Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Passepartout's Watch (Symbol)

Throughout the novel the characters make repeated references to Passepartout's watch and the fact that he has left it on London time. The watch symbolizes the importance of time along this journey, a constant reminder that they are always at its mercy. This particular symbol also foreshadows the end of the story, in which the nuances of time miraculously allow Fogg to win the bet.

The Arrest Warrant (Symbol)

As Detective Fix grows increasingly more desperate, the telegram warrant for Fogg's arrest comes to symbolize perseverance of fulfillment of duty. Regardless of how he himself feels about Fogg, Fix is a dedicated character that will do what he set out to do. For him, this arrest warrant represents the completion of a difficult job.

British Colonialism (Motif)

As Fogg and his group travel the world, traces of British imperialism show up repeatedly. They come upon colonial architecture in exotic places like India and Hong Kong, and even Yokohama, Japan has European-looking areas. This motif shows how powerful the British Empire was during the time in which this novel was written.

Kiouni the Elephant (Symbol)

During the 80 days in which this book takes place, Fogg and his group use many different means of transportation to get from one place to the next. By far the most reliable, though, is Kiouni the elephant. The manmade trains and ships they travel on often fail them, but the elephant, a creature of nature, does not. This elephant represents the reliability of the natural world when compared to manmade means of transformation.

The Reform Clubhouse (Symbol)

The Reform Clubhouse symbolizes the refined London society that Fogg and Passepartout leave behind when they embark on their journey. Once they leave the clubhouse and enter the wider world, things become a lot more wild and unpredictable.