Introduction to Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth is a novel by French author Jules Verne. It was originally published in 1864 but was republished in 1867 with extensive revisions and enhancements. The novel combines Verne’s interest in scientific discoveries and theories with the growing public interest in science fiction. Of particular note is Verne’s dedication to developments in Victorian-era scientific theories, including the idea of a hollow Earth. Though modern readers may view the novel’s science as antiquated and improbable, contemporary readers viewed it as cutting-edge and, at least in some cases, informative.

The plot of the novel follows three explorers as they use volcanic tubes to, as the title suggests, journey to the center of the Earth. There, they find a strange and fantastical world that houses an underground ocean and living prehistoric creatures, among other phenomena. Verne details the various historical periods from which many of the plants and animals the explorers encounter derive. These details are seamlessly blended with a fast-paced adventure story, complete with near-death experiences and interpersonal conflict. Ultimately, the novel reinforces both the value of scientific discovery and the awesome power of nature, and Journey to the Center of the Earth remains a classic of the science fiction genre.

A Brief Biography of Jules Verne

Jules Verne (1824–1905) was a French author best known for his adventurous novels. Raised in Nantes in a respectable middle-class family, Jules was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer. When he moved to Paris as a young man, however, he drifted from his law studies and fell in with the city’s artistic circles, befriending Alexandre Dumas. He tried his hand at various literary genres, including plays, but he soon decided to settle down, marry, and find work in finance. Still, he desired to write, and in the late 1850s and early 1860s, he traveled and sought inspiration.

Verne finally found success with a trio of popular and acclaimed novels: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). The first two of these novels are notable for their pioneering use of science-fiction elements. Indeed, Verne is widely considered one of the foundational figures of science fiction. Verne’s merit as a literary artist has been questioned by critics and writers, but his reputation improved in the middle of the twentieth century as a result of renewed scholarly interest and improved translations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth

After Professor Lidenbrock buys an old Icelandic saga, he finds a mysterious document inside it, written in code. With a magnifying glass, he is able to discern that the document was written by...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2021, 11:38 am (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

The moral lesson of Journey to the Center of the Earth may be found in Professor Lidenbrock's admonition to his nephew, "Enough! When Science has spoken, it behooves us to be silent." Lidenbrock is...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2021, 1:13 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

The story begins with Lidenbrock obtaining a manuscript from Saknussemm that supposedly narrates how to journey to the center of the earth. Lidenbrock and Axel then travel to Iceland, obtain a...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2021, 4:12 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Ultimately, it should be remembered that although Jules Verne's novel might be titled Journey to the Center of the Earth, the expedition never actually reaches its intended destination or completes...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2021, 8:03 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Hans Bjelke is an Icelandic eider duck hunter. He serves as a guide for Professor Otto Lidenbrock and Axel on the journey to the center of the earth. Hans acts a foil to Professor Lidenbrock. Axel...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2021, 12:07 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Arguably the most important discovery in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth is the twelve-foot-tall, humanlike creature Otto and Axel encounter during their journey beneath the...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2021, 2:40 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Otto Lidenbrock is the uncle of the narrator, Axel, and a central character in the novel. He is a professor of "chemistry, geology, mineralogy, and many other ologies" who has invited his nephew to...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2021, 11:31 am (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Martha is only mentioned by name three times—and near the end of the novel at that—and her identity is not explicitly explained, so readers have to use context clues to puzzle out her identity....

Latest answer posted July 25, 2021, 10:51 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

The section of the book that this question is referencing begins by telling readers that the date is Friday, August 21. In most editions of this book, the storm sequence is in chapter 35; however,...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2021, 3:10 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

There is no antagonist in the classic sense in Journey to the Center of the Earth. The three main characters work together on their journey to overcome obstacles and defeat terrifying creatures. If...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2021, 12:09 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth is not scientifically accurate. However, Verne did his best, while still providing an exciting story, to keep it accurate to cutting-edge science as it was...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2021, 11:59 am (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

The journey to the center of the earth ends suddenly when Otto Lidenbrock, Axel, and Hans get trapped on their rafts in a cave, their path blocked by what seem to be rocks spewed there by an...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2021, 11:41 am (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

In his book Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne does not tell readers exactly how old the character of Axel Lidenbrock is. Axel is the naïve, cautious narrator of the book and the...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2021, 5:15 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

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...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2021, 3:20 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth is not at all based on real events. In its day, the book was considered a "voyage extraordinaire," something quite close to a fantasy adventure. (It must be...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2021, 1:56 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Lidenbrock is a professor of mineralogy at the Johanneum Institution in Hamburg. He is a distinguished man of science who "burns the midnight oil" in pursuit of scientific truth. Hans is a little...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2021, 1:12 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jules Verne's book Journey to the Center of the Earth is about Professor Otto Lidenbrock's discovery of a map with directions to the center of the earth and his subsequent journey there. Otto...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2021, 2:57 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth is the second book in a Verne collection called Voyages extraordinaires. This collection was full of adventure stories about the scientific wonders of the remote...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2021, 12:06 pm (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

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...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2021, 11:34 am (UTC)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth, published in 1864, is an early example of a science fiction adventure novel. The adventure novel is one that is filled with excitement and danger with the action...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2021, 11:31 am (UTC)

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Summary