Around the World in 80 Days: historical context

Around the World in 80 Days: historical context

Contextual Overview of “Around the World in 80 Days”

  • Around the World in 80 Days” is a novel by French author Jules Verne and was first published in 1872. Understanding this timeframe will give a better understanding of the cultural and societal norms presented.
  • British imperialism was at its height during this period, with the British Empire controlling many territories around the world. This has some reflection in Phileas Fogg’s journey.

Technological Influence and Industrial Revolution

  • At the time of writing, advancements in technology were allowing for quicker global travel. The Industrial Revolution, a period of rapid industrial growth, saw the development of railways, steamships, and other forms of fast transportation. Verne was inspired by these technological advancements.

Geographic and Travel-Based Knowledge

  • Verne makes full use of the geographical knowledge available at the time for Fogg’s itinerary. His route, if not always his means of transportation, was based on fact. An appreciation of geographical and travel-based knowledge of the Victorian era may help in understanding why certain destinations were chosen in the story.

Cultural Representations and Attitudes

  • Attitudes towards women and people from different cultures as represented in the novel reflect the values of the 19th century. For instance, the subordinate role of Aouda, an Indian princess rescued by Fogg, speaks to the societal norms of the time.

Exploration and Adventure Themes in Literature

  • It’s important to consider the themes of exploration and adventure in the context of 19th-century literature. This was a time when tales of voyages and discoveries were highly popular – a taste that Verne tapped into.

The Concept of Time in the Victorian Era

  • Lastly, consider the concept of time in the Victorian era. Clocks and timekeeping were becoming more precise and time was a significant element in the industrialization of societies—an idea central to the novel.