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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Who is Axel in Journey to the Center of the Earth?

Quick answer:

Axel is the narrator and one of the main characters in Journey to the Center of the Earth. He is an orphan, Professor Otto Lidenbrock’s nephew, and Grauben’s fiancé.

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Axel Lidenbrock is the narrator in Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. One of the main characters, Axel lives with his uncle, Professor Lidenbrock, a maid named Martha, and Lidenbrock’s goddaughter, Grauben. As with his uncle, Axel loves science. He adores geology and believes that he has mineralogist blood in his veins.

Axel is even-tempered. His poise is juxtaposed with Lidenbrock’s volatility. Lidenbrock yells at Martha early on in the narrative. Martha has entered Lidenbrock’s study to tell him the soup is ready. “The devil take your soup!” shouts Lidenbrock. He does not want to be distracted from the mysterious runic manuscript. He tells Axel that they will abstain from sleep and food until they understand what’s written. Throughout the narrative, Axel does an effective job handling his uncle’s brash demands.

Axel is smart and capable. He helps decipher the text. However, Axel has aims aside from a potentially groundbreaking scientific discovery. He does not want the manuscript and the ensuing adventure to consume his life. He’s not too excited about accompanying his uncle to Iceland.

Axel has a romantic interest in Grauben. While his uncle fixates on the peculiar script, Axel thinks about Grauben. Without even realizing it, he writes, “I love you, my little Grauben.” After returning from their dangerous expedition, Axel remains committed to Grauben.

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