Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days is considered a classic. Yet, one might ask, what makes a book a classic? From what I have read, I would say a book with a timeless story, characters and a plot that any generation can enjoy, and a theme that will ring true forever has all the qualities that make a novel a classic. When someone says a story is timeless, they mean that the story will pull anyone from anytime into the story and make them forget at what time they are living. In some ways, the reader ends up with an emotional connection to the story line, time, and characters. In the novel I choose, the transportation Phileas Fogg uses to get around (elephants, trains, steamers, etc.) are described to the point where the reader feels that the things are the cutting edge of technology, no matter when one reads it. Additionally, when describing the Indian ways with human sacrifices, the author pulls the reader to that time. In those ways, the story is a completely timeless. Next, the plot and characters being ones that anybody can feel attached to is necessary. In Around the World in Eighty Days, Aouda and Passepartout are the type of people whose character instantly draws one to like them. Aouda is sweet, appreciative, loving, and trusting, especially towards Mr. Fogg. Passepartout is also trusting and builds this sort of loyalty towards his master so that he instantly bristles when he realizes Fix is against them. One can not help but love people like that. Perhaps an even better example, the reader sees more and more of Phileas Fogg’s caring side as the book continues. He becomes much more likable until he finally confesses his love for Aouda and places all his fortune at her disposal. A character like that will pull at the heartstrings of anyone and everyone in any time or place. The plot too has that effect for it is that of a man attempting the impossible with a calm cool that says it most certainly is possible, and likely too. Last, this story teaches a universal theme. That lesson is this: if one is to travel around the world, the most important thing they can find is not fame, fortune, or bragging rights, it is true love and complete happiness. Every human being can appreciate that truth and the story speaks it all the way to the last letter. It is in those ways that a book is considered a classic.
In my, hopefully respected, opinion, Around the World in Eighty Days has every right to be labeled as a classic. From the storyline that pulls you in and never lets you go (not even after the fifth time you have read any version of it), to the theme that rings true throughout one’s soul, this is a book that will live forever. To me, that is the trump, the reason above all reasons, that Jules Verne masterpiece novel Around the World in Eighty Days will forever be considered a classic in my eyes (and hopefully in the eyes of the world).