The main character, Phileas Fogg is introduced as unusually preoccupied with punctuality . He plans every bit of every day and has, thus, never deviated from this schedule as far as anyone can tell. At the point where we meet Fogg, he is in need of a new servant; his last one made the grave mistake of bringing him shaving water that was eighty-four degrees, rather than the specified eighty-six. Fogg's new servant, Jean Passepartout, arrives at his home precisely twenty-two minutes after eleven on the first day. Jean is quite pleased with his master and his new station, because he wishes to settle down and he has heard that Fogg rarely travels. Fogg tells Passepartout to settle in and then sets out for his gentleman's club at the same exact time that he does every day.
At the Reform Club, Fogg and his friends discuss a recent bank robbery and the „The Daily Telegraph‟ says that the robber is a gentleman. Rewards are offered and when the friends wonder where the thief could have gone, Fogg declares that it is possible to go around the world in eighty days. He bets twenty thousand pounds against anyone that he will make the tour of the world in eighty days or less. Fogg decides to take the train to Dover that very evening and tells his challengers that he would be back in the Reform Club, on Saturday, the 21 st of December.
Fogg tells Passerpartout that they shall be travelling light. Passepartout packs the modest carpetbag, containing the wardrobes of his master and himself. Fogg carries two timetables showing the arrival and departure of steamers and trains. Passepartout is told to take care of the carpetbag which contains Fogg‟s twenty thousand pounds. Two first class tickets for Paris are bought and both men are off on their journey.
Two men await the arrival of the steamer, the Mongolia – one of them being Detective Fix, who had been dispatched from England in search of the bank robber. It was his responsibility to look out for all suspicious looking people. Passepartout comes up to him and politely asks if he could point out the English consulate, at the same time showing Fogg‟s passport which he wishes to validate. Fix insists that the description of Fogg in the passport is identical with that of the bank robber, which he had received from Scotland Yard. Instantly, Fix sends a telegram to London stating that Fogg is the bank robber and a warrant of arrest be sent to Bombay.
Fix and Passepartout strike a friendship and Fix gains more knowledge of Phileas Fogg. They arrive earlier in Bombay and both the master and butler have tickets for the great railway that will take them to Calcutta. Unfortunately, Passepartout enters a temple that does not allow foreigners. The warrant for the arrest of Fogg does not arrive .The Indian police say that the matter is in the hands of the London office.
The train they are on stops suddenly as the railroad is not finished and the travellers will have to find their own way. Fogg buys an elephant,Kiouni, for two thousand pounds and finds a young guide called Ali to take them on their journey.
The elephant takes them on its back through the forest when suddenly they meet a group of bandits who have kidnapped the daughter of a wealthy merchant. They decide to save the kidnapped Aouda by breaking down the walls of the hut where she has been kept.
Phileas Fogg presents Ali with Kiouni, the elephant. On a train to Benares, Aouda wakes up and thanks the men for saving her. Fogg reassures her and offers to take her with them to Hong Kong to look for her relative.
Just as they are about to board the Hong Kong steamer, Passepartout is arrested and taken to stand before a judge on the charge of illegally entering a temple with foot wear. Phileas Fogg pays a large amount of money for the bail and for the cost of not going into jail. Passepartout is very upset with the fact that his master has to pay such a large sum of money on his behalf. They immediately board Rangoon, the ship that was to leave for Hong Kong. Detective Fix is very angry because of Fogg‟s excessive spending. Fix is worried that by the time the journey ends and Fogg is caught, there will be very little money left as his reward.
Passepartout begins to wonder on the coincidence of Detective Fix being on the same journey as his master and questions him. Their journey on the Rangoon towards Hong Kong is not too smooth. The weather is rough and the steamer reaches Hong Kong a day later. A pilot informs Fogg that the Carnatic would leave Hong Kong for Yokohama and Fogg is pleased as he had thought that he had missed the ship. Aouda‟s relative is not in Hong Kong anymore and it is decided that she will accompany Fogg to Europe.
Fix decides to tell Passepartout the secret of his mission and offers him a drink. Fix explains to Passepartout his real purpose as a detective and Passepartout is shocked. The loyal butler does not believe a word Fix says and is upset. Someone comes along and knocks Passepartout out. Fix is happy because he assumes that Fogg will miss the Carnatic. But Fogg hires the Tankadere to get them to Shanghai to meet the Carnatic. They are once again on course.
Passepartout had managed to board the Carnatic despite being hit in the head. He goes looking for Fogg on the ship but does not find either his master or Aouda. He is very angry with Fix for acting so deceitfully. Passepartout reaches Yokohama on the 13 th and is both penniless and hungry. He trades his clothes for the Japanese attire and joins an acrobatic troupe. While performing the human pyramid, he tumbles and sees his master and Aouda. They leave after paying the theatre manager some compensation and are on their way to America.
Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout sail in the General Grant from Yokohama to San Francisco. Fix is aboard the ship but hides away from Passepartout. He is frustrated that he does not have the warrant to arrest Fogg. When he finally meets Passepartout, he explains that only in England can it be decided whether Fogg is guilty or not. They both decide to be allies and Passepartout warns Fix not to be treacherous. They buy train tickets to New York but as the train approaches the Rocky Mountains, it stops because a bridge is „out‟ and there is no way to cross it. But a man called Colonel Proctor suggests that the train move at full speed and they could go across before the bridge falls apart completely. They cross the river in seconds just as the bridge falls behind them.
As the train moves along its course, it is suddenly attacked by a band of outlaws. They swarm the carriages and fight with the passengers. The conductor, who is attacked, cries that if the train is not stopped, it will surely crash. Passepartout hears this too and manages to slip under the train carriages. He removes the safety chains and a violent jolt separates the train and the engine. The train comes to a standstill near Kearney Fort station. The soldiers of the fort hear the firing and rush to help. The outlaws run away. But when the passengers are counted on the station platform, it is found that several are missing, including Passepartout. Fogg goes with the soldiers to save him, but, they miss the train to New York. Fix helps to get a sled to New York. However, they miss the steamer, The China, to Liverpool.
With nine days to go, Fogg pays Anthony Speedy, the captain of Henrietta, to take them to Bordeaux but instead convinces the crew to take them to Liverpool. Fix is upset with Fogg‟s generous ways and Passepartout is uneasy knowing that his master is spending a lot of money just to make it back to London on time. They encounter both bad weather and a lack of coal but in the end, land in Liverpool, only to be arrested by Fix.
Fogg is jailed and he has only nine hours left to return to the Reform Club to win his bet. Fix rushes in to apologise that the real robber has been arrested. Fogg is released. He returns to London on a special train but he thinks he is five minutes late and has lost the bet.
Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout return to the house in Savile Row. Fogg is calm although he has spent most of his fortune. Aouda asks Fogg whether he would like to have her as his wife. He confesses his own love for her. Passepartout is instructed to make their wedding arrangements on the following day, Monday.
When he goes to meet the Reverend, he realizes that the marriage cannot take place the next day, because it is still a Sunday. It is not a Monday, as Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout think. Passepartout runs to inform his master and they realise that they have gained time while travelling eastward. In reality, they have reached London twenty four hours earlier. Fogg manages to reach the Club at the stipulated time. In the end, Fogg not only won the bet but also a charming wife.
Taken from : The Teacher’s Literature Component Teaching Module, Curriculum Development Division. Ministry of Education Malaysia 2011