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
Start Free Trial

What role does Princess Aouda play in Around the World in Eighty Days?

Princess Aouda plays an important role in Around the World in Eighty Days in that she brings out another dimension of Phileas Fogg's character. Through her, we see that Fogg is much more than just an eccentric rich Englishman on an adventure. He's also a deeply caring man capable of giving and receiving love.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

From very early on in Around the World in Eighty Days, it's clear that the book's protagonist, Phileas Fogg, has something of a romantic streak in him. It is hard to believe that he wouldn't embark upon such a seemingly crazy journey around the world if he didn't.

But it's not until later on in the story, when he first encounters Princess Aouda in India, that we realize that Fogg's romanticism extends to loving women. Having bravely saved Aouda from being thrown onto her late husband's funeral pyre, the intrepid English explorer has fallen in love with this beautiful young princess.

Thanks to the appearance of Aouda in the story, we are introduced to another dimension of Fogg's character. We always knew that he was brave, unafraid of danger, and a genuine twenty-four-carat eccentric. But what we didn't know was that Fogg was capable of both giving and receiving love. Fogg may be very good at concealing his feelings, but there's little doubt that he really does love Aouda.

But Aouda's role in the story is so much more important than that. She's not just a pretty damsel in distress; she proves herself to be every bit as brave, intelligent, and resourceful as Fogg and Passepartout.

In the middle of an attack on a train, for instance, she gamely defends herself with a gun, something that would not have been expected of most women at that time, especially not an Indian princess. As well as demonstrating her extraordinary courage in the face of danger, Aouda's behavior during this incident shows us that she's more than capable of defending herself.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on