Journey to the Center of the Earth book report - detailed analysis, book summary, literary elements, character analysis, Jules Verne biography, and everything necessary for active class participation.
Journey to the Center of the Earth is one of the most interesting works by Jules Verne who traveled in his books to places people have never seen, his descriptions of these lands are rich in imagination which is transcribed into his books. Many things he described were fiction then but they are possible now, as he predicted.
Professor Otto Lindebrock teaches mineralogy at a university and he was a scientist. Otto lived in Hamburg with his nephew Axel, Grauben and maid Marta. Otto's name was proudly mentioned across schools and the science community. One day he came back home with a new book. It was from an Icelandic writer Snorre Sturlason and it was written with runes.
An old piece of paper fell out of it and Axel decoded it. It was an instruction to the center of the Earth. The text on the paper stated someone has already done it.
After the discovery, the professor decided to go to the center of the Earth. Axel and Hans and a guide were going with him. It was June 2nd when they came to Iceland. Mr. Thomson left some important recommendations for Mr. Trampe, the Governor of Iceland, Mr. Piccturson, the bishop's secretary, and Mr. Finsen, the Mayor of Reykjavik.
The journey was supposed to take ten days. They were greeted by baron Trampe. The professor was also seen by mayor Finsen. They also visited Mr. Fridriksson who was a professor and he gave them some important advice. They went through many temptations, challenges, and dangers because they ended up in unexpected places unimaginable to the human mind.
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Genre: an adventure novel
Setting: Hamburg, Copenhagen, Iceland, Sicily in 1863
Point of view: first-person
Tone: incredulous, excitable, fretful, awestruck
Mood: dramatic, jubilant, suspenseful, thrilling
Theme: a story about a German professor Otto who travels to the center of the Earth.
Otto Lindenbrock's house was in one of the oldest streets in Hamburg. He was a mineralogy professor at a university and he had a maid named Marta. Otto's name was proudly mentioned across schools and the science community. One day he was in his room with Axel, his nephew.
Otto wanted to show Axel the book he bought. It was written by an Icelandic 12th-century writer and it was a chronicle of Norwegian princes who ruled Iceland. It was also written in runes and Axel knew nothing about them. His uncle explained that runes were letters of a language previously used in Iceland.
A piece of paper fell to the floor. That piece of paper caused Otto and Axel to leave for an incredible adventure. They tried to decode it. Otto was so taken with the work that he had no appetite which worried Marta. Otto figured out that everything was written in Latin and he found the name of Arne Saknussemm, an alchemist from Iceland.
Axel was thinking about Grauben who lived with them, Otto really took her under his wing. The professor stormed out of the house and Marta continued to worry about him not eating. Axel explained that the professor had more important things to do.
Another mineralogist sent him a collection of samples that he had to classify. When he finished, he smoked a cigarette and kept on decoding. Axel managed to decode it and he was overthrown with his findings. He knew that if he told Otto he would want to go on an adventure. Just when he was going to throw the paper into the fire Otto came in. He spent hours solving and decoding, he hadn't slept at all. Axel felt sorry for his uncle. When Marta wanted to leave the house, the doors were locked and the key was gone.
Axel told his uncle the translation. Directions to the Earth's center were written on a piece of paper. Otto loved it. Now he was able to eat and he told Marta to get his suitcase ready and Axel's as well. Axel had a million questions and doubts. The professor started mapping out their journey according to the translation. Iceland was completely made of volcanoes.
Sneffels was a hill and it had several volcanoes on it so Otto found the one which led to the center of the Earth, taking into consideration that the top of Scartaris threw his shadow on the entrance during the last days of June. Axel started complaining that it was impossible to do it because they would be burned to death by the heat in the Earth's center. The professor told him that no one actually knew what was in the center of the Earth.
Grauben supported Axel's journey with Otto, despite him being skeptical. Otto found many tools and other objects they might need. He also found weapons and they had to leave for Copenhagen as soon as possible because there was only one airplane going to Iceland and they had to catch it in order to see the shadow of Scartaris on Sneffels crater. Grauben packed Axel's bags calmly and she promised to marry him when he comes back.
They boarded a train in Hamburg to Kiel. After twenty minutes they were already in Holstein. The professor's equipment was on the cargo train. The professor had a note signed by the consul in Hamburg which granted them easy access to recommendations by Iceland's governor. From the train, they went to a ship and spent a day in Kiel. After getting out in a small city they boarded a train again.
They came to Copenhagen in the morning and got settled in their hotel. They also met with professor Thomson. He was the director at a museum. Otto and Axel said they wanted to see Iceland because they were big fans of nature. They roamed around the shore looking for a boat to Iceland. They found a Danish boat that went for Reykjavik on June 2nd. The captain charged them double when he saw how enthusiastic the professor was and luckily they had enough money. Their departure was at 7 in the morning. Otto and Axel had lunch in a French restaurant and then went sightseeing.
On June 2nd professor Thomson gave them some important recommendations for count Trampe, Iceland's governor, and Mr. Finsen, Reykjavik's mayor. The captain told them the journey will take about ten days. When they arrived Trampe waited for them. Professor was also received by Mayor Finsen. They visited Mr. Fridriksson (a professor), who helped them by giving them a place to stay.
Otto went to the library and Axel took a walk. During lunch, they talked about how empty the library is. Mr. Fridriksson told them that the books were out because people were reading. When he asked about the books of the man who wrote that note he found out that he was accused of being a heretic and his books were burned in 1573 in Copenhagen.
The next day a guide came to introduce himself. He will be joining them on the research as well. He was calm and physically well developed, his name was Hans Bjelke. Every Saturday night he will receive some money from the professor for the journey. It will take them 8 to 10 days (walking) to get to Sneffels. They also got four horses. On June 14th they had dinner with Trampe and some of his friends.
They went on the horses and a lot of luggage. Two hours after leaving Reykjavik they came to Gufunes, a small village. They were planning on spending the night in Gardar. They took a break on the fjords because they needed the tide to be able to cross the fjords. The tide came at 6 in the evening and they crossed the fjord, half an hour later they arrived at Gardar.
In June and July, the sun doesn't set in Iceland. They came to a peasant's house, the peasant and his wife had nineteen children. The next day they kept going. The ground became muddy and it was hard to walk. They even encountered a leper. Leprosy was a common disease there. On June 19th they walked on volcanic soil and on June 20th they came to Budir, on the shore. There they were greeted and welcomed by Hans's family. The next day they ended up in a small village of thirty little houses.
The village was built on lava. They were staying with a priest but they disliked him and wanted to leave as soon as possible. Hans hired three men to take the luggage to the bottom of the crater. Axel had a dream about a volcano erupting. His uncle calmed him down.
On June 24th they left the priest and went to Sneffels. It was a mountain 1700 high and their path became harder. After three hours they took a break and had lunch. Then they started walking up Sneffels. They were on Scartaris. They climbed downhills and they reached the bottom at noon. They found the name of the author of the note on a pole. The next day they found themselves at a crossroad. There were three different paths. The right path was the one on which Scartaris will throw its shadow at noon so they waited.
The real journey began. They started climbing down using a rope. It was getting darker. They came to the bottom of a chimney and saw a corridor. In the morning they saw a trace of light. Axel asked his uncle if they have a problem with the higher pressure and he responded that their lungs will get used to the thicker air. The professor wrote down his observations about their journey. They were 10000 feet below sea level. The temperature was supposed to be 81 degrees but it was only 15.
On June 30th they kept on climbing down. They walked through a corridor and found themselves on a crossroads and they went east. The temperature was rising. They realized they were climbing up and they were running out of the water so they had to be saved. They walked without saying a word. They saw many animal tracks and footprints. They went the wrong way and it took them five days of walking back to reach the crossroads again. Axel gave his uncle the last sip of water and said they should go back. Hans listened to Otto and he said to keep going because they will find water on the way.
Hans found water in an underground river that surrounded them. He decided to dig into the water because they could only hear it. The water just burst out and it was hot so they had to wait for it to cool down. The next day they had breakfast and drank the water. Their journey became more pleasant. On July 18th they came to a massive cave. Professor gave Hans his salary and decided to use it the next day to rest. The cave was like a big hall and it had a little river in it.
Axel got lost in all the walking. He was desperate, had enough food for three days and a bottle of water. He knew he had to climb back up if he wanted to reach the river. He passed out of shock and his face was wet. He fell down and started bleeding. He heard his uncle's voice. Otto and Hans had to climb down and Axel had to crawl in order to find each other but Axel lost the ground below his feet, fell down again, and fainted.
When he woke up, his uncle was by him and Hans was putting some Icelandic healing creams on his wounds. Axel thought they were on the Earth's surface because he could see the light. His uncle told him about the air.
A sea was in front of them. The light wasn't usual, it was some form of polar light, a cosmic phenomenon that filled the cave. They didn't know how to geologically explain the origins of this cave. The sight was amazing. Otto and Axel took a walk. They saw a big forest filled with mushrooms. They found the flora from the Paleozoic and recognized the bones of animals. The tide came in. The needle on the compass didn't point North, it started to rise up. They came to the conclusion that the magnetic pole was between Earth and their location. They also concluded that they are below Scotland. Hans built a raft.
On August 13th they woke up early. Hans built the raft and when they were leaving the port they decided to name it after Grauben, Axel's future wife. They found a blind fish. Her eyes still weren't developed and they threw her into the sea. On August 14th the sea was still the same and endless. They saw crocodiles, snakes, and turtles. They also saw two animals fighting. The group encountered an island with geysers and they took a rest there.
On August 15th the geyser was gone. The air was filled with electricity. There was a storm coming and their night got terrible. They had no idea where to go. They saw a light on the surface and soon their raft was destroyed. Hans managed to take Axle out of the water and they fixed the raft on a shore where they were stranded. There they found a human head and a well-preserved body. They walked on bones in a cemetery. The shore disappeared and the climate changed. The flora was different. The flowers didn't smell at all and the leaves weren't very green. They went back to the sea and found a 16th-century knife with the initials of the man who wrote the note.
They left the raft by the shore and kept it ongoing. 27th August was a special day because they set up some dynamite. Axel was supposed to start the fuse while Hans and Otto were waiting in the raft. They didn't hear an explosion but the rocks opened. They flipped over and the explosion caused some kind of an earthquake, a chasm opened and the sea dragged them in. They floated and Hans managed to turn up a light. They lost almost everything and then the stream started carrying them everywhere. They held hands and climbed up. The heat was unbearable, so they started taking their clothes off.
The needle in the compass started jumping everywhere. Otto believed it was an eruption. They left the crater wondering where they were. They found a boy but he didn't speak their language. They entered one volcano and exited another one. They were in Stromboli in Sicily. The fisherman welcomed them and on September 9th they went back to Hamburg. There the city threw a great celebration for them. The professor became more famous, Hans will never be forgotten and Axel married Grauben.
Characters: Otto Lidenbrock, Axel, Hans Bjelke, Grauben, Marta, professor Thomson, Bjarne, count Trampe, Mr. Picctursona, Finsen, Hyaltalin, Hans's family
Otto Lindebrock - a tall, skinny and healthy 50 years old professor. One day he came home with a mysterious book in which he found a note which he decoded. The note contained instructions on how to get to the center of the Earth. He went on a journey with Axel and his social connections helped him a great deal. He was stubborn, persistent, enthusiastic, curious, and intelligent. As a famous mineralogist, he wrote many books about minerals and owned valuable collections.
Axel - Otto's nephew. He lived with him and worked as his assistant. He was in love with Grauben and she was in love with him. He was very smart but a bit frightful and he questioned the professor's ideas. He was skeptical about the journey because he knew that it would be dangerous. Despite his fears, he went with the professor and lived through adventures people never dream of. When he came back, he became famous and married Grabuen who waited for him.
Hans Bjelke - Otto's and Axel's guide. He was a calm and physically well-developed man. Every Saturday night the professor would give him his paycheck. He was relaxed, down to earth and helped them to get out of trouble on many occasions. When Axel got hurt Hans put Icelandic creams on him to make him heal faster. He had a big family.
Grauben - Axel's fiancée and Otto took her under his wing. She believed in their journey and ended up marrying Axel. She was ambitious and wanted her fiancé to succeed in his mission and acquire respect in the science community.
Jules Verne was a French novelist and the pioneer of science-fiction. From a young age, he was attracted to the theater and he wrote many librettos for the operas. His imagination was later on taken over by scientific discoveries, researches.
He was born on February 8, 1828 in Nantes (France). His father was a lawyer and Jules had no desire to be in the same business as his father and to inherit his workplace.
After finishing his law studies in Paris, Jules decided to dedicate himself to literature. At eleven years of age, he boarded a ship to India but his father stopped him. The love for the sea kept on living in him.
With his novels, he didn't only explore the sea but the Moon, underground and missing continents as well. He wrote, "Voyages Extraordinaires" which contains 63 science-fiction and adventure novels. "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" is also in the book.
He wrote his first novel in 1862 and it was named "Five Weeks in a Balloon". A year later he published "From the Earth to the Moons", "Journey to the Center of the Earth", "Adventures of Captain Hatteras".
He died on March 24th, 1905