. This guy literally chows down at the same time every single day. We wonder what this says about his personality…

"What time is it?" (1.11)

It's time for lunch. Nah, just kidding. How many times are they going to ask this question throughout the novel? Enough that you probably don't want to try to count.

"Now from this moment, twenty-nine minutes after eleven, a.m., this Wednesday, October 2nd, you are in my service." (1.12)

What an employer—Phileas documents not just the date, but the time he hires people. Hope Passepartout can handle working for such a precise dude.

"I'd like to see you do it in eighty days." (3.9)

Gauntlet thrown, challenge accepted: Phileas Fogg is so going to take this bet, giving him just another reason to obsessively track time.

"Left London, Wednesday, October 2nd, at 8:45 p.m." (7.7)

Phileas Fogg keeps track of his journey just like a diary, but he doesn't include any juicy details—nope, instead he bothers to note things like specific times.

"You are in a great hurry then?" (8.4)

Should we all be in a hurry, or is there something to be said for taking our time? For Phileas Fogg, every millisecond counts.

Eleven o'clock was striking; Mr. Fogg was an hour in advance of time. (15.19)

Early is on time, and on time is late—at least that's what our moms always say. In Phileas's case, adding up time gained is one step closer to winning that big cash prize waiting for him at the end.

All the detective's hopes and wishes were now centered on Hong Kong; for the steamer's stay at Singapore would be too brief to enable him to take any steps there. (16.7)

That's the funny thing about machines: They're always breaking down when you need them the most. Detective Fix apparently depends on these delays in order to catch Phileas Fogg and bring him to justice.

"I could not risk myself, my men, or my little boat of scarcely twenty tons on so long a voyage at this time of year." (20.10)

Finally a character—in this case, a sea captain—who isn't swayed by money. Time (both duration of voyage and time of year) are far bigger factors in this guy's decision-making process. Maybe Phileas Fogg has met his match this time.

Having made the tour of the world, he was behindhand five minutes. He had lost the wager! (34.19)

When time means winning or losing, every second counts. But what does the entire adventure mean for Phileas Fogg? He doesn't need the money, so what are the stakes of finishing in time for him?