By David Broussard
Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, as one of the early science fiction novels of the 19th century, is an awe-inspiring and provocative tale that stands apart from its contemporaries.
This story chronicles the adventures of eccentric Professor Lidenbrock and his level-headed nephew, Axel, having stumbled upon a cryptic message nearly lost to time. Upon deciphering the runes, the duo embarks upon an expedition to a long-dormant Icelandic volcano in search of a passage to the center of the earth. In spite of Axel’s protests, his uncle proceeds into the terrifying unknown.
In my opinion, Journey to the Center of the Earth is a charming novel and, furthermore, a captivating look into the scientific developments of the 19th century. In channeling all manners of scientific disciplines for the betterment of his narrative, Jules Verne tempers the would-be whimsical journey with discussion and justification that grounds the characters and their plight in reality. Most significantly, interactions between the characters, accompanied by the meticulous descriptions, breathe life into the world that Verne weaves.
David Broussard was a senior in AP / Gifted English IV at Hahnville High. In his spare time, he likes to dabble in computer programming, and he occasionally works in the visual arts.
Editor’s note: Book reviews are published throughout the summer and fall in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program and Unger’s “Adolescents Advocate Literacy” Brown Service Learning Grant.