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I just began reading Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days and Phileas Fogg had just fired his servant for giving him warm water that was by 2 Fahrenheit degrees off (roughly 1 Celsius degree).

Fogg is strict and acts and lives like a robot with a shorted circuit, always repeating behaviour. I would fire a servant (if I had one) if for example he was constantly late or gave me cold water to use for shaving. But not for something as ludicrously meaningless as heating it two degrees too much. I wouldn't even notice.

We can see some stereotypical Victorian Englishness here albeit strongly exaggerated. Is Verne admiring this level of discipline or is he mocking it? Or is it open to interpretation?

I had read the book before, a long time ago and remember little but I am somewhat familiar with its contents.

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  • Making fun would be an improvement. Jules Verne openly portraits the English as a less sympathetic nation in general in multiple books, to a smaller amount in César Cascabel where at least it's in character with César hating the British, to a larger amount in Deux ans de vacances where he spends more time on essays on why the education system made Doniphant and the other English kids bad than showing their behavior. – b_jonas Apr 20 at 11:33

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