Erick’s Letter Essay #6: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea


Dear, Reader

Recently, I have finished reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, it is a 426 paged classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. He was born February 8, 1828, in Nantes Italy he then died March 24, 1905, Amiens, France. Verne was born in the seaport of Nantes, he was trained to follow in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer, but quit the early in his life to write for magazines and the stage. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a widely popular series of adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).


  This book relates to young adults interested in pursuing their dream in becoming an adventurer. The book is a bit complex at times but once you get a good grasp of the situation in the story you catch on pretty quickly and it no longer becomes a struggle to comprehend what is happening. Also as you keep reading the books they become a little bit more confusing which only happens in some parts of the book. Once you start to get into the book you can’t put it down and the pages will start turning quickly. The book is very exhilarating and is always leaving you with cliffhangers leaving you wanting to read more until the wait is finally over and the author leaves you with another cliffhanger. If you like science fiction books this book is perfect for you.


     A mysterious sea creature is mysteriously attacking ships, so the famous oceanographer, Pierre Aronnax, is then invited onto a special mission by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy to board the USS Abraham Lincoln and begin hunting for this sea creature. After weeks of searching, the ship finally encounters the beast, but the USS Abraham is simply no match for this beast. Pierre is then thrown overboard when the monster rams the ship, then servant Conseil tries to go in after him in order to save him. The two struggle to get back onboard the Lincoln, only to end up on the deck of some other vessel.  A bunch of men throw Pierre, Conseil, and Ned Land, a Canadian harpooner, into a cell below deck. Then they are soon visited by the captain. His name is Captain Nemo, but he says already knows who Aronnax and his men are.Nemo’s break with normal people means that the three main characters can never go back on land. Nemo says they’ll have freedom onboard his vessel, the Nautilus, except for the fact that he might lock them up at anytime. Nemo then says that he will be taking Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned on a voyage through all the world’s seas. They hunt in the underwater forests of Crespo Island. They travel through the Indian Ocean and visit a bed of pearls, Nemo then saves a pearl diver from a shark, and then has to be saved himself by Ned. Then while sailing north of England, Nemo decides to seek revenge. He’s then attacked by an unknown ship. Then Nemo sinks the ship in order to get back at those people who Nemo says took away his family and his country. Lastly, the Nautilus drifts aimlessly until it encounters the Maelstrom. The Maelstrom is a deadly vortex of water that slowly pulls the Nautilus in.



If I had to compare this book to a series similar to this I would compare it to  Journey to the Center of the Earth  because they are both written by Jules Verne and are very good adventure books. I would also relate the two because they are both page turners filled with suspense, cliffhangers, both involve young adventurers. Another reason as to why I would compare it to Journey to the Center of the Earth is because the audience of the two books are very similar. They are both a little bit difficult and require you to have a little bit of a higher lexile in order to comprehend the books completely. I noticed/liked how the author tended to make very obscure problems for the main character to have to solve and figure out not only that he makes it much more difficult for them. The protagonist had to make very careful and intellegente decisions or else the consequences might be fatal for if he makes one silly mistake someone’s life could end. One thing that the author did that surprised was me was that this book was written in the 1800’s and submarine technology was just starting to develop and he a lot of the things he said in the book actually came into existence thus making him the father of science fiction.


Finally I really enjoyed one of the passages of the book which was “The sea is everything. It covers seven-tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and life-giving. It is an immense desert place where man is never lonely, for he senses the weaving of Creation on every hand. It is the physical embodiment of a supernatural existence… For the sea is itself nothing but love and emotion. It is the Living Infinite, as one of your poets has said. Nature manifests herself in it, with her three kingdoms: mineral, vegetable, and animal. The ocean is the vast reservoir of Nature.” I really liked this passage because it got very descriptive.  Not only that but it treated nature and the waters as if it were a person describing its beauty. This series is chock full of passages similar to this one that is why this classic will be one that I will remeber reading fondly. I am glad that I had the privilege of reading it and I hope I can persuade someone to read this very good serious. If I had to rate this book I would rate it a 10/10 because this book wouldn’t be a classic if it wasn’t a 10/10.


Erick Miljkovic


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1 thought on “Erick’s Letter Essay #6: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

  1. Nice letter-essay, Erick. When an author uses language in such a way so that they are making a thing that is not a person (such as water) sound like it is a person (like the author did in the passage you quoted), that is called “personification.” It’s a type of figurative language.

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