The Mysterious Island Summary

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With The Mysterious Island, Jules Verne writes a compelling survival story, that though historically impossible, intertwines history and fiction to tell the narrative of a small band of wartime escapees. Five Yankee prisoners-of-war, detained in Richmond by the Confederates, make a daring escape in a balloon meant for communication. United in their quest for freedom, the party crash-lands on an undocumented island in the Pacific, 7000 miles away from their homes. But in the melee that ensues, the band lose their leader, engineer Cyrus Harding. Alone, on an apparently uninhabited island, without their leader, and with no tools, the band must find a way to survive. And survive they do, even thriving on the island, which they soon name Lincoln…show more content…
He goes into detailed accounts of the chemistry projects that the colonists undertake, and gives attention to the plants and animals that they find. Unlike some of his other books, he does not step over into science fiction. Indeed, throughout The Mysterious Island Verne records the settlers journey from nothing to plenty, representing his view of human progress over time. And in nearing the end of the book, he replaces the almost supernatural “genius of the island” with Captain Nemo, “a man only, and a man at the point of death” (Loc. 7557). In this too, then, Verne shows his attitude toward the capabilities of man. But man cannot accomplish everything, and Verne acknowledges this through Cyrus Harding when he declares, “we could not prevent an eruption” (Loc. 7210). In addition to his attitude toward human progressiveness, Verne also shows a blatant deference to the North in the American Civil War, stating that, “[the colonists] could not doubt that the cause of the North, the cause of justice, would triumph” (Loc. 1421). Verne certainly likes the idea of the progressiveness of humankind, and he expresses this through the colonist’s achievements and his support of the federal government of the
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