Jules Verne's Ideas Around His Novel, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea...

Essay by quibble9College, UndergraduateA, March 2004

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"No science of behaviour can change the essential nature of man, even though both sciences yield technologies with a vast power to manipulate their subject matters" - Burrhus Frederic Skinner, Cumulative Record (Third Edition 1972) Chapter 1

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely". John Emrich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Lord Acton Letter to Bishop Mendall Creighton, April 5,1887

Jules Verne predicted the future. He wrote his novels as a means to warn and inform a corrupt society. He realized that modern technology could further corrupt a society handled cautiously. In Verne's novels, he describes helicopters, modern weapons, movies with sound, television, submarines, and rocket ships; all of which had not been invented and some of which could be destructive to mankind. In 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, the book follows a group aboard a submarine, who explore the depths of the ocean. The crew has their own set of rules and laws, which are not shared by the "corrupt society" on land.

The novel describes a society that is corrupt, so a new one is created, aboard the Nautilus. The novel gives the reader two lessons, firstly on how the people must try to escape from any society that has become corrupt, and how anyone with absolute power becomes corrupt absolutely. These ideas are both shown from aboard the Nautilus throughout the novel.

Jules Verne wanted to get across his feelings on how society itself has becomes corrupt, and many people do not like the world we live in today. The novel centers on Captain Nemo. He commands the first submarine called the Nautilus that is powered by electricity and can stay under water for extremely long periods of time. There things were not possible when the book was written. The team hunting the Nautilus is lead by...