Character Sketch of Aouda
Aouda, as a stunning and exotic Indian princess, contributes significantly to the novel’s beauty. Aouda is the only source of femininity in a storey that is primarily about men. While going through India, Fogg and his group come find her. Indeed, her rescue narrative is one of the novel’s most dramatic. She is a wealthy princess who is compelled to marry an elderly rajah following the death of her father. When the rajah dies, she is compelled to commit ‘suttee,’ which is the sacrifice of the wife on the husband’s funeral pyre. As a young and bright woman, she is manifestly opposed to self-sacrifice, but she is literally drugged with opium by the zealous priests and is ensnared by them.
Fogg and his colleagues had arranged to be transported to Allahabad via elephant. When they observe a procession of priests accompanying Aouda, the guide tells them Aouda’s storey. In an uncommon display of emotion, Fogg insists on rescuing Aouda. Finally, the princess is rescued from the clutches of death due to Passepartout’s intrepid daring. For the remainder of her years, she is forever indebted to both Fogg and Passepartout.
She agrees to accompany Fogg to Hong Kong, where she will get assistance from one of her wealthy cousins. However, upon arrival in Hong Kong, they learn that the relative has relocated. As a result, Aouda travels across the world with Fogg. Aouda detects a loving heart beneath Fogg’s icy demeanour and falls in love with him. Passepartout is the only one who perceives that Aouda’s affections for Fogg extend beyond simple gratitude, but Fogg demonstrates no apparent reciprocity. Nonetheless, we discover that Fogg adores Aouda, and he admits his feelings towards the novel’s conclusion. Aouda and Fogg marry, and Passepartout is overjoyed to see two of his favourite people united in marriage.
Aouda appears to be the ideal sidekick for a man like Fogg. She is portrayed as stunning, well-mannered, and endearing. Additionally, she possesses the same self-respect and bravery as Fogg. When they are ambushed in America by the Sioux, she fights valiantly. She seizes the arms and beautifully defends herself. She refuses to be left at Kearney station with Passepartout and braves the agony of an open-air ride to accompany Fogg to Omaha station.
Verne makes an important argument through the character of Aouda. Verne emphasises in the last chapter, headed ‘In which it is demonstrated that Phileas Fogg acquired nothing by wandering the world except happiness,’ that Fogg’s ultimate win was not one of the wagers, but one of obtaining Aouda’s love. Verne continues, “Aouda was a delightful woman who made Fogg the happiest of men!” In Verne’s own words—’ And forsooth, who would not travel around the world for less?’—the author refers to Aouda as a more significant accomplishment than the successful completion of a circumnavigation. Aouda emphasises the importance of human relationships and love over all otherworldly difficulties, wagers, and money.