Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days Metaphors and Similes

"Phileas Fogg was seated squarely in his armchair, his feet close together like those of a grenadier on parade." (Chapter I, pg. 3) (Simile)

This sentence comes early on in the story, and it compares Fogg to a grenadier, or a certain type of soldier. This emphasizes his stoic, hardened nature, setting up the emotional wall in front of him that will continue to persist throughout his journey until his love for Aouda finally breaks it down.

"Her teeth, fine, equal, and white, glitter between her smiling lips like dewdrops in a passion-flower's half-enveloped breast." (Chapter XIV, pg. 49) (Simile)

Verne uses simile in his description of Aouda, highlighting her delicate perfection. Her feminine presence contrasts with the rest of Fogg's party. All of the other characters who show up for even just a chapter or two have been male, so the ethereal language that Verne uses to describe Aouda sets her apart from everyone else.

"Above her head rustled the white sails, which seemed like great white wings. The boat, carried forward by the wind, seemed to be flying in the air." (Chapter XXI, pg. 78) (Simile)

The boat that the group takes from Hong Kong to Shanghai to catch the steamer is compared to a great white bird, which accentuates its speed and majesty as it sails across the East China Sea. This speed is extremely important, since once again, time is swiftly running out.

"The Sioux had at the same time invaded the cars, skipping like enraged monkeys over the roofs." (Chapter XXIX, pg. 119) (Simile)

This simile likens the attacking Sioux Indians to monkeys, furthering Verne's constant portrayal of native peoples as uncivilized and animal-like. Similar comparisons were made as the group crossed India and encountered a procession of Brahmins. This problematic language says a lot about the way these groups of indigenous people were perceived during this time period.

"Phileas Fogg, like a racehorse, was drawing near his last turning-point." (Chapter XXXVI, pg. 146) (Simile)

The hype in London reaches its peak as it is nearly time for Fogg to return to win his wager, and this comparison to a racehorse reveals much about the nature of his journey. Like horseracing, his goal was speed, and everyone bet on his success as they would bet on horses. But while Fogg's journey began as a mindless race around the world, he ended up gaining a lot more than that from it in the end.