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 boat left Streatley quite early in the morning. The river from Streatley to Wallingford is a long, boring stretch without a lock. The narrator says that he is fond of locks, because they break the monotony of boating. He likes sitting in the boat and slowly rising out of water into new reaches to see fresh views. At a lock one could have a passing chat with an old lock-keeper, his wife or daughter.
Talking of locks the narrator is reminded of an accident. It was a pleasant day at the lock. A photographer was ready to click. George sat down in a graceful attitude for the photograph. The girls were watching them and smiling. The narrator also arranged his hair and took up a position in the prow. Then all of a sudden a voice came. “Hi! Look at your nose.” The narrator looked at George’s nose, then at his own. ‘Push your nose out, can’t you, you – you two with the dog r another voice cried. Neither George nor the narrator could know what the matter was with their noses. But soon they realized the whole matter. The nose of their boat had got fixed under the woodwork of the lock. The in-coming water was rising. Without much thought, the two friends seized an oar and released their boat with a vigorous blow and saved themselves. The photograph which was clicked showed only their legs waving madly in the air. Nobody wanted to take it. Even George and the narrator refused to accept it
Wallingford, six miles above Streatley. is an ancient town. a mud-built town in the times of the Britons, who squatted there until they were dislodged by the Romans. From Wallingford up to Dorchester the river is varied and pituresque. Dorchester stands half a mile from the river. It was a city in ancient British times. In Saxon days it was the capital of Wessex.
Round Clifton. Hampden is a pretty village where one can put up at the “Barley Mow’, the most old-world inn up the river. The inn would however be unsuitable to a tall heroine of a modem novel or a drunken man. From Clifton to Culham the river banks are flat and boring. At Abingdon, the river passes by the streets. In St. Nicholas Church.at Abingdon. there is a monument to John Blackwall and his wife Jane.
Between Iffley and Oxford the river becomes hard for the sailors. First the current drives one on to the right bank, and then on to the left. Then it takes one out into the middle. turns one round three times. and carries one up stream again. It always ends by trying to smash one up against a college barge.
It was but natural for the boat of the three friends to get in the way of many boats and they in their boat. The narrator observes that everybody is exceptionally irritable on the river. When Hams or George makes a fool of himself on land, he smiles lovingly. But when they behave similarly on the Aver, he uses the most violent and rude language to them. The air of the river has a demoralizing effect upon one’s temper.
The narrator: He is fond of adventure. That is why; he likes the change of scene which is brought out by a lock on the river. He is a keen observer of men and manners. That is why, he observes how one becomes more rude on the water than on the land.
George: George is very fond of being photographed. He forgets important things, but the moment he realises his mistake he at once tries to do something about it.
The narrator describes many places along the bank of the river. The incident at the lock at Hampton Court shows how one minute’s negligence in sailing could cost dear to the rowers.
Answer the following questions in short:
- Why is the writer fond of locks?
Ans. The writer can have a short stay from the monotony of pulling, can have a chat with cheerful-looking wife or bright-eyed daughter of the stout old lock-keeper and even he can meet other boats in the lock. So he is fond of locks.
- Mention the importance of Wallingford.
Ans. Wallingford is situated six miles above Streatley. It is a very ancient town and it had been an active centre for the making of English history. It was a rude mud-built town in the time of the Britons who were evicted by the Roman legions.
- Why was the writer surprised to notice the actions of George?
Ans. The writer was surprised at noticing George hurriedly smooth out his trousers, ruffle up his hair and stick his cap on in a rakish manner and assuming an expression of mingled affability and sadness.
- What did the writer do when the truth came to his knowledge?
Ans. The writer came to know that some cameraman was taking their photographs. He quickly took up a position in the prow in an attitude suggestive of agility and strength. He arranged his hair with a curl over the forehead and put up an expression of tender wistfulness and cynicism.
- How does the writer describe Dorchester?
Ans. Like wallingford, Dorchester was a city in ancient British times. It was then called ‘Caer Doren”, “the city on the water.” In sexton days it was the capital of Wessex.
Answer the following questions in detail:
- What happened to the boat when they were posing for a photograph?
Ans. When George and the writer were posing for their photographs, their boat had got fixed with its nose under the wood work of the lock while the incoming water was rising all around it and tilting it up. In another moment they should have been over. Very quickly they seized on oar and a vigorous blow against the side of the lock with the buttend released the boat, and sent them sprawling on their backs.
- How did the photograph actually turn out?
Ans. Their photographs did not turn out well. As both of them were lying on their backs in boat and their legs stuck straight upwards at the moment, only their legs were visible in their photographs. If the man should have set his wretched machine in motion at the precise moment, their photographs would have been in order.
- Why is the bit of river between Iffley and Oxford difficult to manage?
Ans. Between Iffley and oxford, is the most difficult bit of the river. It is very difficult to understand this bit of water unless you are born on it. The writer tells us that he has been over it several times, but he found himself unable to understand it. first the current drives you on the right bank and then on to the left, then it takes you out into the middle turns you round three times and carries you up stream again and ends by trying to smash you up against a college barge. As a consequence, the writer got in the way of other boats and other boats in theirs and thus a lot of bad language occurred.
- What different views had the writer formed about “Barley Mow.”?
Ans. The writer suggests if somebody has to spend a night on land at Clifton, Barley Mow is the best place for him to stay at. It is the quaintest and most old-world inn up the river. It stands on the right of the bridge, quite away from the village. Its low-pitched gables, thatched roof and latticed windows give it quite a story-book appearance while inside it is even still more once-upon-a-timeyfied. But it would not be a good place for the heroine of a modern novel to stay at. The heroine of a modern novel is always “divinely tall”, and she is ever “drawing herself up to her full height.” At the “Barley Mow” she would bump her head against the ceiling while doing so. Thus the writer has different views for different people for staying there.
- “The air of the river is demoralising”. Comment on the remark of the writer.
Ans. The writer is unaware of the reason why everybody is always so exceptionally irritable on the river. A little mishap that you would hardly notice on dry land, drive you nearly mad with anger, when it occures on the water. When Harris or George makes an ass of himself on dry land, the writer smiles indulgently, but when they behave in a chuckle-head way on the river, he uses the most blood-curdling language for them. When another boat gets in his way, he feels as he wants to take oar and kill all the people in it. The mildest tempered people on land, become violent and blood-thirsty when in a boat. The writer means that the atmosphere of a river, due to bad language of everybody on sail, has a demoralising effect upon one’s temper.
- Sketch the character of Mr. W. Lee.
Ans. The writer describes that in Helen’s Church, at Abingdon, it is recorded that W. Lee, who died in 1637, “had in his life-time issue from his loins two hundred lacking but three.” If you work this out you will find that Mr. W. Lee’s family consisted of one hundred and ninety-seven members. Mr. Lee had been five times Mayor of Abingdon. Undoubtedly he was a benefactor to his generation. The writer considers that there are not many of his kind about in this overcrowded nineteenth century.
- Explain human nature on being photographed.
Ans. Through the incident of a photographer taking photographs of the people in their boats and launches, we come to know about vanity of human nature. The people in the boats were trying to put up a pose that suited them best in their photographs. George and the writer also did the same. They became so involved that they forgot where they were or where their boat was. Even they narrowly escaped after a violent blow when their boat’s nose had got fixed under wood work of the lock. When the photographs finally came up nobody was ready to buy them, for nothing was visible in them except the four feet of George and the writer who were lying on their backs with some wild expressions on their faces.
- Give examples to illustrate that even the mildest tempered people become irritated when sailing in a boat.
Ans. The writer gives us several examples why everybody while sailing about on a river becomes irritable. Even a little mishap that we otherwise ignore on dry land, drive us crazy on a river. The writer himself feels irritated when George or Harris makes a fool of himself while sailing their boat and he uses blood-curdling language where as he smiles indulgently when they do so on earth. When another boat comes in their way he wants to pick up an oar and kill all the people on it. Even the mildest tempered people on land, becomes violent and blood-thirsty when in a boat. The writer is reminded of a young, sweet by nature and gentle lady who once did boating with him. It was quite awful to hear her while boating. When some unfortunate sculled got in her way, she exclaimed, “oh, drat the man! why don’t he look where he’s going?” and “oh, bother the silly old thing!” Thus the air of the river had a demoralising effect upon one’s temper to use such absurd language.