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
The following page is dedicated to your great preparation of the novel by providing you chapter wise summary, Character sketches of main characters like George, Harris, Jerome, Montmorency, summary in Hindi, extra question answers and much more. Click the desired chapter and enjoy reading in a very simple language-
Planning the trip
After taking the decision of having a boat trip along the river, the friends began to plan it. They planned to start from Kingston on Saturday and George would join them at Chertsey in the afternoon, when his bank closed. They debated about the stay at night. George and the narrator wished to ‘camp out’ at night. The narrator insisted on it. He became poetical about the sun setting in the evening, and the birds becoming silent. He went into a nostalgic mood and described how they would tie their boat in a corner and pitch their tent and eat a small meal. They would Listen to the song of the flowing river. They would lie down under the starry sky. His description of the natural scenery showed that civilization was taking man away from the lap of nature.
The poetic mood of the narrator was interrupted by Harris who asked, “How about when it rained ?“ Harris used to weep whenever he ate raw Onions. Harris was fond of drinks. For him that place was the best where he could get a drink. But he was right in his opinion that it was unpleasant to Camp out in rainy weather. It was tedious and hopeless to attempt to make wood fire. So they would have to light a stove to cook food. The bread’ be soaked in rain water. The pie, the jam, the butter and salt would become rich with rainwater.
Problems in a rain
You would wake up from your sleep because you felt that an elephant was sitting on your chest. You would feel that the world had come to an end because you heard faint cries coming from under your bed. Then suddenly you realised that the tent had fallen down. In the morning all the three Mends would be speechless owing to severe cold that they caught in the night. They would quarrel with one another and shout at one another.
Montmorency, the dog
So they took the decision that they would sleep out for five nights in a hotel or a pub when it rained. Even Montmorency, the dog, hailed this decision. He looked like a fox-terrier having a gentle look in his eyes. When the narrator had owned the dog he had thought that he would not live long. But after paying for a dozen chickens that he had killed, and rescuing him from a hundred and fourteen street fights, listening to the angry neighbour whose cat he had killed, the narrator changed his opinion about the dog. The only thing that was yet to be decided was what to take along with them. Harris came with a suggestion that he knew a place where they would get excellent Irish whisky. George said that he felt thirsty. The debate was adjourned to the following night . all the three put on their hats.
The same four characters — George, Harris, the narrator and Montmorency — are there.
The narrator (Jim) : The writer is romantic by nature. He loves the beautiful objects of nature. We realise that his description of the night fall is poetic and lyrical. He agrees with George to ‘camp out’ at night. He dislikes the practical attitude of Harris. He is witty and humorous in his comments.
George : George likes to ‘camp out’ at night. His friends say that he sleeps in the bank the whole day. He is considered to be lazy. He likes to take rest any ti me , anywhere.
Harris : Harris is practical in his attitude towards life. He is very fond of drinks. For him that place is the best where he can get a drink. He does not like to ‘camp out’ at night.
After taking a decision of having a boat trip along the river, the friends plan their journey. They plan to ‘camp out’ at night when it does not rain, but decide to sleep in a hotel or pub when it rains. The debate is adjourned to the following night. All the three put on their hats and go out.
VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1.Is lt safe to sleep in the open at night ?
Ans. No, it’s not.
Q.2. Have you ever pitched a tent and slept In It at the hill-station ?
Ans. No, I haven’t.
Q.3.What will you do If It rains when you are returning homefrom school?
Ans. I’ll walk in the rain and get wet.
Q.4.Do you like to keep a pet dog ? Why! Why not?
Ans. I like to keep a pet dog because I love animals.
Q.5.When do you sleep at night?
Ans. I sleep at 10 o’clock at night
6 . Where did the narrator wish to stay at night?
Ans. The narrator wished to ‘camp out’ at night. He insisted on this because he loved the objects of nature. He loved to lie down under the starry sky
Q.7.What decision did the friends take?
Ans. They took the decision that they would sleep out for five nights in a hotel or a pub when it rained, but would ‘camp out’ when it did not rain.
Q.8.How did Montmorency look like? What had the writer thought of him?
Ans. Montmorency, the dog, looked like a fox- terrier having a gentle look in his eyes. When the narrator had owned the dog, he had thought he would not live long.
Q.9.When did the narrator change his opinion about the dog?
Ans. After paying for a dozen chickens that the dog had killed and rescuing him from several street-fights, and listening to the angry neighbour whose cat he had killed, the narrator changed his opinion about the dog.
Q.10. Did the debate come to an end?
Ans. No it was adjourned to the following night.
SHORT AND LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1 Why did the three friends not want to stay outside on the trip? Give a brief account of their arguments
Ans.- The three friends did not want to stay outside on the trip by giving a number of arguments as they feel that there are several possible misfortunes.
First of all rain will definitely become a spoilsport in the pleasure of camping trip. It would be difficult to go outside and explore the area nearby. They themselves admit that-
“You are wet through, and there is a good two inches of water in the boat, and all the things are damp.”
The task of pitching tent is a lot of struggle in the rainy weather. It is rather irritating. Instead of helping you, it seems to you that the other man is simply trying to make a fool of you by not working. Everything is soaked and heavy, and tumbles down on you, and clings round your head and makes you mad. Making wood fire is another difficult task and creates a lot of problems. They think that they cannot go on with it so the methylated spirit stove has to be lighted and they had to crowd round that. Another major problem is this that whenever you feel like smoking you find that your tobacco is damp. You wish to eat you find that edibles like the jam, the butter, the salt and coffee all are mingled with water to make a delicious soup. One can neither enjoy smoking nor eating. There are several other problems like one feels restless in bed. One can catch cold and quarrel with one another. In such a situation one is most likely to curse oneself , fight with friends or work for small things harder than required.
Q.2 Do you agree with the writer’s opinion about civilization? What harm has civilization done to man?
Ans. The writer is lost in poetic imagination. He dreams of man’s early life when he used to live in forests near rivers. He lived a happy and contented life in the company of nature. But now civilization has taken him far from the beauty of nature. Man has made cities where there is no natural beauty. The writer curses and abuses man’s follies for being civilized. He laments that civilization has separated man from his real and natural happiness which he used to relish in the company of nature.
Q.3 How is the sweet and romantic world of dreams contrasted with the real practical world?
Ans. The writer becomes romantic during his trip to the world of nature. He imagines as lulled by the lapping water of the river and the rustling trees. He sleeps and dreams that the world has become young again as it used to be when man lived by nature. But he is shocked to know that civilization has drifted him away from the soothing touch of nature. Man has become materialistic and he has no time to enjoy the beauties of the nature. Man has been so over taken by worldly anxieties that he feels no attraction for nature. Though nature takes us to the sweet and romantic world of dreams, but we are bound to our worldly duties.
Q.4 How can rain play a spoil sport in the camping trip?
Ans. Everything gets wet in the rain water. The tent is fixed somehow. Being soaked it is heavy and soon it tumbles down. To fix a wet tent creates tension between those who are fixing it. When one fixes it at one point, it tumbles down at the other. And the persons fixing it get engaged in a hot argument blaming each other for not fixing it properly. It becomes difficult to make a wood fire. All the eatable articles are water-soaked. The jam, the butter, the salt and coffee all are mingled with water to make a delicious soup. One cannot enjoy smoking because tobacco and pipes are damp. Everybody feels restless in bed. They catch cold and quarrel with each other. Thus the rain plays a spoilsport.
Q.5 Describe the mood of the three friends after a restless and peace less wet night.
Ans. After a rest less wet night all the three are speechless because of having severe cold. All of them feel very quarrelsome. They involve in a hot argument blaming each other in hoarse whisper during their breakfast time. All the three are so much disturbed and sick that they decide to stay in an inn or a pub like respectable people where they could feel a change and sleep quietly.
Q.6 How does the writer describe Montmorency and his antics?
Ans. Montmorency is a fox-terrier dog in their company on the trip. He looks like an angel, behaves in a noble way. When the author first saw him, he was not sure that he would survive. He rescued him from street fighters. He had to pay for dozens of chickens he had killed and ate. Montmorency led a gang of most notorious dogs and enjoyed fighting other gangs in the slums. All the three friends give due respect to his valuable opinion on important matters. He is not happy with their decision of sleeping in open but he hails the decision of sleeping in an inn or a pub. He is adventurous and responds to every challenge.
Analysing the Characters:
- What character of writer is casted on your mind after reading this chapter?
Ans. After reading this chapter we conclude that he has a great sense of humour. The description of camping out in the open, the narration of rain spoiling their food, their ridiculous remarks are all full of humour. Gradually we find the writer to be poetic and romantic in the description of nature. The description of falling night, the sun, the moon, the personification of the river and the singing of birds are all described in a poetic and romantic way. Though he seems to be lazy, yet he is sensible, practical and imaginative. He also touches the main weakness of man and abuses him for being materialistic.
- How is Harris different from the writer? What traits of Harris’s character are shown in this chapter?
Ans. Harris is quite different in nature from the writer. The writer becomes poetic and romantic in a favourable situation. He becomes lyrical and beautifully paints the picture of the nature. He is sensible and humorous. He has a great sense of humour that we can see in the description of their camping out in the open. On the other hand Harris is a practical person. He is fond of drinking and knows where a pub can be found. He is aware of the problems which can occur while sleeping in the open if it rains. That is why he is not in favour of sleeping in the open.
- Give a brief character description of Montmorency as it is treated\ as an equal with a separate personality.
Ans. Montmorency, the dog, is portrayed not as a mere dog but as a human personality of rowing party. He is a fox-terrier who are supposed to be clever, adventurous and fighters. He looks like an angel sent upon the earth. When the author first saw him, he was not sure he would survive. But the writer rescued him from several street fights, paid for dozens of chickens he has killed and was rebuked for killing a neighbour’s cat and thus he was sure of him to live. Montmorency led a gang of most notorious dogs and enjoyed fighting other gangs in the slums. He gives valuable opinion on import matters. He approved the idea of staying in an inn, pub or a hotel. He has been described as equal to humans having different personality.