“He was so exact that he was never in a hurry, was always ready, and was economical alike of his steps and his motions.”Chapter 2, p. 16 Phileas Fogg, the man who wagers his fortune that he can travel around the world in eighty days, is always described as having a scientific mind and stoic, machine-like behavior. He has the perfect character for such a trip that relies on calm calculation and not wasting time.
“Passepartout had been a sort of vagrant in his early years, and now yearned for repose; but so far he had failed to find it, though he had already served in ten English houses.”Chapter 2, p. 17Fogg’s lively French servant is looking for a calm stable English gentleman to serve and thinks Fogg will be extremely boring, unlike the other English gentlemen he has worked for. Ironically, Fogg, the predictable, suddenly undertakes a thrilling trip around the world, an adventure that almost costs Passepartout his life several times over.
“But a single delay would suffice to fatally break the chain of communication; should Phileas Fogg once miss, even by an hour, a steamer, he would have to wait for the next, and that would irrevocably render his attempt vain.”Chapter 5, p. 29In accepting the challenge of going around the world in the least time possible according to the technological ability of 1872, Fogg sets up almost impossible odds of winning. He insists that he has calculated in possible accidents or delays.
“‘Consul’, remarked the detective, dogmatically, ‘great robbers always resemble honest folks.’”Chapter 6, p. 32Detective Fix of Scotland Yard claims he has a particular scent for criminals, even if they appear to be honest, like Phileas Fogg. Believing Fogg has robbed the Bank of England, he pursues him around the world trying to defeat his attempt to win his bet. He turns out to be dead wrong.
“Sir Francis Cromarty . . . questioned himself whether a human heart really beat beneath this cold exterior, and whether Phileas Fogg had any sense of the beauties of nature.” Chapter 11, p. 51Fogg’s traveling companion in India wonders whether Fogg is human because he never looks at the land he is traveling through, but rather is fixated on his schedule. When he takes time out to rescue the Princess Aouda from burning on her husband’s funeral pyre, Sir Francis decides Fogg does have some human feeling.
“Docks, hospitals, wharves, a Gothic cathedral, a government house, macadamized streets, give to Hong Kong the appearance of a town in Kent or Surrey transferred by some strange magic to the antipodes.” Chapter 19, p. 95The narrator notes everywhere around the world evidence of the British Empire, then at its height, with its many colonies, English industrialization and lifestyle, even in India and China.
“‘I have seen his generosity and goodness; and I will never betray him—not for all the, gold in the world. I come from a village where they don’t eat that kind of bread.’”Chapter 19, p. 101. Detective Fix tries to convince Passepartout that his master is a criminal and offers to give him part of the reward money, but Passepartout believes Fogg is an honorable man and remains loyal to him.
“ The boat scudded thus northward during the whole day, borne on by monstrous waves, preserving always, fortunately, a speed equal to theirs. . . .The passengers were often bathed in spray, but they submitted to it philosophically. As for Phileas Fogg, it seemed just as if the typhoon were a part of his programme.”Chapter 21, p. 111.Fogg is ever the stoic and avoids panic in any situation, confident that all accidents of nature will fit into his overall plan and help him towards his goal.
“Aouda quickly replied; ‘I understand whist. It is part of an English education.’”Chapter 28, p. 152. The narrator pokes a bit of fun at the English with their addiction to the card game of whist. On the American train, the Princess from India is able to divert Fogg with playing whist to keep him from dueling with Colonel Stamp Proctor, because she was brought up with an English education. This is one way she wins Fogg’s heart and becomes his wife.
“‘Captain Fogg, you’ve got something of the Yankee about you.’”Chapter 33, p. 184.Captain Andrew Speedy addresses these words to Fogg, who has taken over his boat, sailed it across the Atlantic, and burned all the wood on the ship down to the hull to keep the steam going. Speedy thinks Fogg is bold and has Yankee ingenuity.