Study Guide

Around the World in Eighty Days Chance

By Jules Verne

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It's hard to resist a friendly bet sometimes, right? This is how we've found ourselves in swimming pools in January and five dollars richer from time to time. So when Phileas Fogg accepts the bet to go around the world, we totally get it. We've stuffed whole donuts in our faces just to prove we could, worn our clothes backwards, and even eaten worms to win a bet—all for the jingle of cold, hard cash… and to prove we're adventurous, brave, and really cool.

In Around the World in Eighty Days, it's a fact that Phileas Fogg loves to gamble. But it isn't a game of whist or even his decision to circle the globe that's Fogg's biggest risk—nope, it's taking chances on some personal relationships. Phileas gambles on using his time to do the right thing, like saving his friends, paying people for their time, and traveling by means of non-traditional conveyance. And in the end, it's these chances that reward Phileas most.

Questions About Chance

  1. What is the biggest risk Phileas takes? Why is this the biggest one? What are the stakes? What does this reveal about Phileas as a character?
  2. Is the success of the adventure around the world ultimately due to chance or planning? Why? Give evidence from the book to support your answer.
  3. Who is the riskiest character in this book and why?

Chew on This

Aouda takes the biggest risks of any character in the book.

Phileas's success in his adventure is entirely due to chance.

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