Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days Summary and Analysis of Chapters XVI-XXI


The voyage to Hong Kong begins on the steamer named the Rangoon, and the dynamic is slightly different with Aouda there. She gets to know Fogg better and continuously shows her gratitude for what he did for her, but as usual, Fogg does not display any emotion. He does, however, assure her that everything will work out fine, calming her anxieties.

Little did they know, Detective Fix had gotten on the Rangoon as well, after leaving orders at Calcutta that if the warrant for Fogg's arrest arrives, it should be forwarded to Hong Kong. He knows he needs to get him in Hong Kong, since it will be the last English-owned place that Fogg will be in on his trip. Too much would be required to arrest him in anyone else's territory. He decides that, if worst comes to worst, he will tell Passepartout everything, hoping to convince him that his master is really a bad man.

A few days into the voyage, Fix goes to question Passepartout, who is surprised to see him on the ship. Passepartout tells him the story of how Aouda came to be with them. Passepartout begins to wonder why Fix is so concerned with Fogg's affairs, and comes to the conclusion that he must be an agent sent by someone from the Reform Club to make sure Fogg really does go around the world.

Between Singapore and Hong Kong the weather becomes stormy and delays them time, but as usual, Fogg is unaffected. Seeing Fix around often, Passepartout begins to drop hints about what he thinks Fix is up to. Fix is uneasy, thinking that Passepartout suspects he is a detective chasing Fogg.

The captain announces that the steamer will be delayed at least twenty hours in its arrival to Hong Kong. As usual, Fogg shows no signs of frustration even though this would mean missing his ship to Yokohama, Japan. Fix is pleased, since it seems that Fogg will have to remain some time in Hong Kong, enough to acquire a warrant for his arrest. Passepartout is extremely upset about the delay.

The weather calms, though, and when they reach Hong Kong they discover that the steamer for Yokohama will not be leaving until the following day, since it needed an extra day for repairs. They realize, however, that Aouda's relation in Hong Kong had actually gone to Europe two years before, so Mr. Fogg insists she continue on to Europe with them.

Passepartout wanders around the city; he is struck by how very British it is even though it is in China. He runs into Fix, who is extremely upset; Passepartout takes this to be because since they are in time for the ship, Fogg may still win the bet after all, which would be bad for the Reform Club. Fix tells Passepartout that he will be going on to America with them. During this conversation, the clerk of the steamer Carnatic tells them that since the repairs had not been finished the ship would be leaving for Yokohama that evening instead of the following morning.

Passepartout goes to tell his master the good news—however, before he can, Fix makes the decision to tell Passepartout everything, and takes him to a tavern near the harbor, which turns out to be an opium den. They sit down over drinks, and Fix asks Passepartout if he has guessed who he actually is. Passepartout says yes, and Fix is confused when he reveals that he thinks he is an agent sent by the reform club to monitor Fogg's progress.

He tells Passepartout that he is actually a detective, and that Mr. Fogg robbed the Bank of England. Passepartout repeatedly denies this, insisting that his master is an honest man. Fix threatens to have him arrested as Fogg's accomplice unless he helps to keep Fogg here in Hong Kong so that he can arrest him. Passepartout still refuses to betray his master, so Fix slips a pipe full of opium into the servant's hand. Passepartout smokes a few puffs and falls upon the table in a deep sleep under the influence of the narcotic, and this means that Fogg will not find out about the early departure of the Carnatic.

Meanwhile, Fogg is unaware of any of this, and spends the night at their hotel, not particularly concerned with why Passepartout had not returned. In the morning he and Aouda go to where the ship is supposed to be docked, but learn that it sailed the previous night instead. He runs into Fix at the harbor, who remarks that they will have to wait a week for another steamer. A sailor asks Fogg if they are looking for a boat, offering them his; however, when he hears they want to go to Yokohama, he flat-out refuses, insisting they will never make it in time for Fogg to catch his steamer.

Instead, for a large sum of money, the sailor offers to take them to Shanghai instead, where a steamer will stop before it goes to Yokohama. Shanghai is closer to Hong Kong, and if they sail extremely fast they might make it in time. Fogg takes the offer, and spends the next half hour looking everywhere for Passepartout, leaving a sum of money with the authorities to be spent searching for him. Fogg decides they must go anyway, and, taking Fix with them, they head off to Shanghai in the sailor John Bunsby's boat.

As they sail, Fix worries about what he will do when they reach America, for it will be impossible to arrest Fogg there. Fogg thinks about Passepartout, hoping they will find him at Yokohama because perhaps he got on the Carnatic at the last minute. Uncomfortable with the idea of traveling and eating at Fogg's expense, Fix offers to pay his share for the voyage to Shanghai, but Fogg insists on not taking any money.

At first the boat is off to a great start, but eventually a storm comes, delaying them greatly. The storm is horrible and Bunsby says he wants to head to a port on the coast, but Fogg insists that they continue on to Shanghai. At last they approach Shanghai, and as they sail down the Shanghai River they encounter the very steamer they need going in the opposite direction, heading to Yokohama right on time. They are too late to catch it in port, but Fogg will not give up. They hoist their own boat's flag and fire the cannon, signaling the ship to stop for them to board.


As Aouda travels along with the group for the first time, her admiration and gratitude for Mr. Fogg is extremely evident. Very little has been revealed about her personality at this point in time, but her connection to Fogg is clear right from the start. Fogg, too, seems to have a soft spot for Aouda. Even though he does not betray any emotions, he clearly wants her to stay with them and intends to look after her and keep her safe as much as he possibly can. It appears that Aouda may start to crack Fogg's tough exterior.

It is curious to note that despite his apparent coldness, all of the supporting characters admire Mr. Fogg greatly. Though they might doubt his ability to finish this task, they respect him for his determination, as well as for his politeness, quick thinking, level head, and genuine kindness in a number of situations. These things serve to gain him the respect of readers as well, and this contrasts with the image Fix has been trying to paint of him as a cold-blooded thief.

Though Fix is certainly not likable, he can also be admired for his dedication to his goal. In a way, his own determination parallels Mr. Fogg's, even though they are trying to accomplish very different things. It is clear, though, that Fix is beginning to grow uncomfortable with how generous Fogg really is. It is hard to loathe a man who is so polite and refined, and, on top of that, allows him to share the pilot boat to Shanghai at no cost to himself. True to his personality, though, Fogg is still doing everything he can to get his job done.

Passepartout's loyalty to his master is cemented more and more as the story goes on. He has no way to prove that Fogg did not rob the bank, since he had only just begun working for him. Despite this, though, he still feels strongly about his master's noble character, strong enough to defend him even when Fix threatens to have him arrested as well. Conversely, though, while Fogg does care about his servant, perhaps more than a master usually would, he is eventually willing to leave him behind in Hong Kong in pursuit of his goal of making it around the world. This once again shows the disparity in the master-servant power relationship.

Luck continues to play an important role in the success of this voyage. While Fogg, Passepartout, and the others they encounter are quick thinking and resourceful when it comes to surmounting obstacles, in reality they owe much of their progress to chance and good fortune. This relays the message that luck favors those who persevere.

A large portion of this story takes place at sea, which is an interesting and extremely relevant choice of setting. As readers see time and time again, the sea is wild and unpredictable, exactly the sort of thing Fogg does not want on a precisely-planned voyage where every moment matters. The unpredictable sea itself stands in stark contrast to Fogg's steadfast personality, and the unexpected perils that it brings upon them sharply contradict his level-headedness and stability throughout all of it.