abstract illustration of two people journeying around the world on trains, boats, and hot air balloons

Around the World in Eighty Days

by Jules Verne

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What kind of person was Phileas Fogg? 

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Phileas Fogg is an eccentric English gentleman living in Victorian London. He's quite a character: a phenomenally wealthy man whose source of income is something of a mystery to his numerous friends and acquaintances. What makes Fogg a particularly interesting character is his insatiable thirst for exploration. With ample wealth...

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and leisure time he can afford to indulge in all manner of crazy adventures, of which circumnavigating the globe in just eighty days is simply the most recent example.

Despite the air of mystery that hangs over him, Fogg is widely regarded as an open, honest individual with a very strict moral code, which he follows to the letter, come what may. We see this, for example, when he risks the ire of the local population by saving Aouda from being thrown onto her late husband's funeral pyre in accordance with established Hindu custom. Fogg is fearless and brave, just the kind of characteristics you need if you're going to traverse the globe with all its unfamiliar cultures.

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Phileas Fogg is a wonderful character.  Being an English gentleman, he is quite proper and respectable most of the time.  Along with being a true English gentleman comes honor and integrity.  Fogg has those two traits in spades.  Near the end of the novel, Fogg assumes that he has lost his bet.  He could legitimately run away and never pay up, but that thought never crosses his mind.  He is fully prepared to pay what he owes on the bet.  Being a proper gentleman doesn't make Fogg weak or a pushover though.  He is equally full of grit and determination as evidenced by him successfully circumnavigating the globe in 80 days. Fogg is also quite selfless in a lot of ways.  He stands to lose quite a bit of money in his bet, so he could feel entitled to make his goal his singular focus.  And it is in a lot of respects, but Fogg also doesn't hesitate to help fellow travelers and other people along the way.  For example, his rescue of Princess Aouda. 

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