THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST
By– Bill Bryson
Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson. Analysis of THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST
The story is based on the theme that it is important to be well-planned and organised while travelling. In the absence of preparations before setting off, the traveller is bound to encounter accidents. Bill Bryson carried jumbled articles in his bag while travelling and in the process misplaced the most important ones. He would fumble even while carrying out the simplest tasks and would end up causing some clumsy accident. Another theme of the story is that one should have the humility to admit one’s shortcomings. Bryson’s ability to laugh at himself and see his actions in a lighter vein helped him to overcome embarrassment. This cheerful temperament kept him content and he never felt jealous of others.
Not all of us can do things properly in everyday life. We find it hard to do carry out even some simple tasks. The narrator, Bill Bryson, finds himself in such a situation. Some people also find travelling a difficult task to accomplish. They find it hard to locate places, use digital cards, secure their things, etc. They say that the world today is a small place because now it is easy to travel from one place to another by different modes of transport. But not everybody finds it easy to travel.
Justify the title of THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST
The title suggests that the story is about a tourist who is accidental i.e. finds himself involved in difficult or embarrassing situations as a tourist. On reading the text, one finds that the tourist, Bill Bryson, travels frequently but ends up causing one or the other accident every time. He does not learn from his mistakes and keeps repeating the same follies. He forgets to place his frequent flyer card at the proper place, he spills drinks while extending his hand to get one, leaves a big part of his coat outside while closing the door of the car, smudges his light-coloured trousers many times over without realizing it, and many such ordinary things cannot be handled by him without making a mess of them. The title, “The Accidental Tourist” is thus apt because it is amusing to see Bryson getting frequently into accidents at a time when travelling is so easy that it has made the world a small place.
TITLE (2) :
The author is very clumsy in his behaviour during his travels. He commits a lot of accidents while he is travelling. He spills his drinks on the woman sitting in the next seat. While trying to zip his bag he spills all the items on the floor. He experiences many catastrophes while flying on planes. Often, he could not even, locate his hotel room. So, since the author’s travels are full of accidents the title is appropriate. Character Sketch Bill Bryson, the narrator: The narrator of the story ‘The Accidental Tourist’ is a clumsy man who finds it hard to do even simple things, especially while he is travelling. He is neither able to zip his bag properly nor he is able to remember the room number of his hotel. Once he spilt a soft drink on a woman sitting next to him in an aeroplane. He is also not able to use discount cards. He is constantly filled with wonder at the number of things other people do without any evident difficulty. The narrator finds it very hard to carry on living in the real world. To him, travelling is a challenging task which he cannot go smoothly.
Moral/ Message of the lesson – THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST
The story gives the message that one should be mature enough to laugh at one’s own follies. This temperament not only eases tense situations but also helps to move on with more important things. Bryson makes up for his lack of grace and confused behaviour by mocking at himself. This not only makes his story funny but also provides comfort as it is normal for all of us to make mistakes. Living in the real world can be confusing for some people like Bryson. However, they can draw joy even from this confusion and let others too laugh along with them.
This lesson gives the message that not everyone can cope with the changes taking place in modern-day life. Some people can easily adjust to the changes while others cannot. Some people are very skilful in doing things while others are not. This problem can take a worse turn during travelling. The narrator of this story finds it hard to do things in a smart manner while he is travelling. He is confused and cannot even remember the number of his hotel room. It is better to use our sense of humour and adjust to the situation rather than getting troubled by it.