The Best Chapters of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas

Jules Verne was an amazing author. Verne’s most famous work was undoubtedly Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, an underwater adventure starring a French Professor, his loyal manservant, and a Canadian Harpooner being prisoners on an underwater submarine that will never return them to their homes. The book was considered to be the first of the Science Fiction Genre, which is much different from what Science Fiction is today. People may have favorite chapters or parts that they really enjoy in this classic novel. This is exactly what this essay is about.

My third favorite chapter of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas is chapter twenty-three of book one, titled Aegi Somnia, or Troubled Dreams. In chapter twenty-three of book one, Professor Aronnax, Counseil, and Ned Land were all placed into confinement after Aronnax had tried to see what Captain Nemo of the Nautilus was staring at with his telescope. Just why Nemo had done this was a puzzle in my mind, whether he was hiding something, or Ned’s hope of escape had been discovered. This mystery is only revealed at the end of the book, which makes sense with Nemo’s facial expression when he snatched the telescope. When in confinement, Counseil had forced himself to eat, and Ned was disappointed when the menu was standard, not the land game from his hunting trip on Guebora Island, but he still ate with a drop of sanity from Anorrax.

My Second Favorite Chapter in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas is Chapter Twelve of Book Two, titled, Sperm Whales and Baleen Whales. This chapter was about Captain Nemo rescuing a herd of Baleen Whales from a herd of Sperm Whales that were going to attack. The problem with this is that sperm whales wouldn’t eat baleen whales, their diets are mostly squid, so a Sperm whale would probably want to eat a kraken more than a baleen whale for sure. When Ned has first seen the herd of baleen whales, he asked Nemo if he could use his harpoon. Nemo had said no, since the Nautilus had no need for oil and he thought they were beneficial. They also had many natural enemies according to him as well, namely sperm whales in the distance. Nemo had decided to mount a rescue of the baleen whales at the last second, and had chopped them with the Nautilis’ horn, or what he called “ ‘… a slaughter of destructive animals’ “. Ned disagreed and instead called it butchery. Like many scenes in the novel, after the butchering, the ocean was dyed red from the bloodshed. Nemo’s one last act was to take the Sperm Whale’s milk for his own use, which he claimed tasted like a cow’s milk.

My Favorite Chapter in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a tie. The two chapters are chapter two of book two, A New Proposition From Captain Nemo, and chapter three of book two, A Pearl Worth Ten Million. Both are excellent chapters of a spectacular book, but I can’t decide between the humor of the hither and the surprise of the latter. Chapter two starts out when Aronnax reads a book about their heading, which was off the coast of Ceylon (now Sri-Lanka). Nemo then asks if Aronnax wants to go pearl fishing, but also warns about sharks in the area. Aronaxx wants to warn Counseil and Ned about sharks in the reigion, so he replaces certain words with sharks or man-eaters, like “’…They even mention one oyster, about which I remain dubious, that supposedly contained at least 150 sharks.’”, and , “‘…these Ceylon fisheries are farmed annually for a total profit of 3,000,000 man–eaters.””. Ned and Counseil eventually found out that there were sharks and they took precautions.  The third chapter was about when Nemo, Aronnax, Counseil, and Ned went pearl fishing. They first went to a cave and saw a massive pearl worth ten million Francs (₣, worth $1.9 million). Aronnax wanted to take the pearl, but after being halted by Nemo, he realized that waiting would mean a larger, more valuable pearl. They then went pearl fishing, only to find a poor Indian starting a month early. A shark came by and nearly killed Nemo, only to be saved by Ned’s harpoon. The poor Indian nearly died in the attack, and after being brought back to the surface, he received a bag of pearls and was stunned. This showed Nemo’s “good side”, which can be definitively said to be shown here.

In conclusion, my favorite chapters in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas are chapters twenty-three in book one and chapters, two, three, and twelve in book two. This is one of the classics of literature that takes my mind into a world of imagination, but even more for the people who bought the book in the nineteenth century, who had no vehicle like a submarine at the time. The novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas was spectacular, and I would gladly read it again.