A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has an under-the-counter political vision often hinted at by the character and background of Captain Nemo. Frequently championing the world’s persecuted and downtrodden, he notes that the characters are “living in the land of the oppressed”. In the novel's initial drafts, the mysterious captain was a Polish nobleman, whose family and homeland were slaughtered by Russian forces during the Polish January Uprising of 1863. However, these specifics were suppressed during the editing stages at the insistence of Verne's publisher, who is believed to be responsible by today's scholars for many modifications of Verne's original manuscripts.
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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World is a classic science fiction adventure novel by the French author Jules Verne. The novel was originally serialized from March 1869 through June 1870 before a singular edition was published in November 1871. The book was widely acclaimed on its release and remains so. Regarded as one of the premiere adventure novels and one of Verne's greatest works, its depiction of Captain Nemo's underwater ship, the Nautilus, is regarded as ahead of its time, since it accurately describes many features of today's submarines, which in the 1860s were comparatively primitive vessels.
The year is 1866 and ships of various nationalities have sighted a mysterious sea monster, which, as it is later suggested, could be a gigantic narwhal. As a response, the U.S. government assembles an expedition to find and destroy the monster.
Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and the story's narrator, receives a last-minute invitation to join the expedition and he accepts. Canadian whaler and master harpooner Ned Land and Aronnax's faithful manservant Conseil are also among the participants.
After five months of searching, the frigate locates and begins to attack the monster. The three protagonists are hurled into the sea and ultimately climb onto the monster itself, which they are startled to find is a futuristic submarine. They wait on the deck of the vessel until morning, when they're captured, hauled inside, and introduced to the submarine's manufacturer and commander, Captain Nemo.
The rest of the novel follows the protagonists' adventures aboard the Nautilus, which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas beyond the reach of land-based governments. In self-imposed exile, Captain Nemo searches for scientific knowledge with the desire to take revenge on terrestrial civilization. Captain Nemo explains that his submarine is electrically powered and can conduct advanced marine research. The new passengers must remain on board permanently now that they have learned of the existence of the submarine. Professor Aronnax and Conseil are both enthralled by the prospect of undersea exploration, but Ned Land looks for ways to escape.