Three Men in a Boat
To Say Nothing of the Dog
by- Jerome Klapka Jerome
Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 9th as Per CBSE Syllabus
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Incident Wise Summary
The Narrator’s feelings about work
The next morning the friends got up late. Then they had a plain breakfast before setting out on their journey. Harris wanted George and the narrator to scull and he himself to steer. The narrator did not agree. It always did seem to him that he had been doing more work than he should do. Ironically, this is what everybody else thought. After a while, a solution was found out: Harris and George should scull up past Reading and the narrator would tow the boat on from there. Pulling a heavy boat against a strong stream had few attractions for the narrator then.
The narrator had noticed that the experienced oarsmen would retire when there was any stiff pulling to be done, leaving the charge to the others encouraging them with their past marvellous feats.
He recalled how he got a taste for the water, devoted three months to rafting and then took to rowing proper in the Lea boating club. He got the style, of course, only when he came to the Thames, and not before. George did not come near the water until he was sixteen. Once in the company of eight gentlemen he went to Kew, with the idea of hiring a boat to pull to Richmond and back. Joskins, one of his company, said boating was really a fun. They hired an eight-oared outrigger. George was happy to be number four. When the boat, steered by a nervous boy, moved.it soon got out of control. George’s oar disappeared, but somehow it was discovered. The bad experience so upset George that he began to almost dislike boating. Harris is more accustomed to sea rowing than to river work.
The narrator recalls one incident in which a young man who went punting made a fool of himself. His pole got firmly fixed in the mud, and he was left clinging to it while his punt drifted away. A rude boy on the bank told his friend to “hurry up and see a real monkey on a stick”. The narrator recalls another sad incident of a novice punter, wearing a jacket and cap exactly like his. He was unable to control his punt. Sometimes he would shoot upstream and sometimes downstream. At other times he would simply spin round and come up the other side of the people. The people about the river got amused on seeing his antics. The narrator’s friends thought that it was he in the punt So they began to mock at him with their stale jokes. When they saw his face, they had to apologise.
Sailing is a thing that needs knowledge and practice. As a boy, the narrator did not think so. So once in his boyhood he and a boy of his age hired a sailing boat and started off. Soon they went beyond the town. The boy – perhaps Hecher by name – wetted the sail before getting it up. It became all the more difficult to fix it up The wind was getting stronger. The boat moved upstream at a very fast pace. At a bend, her sail went under water. Then she righted herself by a miracle. Soon they got stuck in mud. After hours of waiting a fisherman came and rescued them. Thus they learned a new experience but at a heavy cost.
The narrator: He has a long rowing experience. He has many tales to tell about the rowing experiences of others. Some of his accounts are quite humorous.
George: George came to learn rowing quite late. One of his earlier experiences was quite bad.
Harris: Harris, according to the narrator, is more habitual to sea rowing than to river work.
The incidents connected with boating in the river are obviously intended to amuse us. But they seem to have little relevance to the main episode, and can safely be taken away without affecting the story.
Answer the following questions in short:
- What is the writer’s opinion about work?
Ans. The writer claims that he loves work. It fascinates him so much that he sits back and admires it. He hates to part with it. He does not like to do more than his share.
- Why does the writer call the two youngsters at the sculls, “Simpleminded”?
Ans. The youngsters were made fool of them by the old and experienced boatmen. They told them stories of their past feats and made them work hard by rowing their boats. So they are called simple-minded.
- How do the old boatmen differ from the new ones?
Ans. The old boatmen are crafty and experienced who avoid work by befooling the new ones. The simple minded novices feel quite proud of being allowed to row these old, wonderful oarsmen and they row the boat with great zeal without stopping.
- After exchanging their sculls for the second time, why did Bow and Stroke become friendly?
Ans. When they exchanged their sculls for the second time and felt them inconvenient, they concluded that the man has given them the wrong set of sculls. They both abused the man and became quite friendly and sympathetic.
- Quote the remark which the writer makes to tell you that he has got .
Ans. The writer opines that before sailing on the Thames, he had no style. He says, “It was not till I came to the Thames that I got style. My style of rowing is very much admired now. People say it is so quaint.”
Answer the following questions in detail:
- Describe the encounter with Joskins.
Ans. The writer has described an event that took place when George was sixteen. George and eight other gentlemen of about the same age had an idea of hiring a boat at Kew and pulling it to Richmond and back. Joskins, a shock-headed youth among them who had once or twice taken out a boat on the Serpentine, told them that it was jolly fun, boating. They hired an eight-oared racing outrigger. They took off their coats and prepared to take their seats. A particularly nervous boy was appointed cox and he was told by Joskins how to steer. Joskins himself took stroke. When they started they received a violent blow in the small of the back from the buttend of number five’s scull, his own seat disappeared from under him and he fell on board, number two also was lying on his back at the bottom of the boat with his legs in the air. They passed under Kew Bridge at the rate of eight miles an hour. George, on recovering his seat, tried to help him but his oar disappeared under the boat. The cox threw both rudder lines over board and began to weep. It was a disastrous experience for them. They were saved by an old fisherman.
- Describe any one incident at punting given in the Chapter.
Ans. Once the writer went for punting with a boy. The boy was over confident who was walking up and down the punt working his pole carelessly. He took one stop more than was necessary and walked off the punt altogether with the pole firmly fixed in the mud with him clinging to it while the punt drifted away. The writer was left alone in the punt without any pole and drifted midstream unable to stop himself or steer to safety. Then he was helped by two old fishermen who lent him a pole as they met him midstream in their fishing punt.
- What happened to the writer when he went sailing with a young boy called Hector? How did it prove to be costly adventure?
Ans. They hired a boat from a man who advised them “to take in a reef and luff sharp” when they get round the bend. They did not understand what it meant. When they were on a wide stretch of waler, out of sight of the town, they felt it was the time to begin that operation. Hector went on pulling while the writer unrolled the sail. It seemed a complicated job. They didn’t know which was the top end. They finally got the sail up, upside down. It did not work. Hector advised the writer to wet the sail. At last they got the sail up the two of them together. Why the boat did not upset was an enigma. They had to cling to the gunwale as the boat sped and so they managed to keep inside the boat. The boat travelled upstream for about a mile at a speed he had never sailed, and don’t want to sail again. At last a mud bank saved them. The boat stuck, they cut off the sail and tried the sculls with broke down. After three house they were saved by an old fisherman.
- What do you learn about the writer’s character as revealed by himself in this chapter?
Ans. The writer reveals quite a lot about his own character. He claims that he loves work, work fascinates him. He insists that he does more work than he should do. He says that you cannot give him too much work as it is his passion to accumulate work. He boasts that he is careful of his work. He has been keeping his work in his possession for years, he just keeps the work and does not do it and has not done if for years. He says he does not want more than his share of work. All this gives us quite an insight of his character. He is a great story teller, works magic with words, has a deep insight of human nature, evaluates Harris and George by saying that they eat and sleep most of the time. He also points to the cunningness of old and witty fishermen. He peeps into the boyish nature of youngsters.
- Give examples to illustrate that experience wins over youth and inexperience.
Ans. That experience always wins over youth and inexperience– is a proved fact from the two stories given in this chapter. The first example is that of a young boy who goes for punting. At first he does quite well, becomes confident and then careless. He walks up and down the punt, works his pole with carelessness that looked quite fascinating, he took a step more than was necessary and walked off the punt altogether. The pole fixed firmly in the mud and he was left clinging to it while the punt drifted away. The writer went on drifting alone midstream as he had no pole to stop it. Two fishermen fishing in a punt saw him and helped him by landing him a pole. The second example is that of the writer when he goes for sailing with a young boy called Hector. On a wide stretch of water they put up their sails. Being inexperienced they put up the sail upside down. Their boat picked speed violently. They had to cling to the gunwale and somehow managed to keep inside the boat. Fortunately they were saved by a mud bank. The boat stopped and they cut down the sails. An old experienced fisherman saved their lives.