In Around the World in Eighty Days, Mr. Fogg used to leave the house for the club at ... (a) twelve. (b) eleven. (c) half past eleven. (d) half past twelve.
Fogg is described as follows:
Phileas Fogg was one of those mathematically precise beings who, never in a hurry and always ready, are economical in their steps and movements. He never made an unnecessary step, always went by the shortest way. He made no superfluous gesture, and was never seen to be moved or agitated. He was the most deliberate person in the world yet always reached his destination at the exact moment.
He always leaves his house for his club at 11:30. The question becomes, why does Fogg's almost obsessive precision matter? Why should we care?
The answer is central to the book: Fogg's precision about time is why he feels confident he can make it around the world in eighty days. Eighty days seems long to us, but in 1873, a period well before air travel, it represented very speedy movement indeed. Because Fogg is so precise and methodical, he can bet his 20,000 pounds with confidence. However, as we learn through the course of the story, there is more to life than rational, mathematical precision. Fogg is more than merely a machine. His human sympathy and compassion create delays in his journey and, in the end, are more important than precision or profit.
Phileas Fogg used to leave the house for the club at (c) half past eleven.
Phileas Fogg, a member of the Reform Club, was quite an eccentric gentleman who was himself and who required all those around him to be "almost superhumanly prompt and regular". Known to be "the least communicative of men", his daily habits were nonetheless "quite open to observation...(and) whatever he did was...exactly the same thing that he had always done before". Mr. Fogg had "a complicated clock which indicated the hours, the minutes, the seconds, the days, the months, and the years"; he watched this instrument closely and was always impeccably timely in performing his daily routine. Thus it was that every day, "at exactly half-past eleven, Mr. Fogg would, according to his daily habit, quit Savile Row and repair to the Reform" (Chapter 1).