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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Student Question

What route do Lidenbrock and his nephew take to the earth's center?

Quick answer:

The route Lidenbrock, his nephew, and their guide take in their journey toward the center of the earth begins at a volcano in Iceland, and they navigate by referring to a manuscript written by Saknussemm.

Expert Answers

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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 guide named Hans, and enter the earth's crust through a volcano near Reykjavík.

The men continue to descend through various caverns and passages, and along the way, they discover long-lost species, miraculous plants, giant fungi, and a huge underground sea. The men battle thirst, starvation, separations, and even deadly storms. Lidenbrock remains dedicated and positive throughout the journey, despite the number of setbacks and difficulties. The men even discover what looks like some kind of giant prehistoric humanoid creature, but they do not engage with it.

Lidenbrock and the other men also find physical evidence that Saknussemm did indeed descend into the earth, and that knowledge gives them confidence to continue following his directions. Unfortunately, their path is blocked, and the men try to clear the blockage with explosives. The blockage is cleared, but the sea begins to rush through the opening and the men are propelled upward. They emerge on the earth's surface through Stromboli, which is a small island north of Sicily. They know this because they look south and see Mount Etna. While the group doesn't reach the center of the earth, they do become famous for their exploits.

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