Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Essay title: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
The story was written before modern sea-going submarines were a reality. It is narrated by Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted marine biologist, who is accompanied by his faithful assistant Conseil and by a Canadian harpooner named Ned Land. As the story begins, a mysterious “sea monster”, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Since Aronnax happens to be in New York City at the time and is a recognized expert in his field, he is invited at the last minute to go along, and he accepts. Master harpoonist Land is also brought on board.
The crew of the Nautilus observe an underwater funeralThe expedition sets sail from Long Island aboard an American warship, the Abraham Lincoln, which travels down around the tip of South America and into the Pacific Ocean. After much fruitless searching, the monster is found, and the ship charges into battle. During the fight, the ships steering is damaged, and the three protagonists are thrown overboard. They find themselves stranded on the “hide” of the creature, only to discover to their surprise that it is a large metal vessel. They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo. (“Nemo” means “no one” in Latin, and may have been inspired by a passage in Homers Odyssey where Odysseus calls himself Пхфйт, which is Greek for “nobody”)
The rest of the story follows the adventures of the protagonists aboard the submarine, the Nautilus, which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free of any land-based government. Captain Nemos motivation is implied to be both a scientific thirst for knowledge, and a desire for revenge