collage of bones, insects, a volcano, a dinosaur, and a skull

Journey to the Center of the Earth

by Jules Verne
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What is Journey to the Center of the Earth about?

Journey to the Center of the Earth is about three explorers who undertake an expedition to the center of the earth through a dormant Icelandic volcano.

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Journey to the Center of the Earth is a classic adventure story by Jules Verne. It follows three men—Professor Lidenbrock, Axel, and Hans—as they use a manuscript as their guide to travel to the center of the earth through a dormant volcano.

Their journey involves many dangers: flammable gas,...

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Journey to the Center of the Earth is a classic adventure story by Jules Verne. It follows three men—Professor Lidenbrock, Axel, and Hans—as they use a manuscript as their guide to travel to the center of the earth through a dormant volcano.

Their journey involves many dangers: flammable gas, prehistoric beasts, twelve-foot humanoid figures that may or may not be dangerous, and the possibility of starvation. However, there are beautiful moments on their quest as well, such as the electrified gas lighting up the underground caverns. Unfortunately for the trio of adventurers, they never make it to their intended destination, as a volcanic eruption spits them back out onto the surface in Italy. However, their efforts grant them acclaim from the other surface dwellers. At last, the adventurers return to their normal lives.

Overall, Journey to the Center of the Earth is a combination of science fiction (a genre of which Jules Verne was a major figure and pioneer) and adventure story. With its many dinosaurs, it prefigures both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World and Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. It is ultimately about the power of the natural world as represented by the subterranean prehistoric creatures and phenomena, which retain their majesty and danger even in the face of modernity.

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