Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas Book Report

Jules Verne was an amazing author who wrote several amazing novels. Among the best of them was Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. The plot goes like this; a French professor, his manservant, and a Canadian whaler are thrown overboard off the USS Abraham Lincoln, searching for this supposed giant narwhal, which us a type of whale that has a horn on its head. What the trio finds, however, is that this giant narwhal is actually a powerful submarine captained by a man who has abandoned the rest of human society and decides to keep the three prisoner aboard his ship. The book had begun a new genre of fiction dubbed science fiction, and the book’s characters were classic. Almost everybody could relate to the characters, from Ned Land’s daring escape plans to escape to Professor Aronnax’s delight at seeing the wonders of the sea; this book has better and more interesting characters than even the Hunger Games series. Perhaps the most interesting pair of characters is Ned Land and Captain Nemo.

Ned Land is a Canadian whaler who comes aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to help find and destroy the supposed giant narwhal that has severely damaged ships across the world. After the supposed narwhal rams into the boat, Ned, along with Professor Aronnax and his servant Counseil, are thrown overboard and discover that the giant narwhal is actually an electric powered submarine captained by a man who has separated himself from society. Ned and his friends are forced to accept a deal that makes the trio prisoner on the submarine, dubbed the Nautilus. Ned finds this outrageous, and plans numerous escapes, but only one is able to commence. While they are aboard, Nemo allows Ned and his friends to gather food on Guebora Island in the East Indies. Ned, craving red meat, nearly exterminated the wild boar population on the island. Eventually Ned and is friends escape the Nautilus while it is getting pulled into a whirlpool. The three wait on an island off the coast of Norway until spring, when they can return to their homes.

Captain Nemo, which is Latin for no one, is a shadowy character in the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. Nemo is a man who has separated himself from society and built a submarine for himself, and his crew, to live on. Nemo must have spent a considerable amount of time aboard his vessel before Ned, Aronnax, and Counseil came aboard, since Nemo has a great wealth of information about the ocean and even takes his captives on a tour of all the oceans. Nemo has many plans involving money, including creating a massive pearl from an oyster only known to him and his captives. Nemo also has his own philosophy on how civilization should work, and this is shown by his library collection and the introduction to the book, however, Nemo sees him as an exception to the rule, and contradicts many of his beliefs. Nemo has dark secrets, and Aronnax finds out that when Nemo put him and his friends back in the same room they were in on their arrival, that Nemo damaged the vessel of a nation whom he is trying to exact revenge upon, and that before the Nautilus got pulled into the whirlpool, most likely because government officials or the military of that nation murdered his family. The reader never finds out if Nemo, his crew, or the magnificent Nautilus survived the whirlpool. Nemo may have died, but perhaps by miracle or ingenious engineering and design the Nautilus continued its journey through the oceans, with or without Nemo.

The two characters have very little in common. However, their similarity keeps them at odds with each other, which in the storyline is an important attribute. Both characters are persistent, almost stubborn at times. Ned Land’s persistence in trying to escape the Nautilus, as it is a prison for him, is remarkable and almost childlike reaction when his plans go wrong due to Nemo’s random movements. Ned is also a persistent hunter, and even though it is a good quality for a hunter to begin with, Ned’s persistence, despite his friends’ complaints, pays off when he nearly exterminates the population of wild boar on Guebora Island. Nemo also shows persistence, in that of seeking revenge, his ultimate goal, and attacked the ship of his nationality twice in the book, but there may have been more attacks in the past, before Nemo had held Ned and his friends captive.

Nemo and Ned Land have a great many differences. Now, there are some more obvious ones, such as Ned considering the Nautilus a prison while Nemo considers it his home, but here are a few more subtle ones. One of those differences is seen in Chapter 12 in Book 2 of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, when Nemo prohibits Ned from harpooning a whole bunch of baleen whales because the crew has no use for oil or any part of the whale. Ned however, would harpoon the whole herd for pure sport. Nemo is practical, unless there is a use for it, leave it be, kind of person. Ned hunts not just for food, but also for sport. A second difference is that Ned Land, unlike Nemo, isn’t a scholarly man. Ned Land is never shown in the novel to read any sort of literature or informational text, and only uses the stateroom as a meeting place to plot escapes. Nemo has mastered every major language in the world, from English to German to Latin to Chinese, unlike Ned, and can pick any book up from his library and start reading it, regardless of the language. Ned probably doesn’t like reading, but by all means is most definitely literate, but Nemo excels in literature. A last difference is how the two characters react to situations. Ned Land is rash, and will be quick to anger. Nemo on the other hand, usually keeps a cool head among things, and replies with a sense of purpose and reason. Even when Nemo gets angry, he reacts differently, and keeps many of his true emotions inside him only to reveal them in rare circumstances. After Chapter 12 in Book 2, Ned started o draw inward and go into a depression. Nemo also draws inward, but unlike Ned, bursts into tears and isn’t tempted to kill himself, but rather live on and outwit or outmatch the opposing force. These are a few differences among Ned Land and Captain Nemo.

In conclusion, the two characters are different, even if you think deeply about it, the conclusion is that the two characters don’t have many similarities. Think about it. A Canadian Harpooner and a man who has separated himself from the rest of human society, they sound different to begin with. Not to mention the fact that whaling was a pretty big business in the nineteenth century, and Ned had some connection with society, especially when he tells tales about his past. Ned will hunt for sport, while Nemo, being practical, would only hunt if the animal had something he needed. Also, Ned Land isn’t scholarly like Nemo. Ned also reacts to situations differently than Nemo, whereas Ned tantrums, Nemo keeps a cool head most of the time. However, their one similarity, persistence, keeps one’s personality from overpowering the other in a war between the two characters. If it weren’t for that similarity, this book report may not even exist.

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