illustration of Captain Nemo's ship, the Nautilus, ramming a giant squid

20,000 Leagues under the Sea

by Jules Verne

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1. Professor Aronnax is the narrator of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. What thematic advantages do you see in his being the narrator?

2. Captain Nemo is an enigmatic character. Write a character analysis of him, explaining his motivations for specific actions in the book.

3. The works of Edgar Allan Poe influenced Verne's literary career. Read Poe's "Descent into the Maelstrom" (1841). What similarities do you find to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? How do the authors' writing styles and techniques compare?

4. How are modern submarines superior or inferior to Captain Nemo's Nautilus? Research the development of the first submarines and compare these early efforts with Verne's concept of the Nautilus.

5. Much science fiction deals with trips into the unknown and encounters with strange or alien creatures. What is the fascination with such journeys? What is the fascination with strange life forms?

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