In Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg has a lot of money. Verne makes good and sure we know this, and he also takes great pains to make it crystal clear that Passepartout is not rolling in dough. Still, who is the character to really enjoy his trip around the world? It's certainly not Phileas Fogg, who uses money like toilet paper—he doesn't even get off the train or the boat half the time. It's Passepartout who seems to understand that money may not buy you happiness.
To be fair, Phileas doesn't just use money to make life comfy for himself. He's incredibly generous. He pays people what their time or inconvenience is worth and he's a pretty good gift-giver. Just ask the Parsee guide who gets an elephant after helping rescue Aouda and delivering the group safely through the Indian jungle. Fogg splits the earnings from winning the around the world bet with Passepartout (who clearly deserves it) but also with Detective Fix (who's recently had him arrested). We think Phileas does just fine with knowing exactly how to spend his money for the right reasons. Now if only he'd donate just a bit to Shmoop…
Questions About Money
In order to travel the world, does a person need a lot of money? Use examples from the book to support your argument.
Can money really buy happiness? Which characters prove this?
What kinds of actions are expected of people who have a lot of money? How do they compare to those who don't have as much money?
Does having money make life easier or harder in Around the World in Eighty Days?
Chew on This
Phileas Fogg is able to accomplish his trip around the world only because he is rich.
Love for poor people is different than love for rich people.