20,000 Leagues under the Sea

I have recently started rereading in the classic science fiction novel 20,000 leagues under the sea by French writer Jules Verne. It was published in 1870 and is one of Verne’s greatest works, along with Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth. The novel begins In 1866, after a number of ships are sunk by a mysterious sea monster. So The United States government assembles an expedition in New York City to find and destroy the monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and narrator of the story, who happens to be in New York at the time, receives a last-minute invitation to join the expedition. Canadian whaler and master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax’s faithful servant Conseil are also brought aboard. The expedition departs Brooklyn aboard the United States Navy frigate Abraham Lincoln and travels south around Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean. The ship finds the monster after a long search and then attacks the beast, which sinks the ship.

They discover that the monster is in fact atechnologically advanced submarine called “The Nautilus”.They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo.VThey learn that the Nautilus was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free from any land-based government. Captain Nemo’s motivation is both a scientific thirst for knowledge and a desire for revenge on (and self-imposed exile from) civilization, after his family were killed by an invading army. Nemo explains that his submarine is electrically powered and can perform advanced marine biology research; he also tells his new passengers that although he appreciates conversing with such an expert as Aronnax, maintaining the secrecy of his existence requires never letting them leave. Aronnax and Conseil are enthralled by the undersea adventures, but Ned Land can only think of escape.

They visit many places under the oceans including coral reefs in the Red Sea, the wrecks of the battle of Vigo Bay, the Antarctic ice shelves, the Transatlantic telegraph cable and the fictional submerged land of Atlantis. The travelers also use diving suits to hunt sharks and other marine life with air-guns and have an underwater funeral for a crew member who died when an accident occurred under mysterious conditions inside the Nautilus. When the Nautilus returns to the Atlantic Ocean, a pack of “giant squid, attacks the vessel and kills a crew member.

. Aronnax begins to sympathize with Ned Land. The Nautilus is attacked by a warship Filled with hatred and revenge, Nemo ignores Aronnax’s pleas for mercy. Nemo—nicknamed angel of hatred by Aronnax—destroys the ship, ramming it just below the waterline, sinking it into the bottom of the sea, much to Aronnax’s horror. Following this incident Nemo is plunged into deep depression and For several days  No one seems to be on board any longer and the Nautilus moves about randomly. Ned Land gets even more depressed, until Conseil fears for Ned’s life. Nemo’s recent actions horrify Aronnax and so he decides to escape One evening, Ned Land announces an opportunity to escape. At first Aronnax feels conflicted – he wants to leave Nemo, but also wishes to find out more about the ocean. Eventually Aronnax decides to escape with his companions, however they discover that the Nautilus has indavertantly drifted into the Moskenstraumen, more commonly known as the “Maelstrom” and they all find themselves in mortal danger…

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