The Character of No-one in Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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The Character of No-one in Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Alan Quatermain, sitting hunched over and delirious from opium withdrawal, has been taken aboard a huge submersible vessel. The aging adventurer says, "P-please. I feel so sick. Need my medicine." A cold voice answers him, "You are aboard my ship, sir, and my remedies are bitter." Quatermain turns, with his eyes rolled back, teeth clenched, and streams of sweat rolling off of his face, and he says, "Who said that? ... I see you only dimly, sir. If you are real and not some opium djinn sent to torment me, tell me who you are!" A turbaned man with a long beard and curled mustache, his eyes dark with the weight of years of exploring the depths of the
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Unlike a sea monster that would attack on instinct, Captain Nemo attacks with a reason. Besides representing the unknown, Captain Nemo also represents a foreign power with more advanced technology that represents the question to England, "Will we win? Will we prevail over this threat?" Science, the unknown, monster-these are the themes that we have discussed in class with novels such as She and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Nemo represents all of these themes. The rich history of Captain Nemo, and Alan Moore, the writer who brings Nemo together with Alan Quatermain (along with Jekyll and Hyde, Mina Murray, and Hawley Griffin) in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, show what makes Nemo human and what makes him a monster. In comparing Nemo with She and Dr. Jekyll in context with late-Victorian history, we will find that the good captain is more human than monster... or the reverse.

In order to give a deeper insight into who and what Nemo is, some of his history needs to be mentioned. With this history to work from, who Nemo is in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen becomes clearer, and the dialogue between him and the other characters becomes richer. The most appropriate way to begin Nemo's history is with his creator, Jules Verne.

When Captain Nemo was born within the mind of Jules Verne between 1867-69, Verne had created a romantic hero. This

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