Around the World in 80 Days: character motivation and interaction

Around the World in 80 Days: character motivation and interaction

Principal Characters and Their Motivations

  • Phileas Fogg: The central character, whose main motivation is to win a wager. His interactions with other characters possess a formal, distant quality that is marked by typical British propriety. Despite appearing cold, Fogg’s kind heart shines through in his rescue of Aouda.
  • Passepartout: Fogg’s adventurous and loyal valet. His motivations originate from a desire for excitement and his gratitude towards Fogg. Unlike Fogg, Passepartout is noticeably personable and humorous in his interactions, providing contrast to Fogg’s stiff demeanour.
  • Detective Fix: A character primarily driven by a desire for justice and an obligation to uphold the law. His fixation on arresting Fogg becomes a major plot point, with majority of his interactions being with Passepartout as a route to Fogg.
  • Aouda: Initially driven by survival after Fogg saves her from forced immolation, Aouda later develops feelings for Fogg. Most of her interactions revolve around him.

Cultural Influence and Character Interactions

  • An array of international figures met during the journey serve as a source of cultural contrast to the English protagonists, showing unique motivations and interactions.
  • Segmenting the journey facilitates a study of how different environments and cultures can influence motivation and interaction within the plot. For example, the time spent in India compared to America greatly influences character motivations and actions.

Interpretation and Representation

  • Understanding these characters and their motivations is key when representing their interactions on stage. One could display Fogg’s rigidity through a stiff posture, or Passepartout’s warmth through an inviting body language.
  • Dialogue and movement can also aid in visually interpreting a character’s motivations in a scene. For instance, Fogg’s unwavering confidence in successfully completing his journey can be shown through unwavering eye contact whenever doubt is expressed.

Adaptation Considerations

  • When adapting the novel for the stage, it’s essential to consider how various elements like props, set design, sound, and lighting can help emphasise character motivations and interactions.