Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days Literary Elements



Setting and Context

Late 19th century London, with the journey across the world covering India, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States. The British control much of the world at this time.

Narrator and Point of View

The book is narrated in third person omniscient, typically focusing on either Phileas Fogg or Passepartout as the protagonists.

Tone and Mood

The book has a fast-paced, urgent tone and mood, as Fogg and his party try desperately to make it around the world in 80 days to win the wager.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Phileas Fogg is the primary protagonist, and Detective Fix is the antagonist.

Major Conflict

The book's main conflict has to do with making it around the world in time to win the wager Fogg made with the Reform Club members. They must repeatedly reason their way out of various obstacles in their way. Another conflict emerges when Fogg is accused of robbing the Bank of England, and Detective Fix pursues him across the world to try to arrest him.


Though the novel has many small peaks, the main climax comes when they reach New York too late to catch the steamer to England, and Fogg commandeers a trade ship to take them across the Atlantic.


Repeated references to Passepartout's watch being set to London time foreshadow the ending, when they realize they have gained a day by traveling eastward and crossing the International Date Line. In Chapter XXV, when the group first reaches San Francisco, Fogg sends Passepartout to purchase guns in case Indian tribes attack the train. This foreshadows the eventual Sioux attack that delays their trip and causes them to miss the steamer to Liverpool.






Since Fogg and his group are traveling to many exotic places, there are numerous passages with rich imagery that paint a picture of the scene for readers. The wild jungles of India are one example, as is the wilderness of America. These are discussed in greater detail in this guide's separate imagery section.




Fogg and Detective Fix run parallel in their characterization. Both are attempting to achieve a goal of theirs and will not let anything get in their way. They are similarly motivated characters, despite the fact that Fix is working against Fogg the whole time.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



In Chapter XXI, while they sail from Hong Kong to Shanghai to catch the steamer, both the moon and the boat itself are personified as a "she" in the lines "The moon was entering her first quarter, and her insufficient light would soon die out in the mist on the horizon" (pg. 78) and "At the speed she was going, the least shock would shatter the gallant little craft" (pg. 78).