Three Men in a Boat Extra Questions, Notes and Summary Chapter 1

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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-


Three friends
George, Harris and the narrator were friends. All the three considered themselves to be seriously ill. They felt seedy. They met to discuss how to deal with their problems. George and Harris thought they suffered from fits of giddiness. But the narrator was sure that he suffered from the ailment of liver. He was certain about his ailment because he had recently been reading a patent liver-pill circular. He had been in the habit of imagining, after reading patent medicine advertisements, that he had the same symptoms of the ailment as described in them.
Visit to the British Museum 
One day, the narrator went to the British Museum. There he consulted a medical dictionary and went through every disease alphabetically. After reading it, he was convinced that he suffered from every disease mentioned in the dictionary. He thought that the only disease that he did not suffer from was the disease of the housemaid’s knee (arthritis) though he suffered from ‘gout’ in the extreme form. He thought that the students of the medical colleges would not have to ‘walk the hospitals’ if they had him as a patient. He was a hospital himself.
The doctor’s advice
He went to the doctor who was his friend. He his pulse, looked at his tongue and examined thoroughly. The doctor, then, prescribed medicines . He went to the chemist to get the medicines. The chemist refused to give him the prescribed medicines by saying that he was only a chemist The narrator read the prescription. The medicines prescribed were “one pound beefsteak, with one pint bitter beer every six hours, a ten-mile walk every morning and sleep at 11 sharp every night.”
Plan for a boat-trip
The narrator, then, said that he suffered from a weak liver even as a boy. The disease never left him even for a day. The family considered it laziness and cured it by giving him clumps on the side of his head. The friends described to each other their maladies. They came to the conclusion that the remedy for their maladies was ‘rest’ and a holiday. They should seek out some old—world spot far away from the crowd. They discussed a sea4rip but the narrator was strongly opposed to it. He gave a graphic detail of what happened to his brother-in-law and a friend who went to sea-trips. George seemed to be the only person who liked sea-trips and he boasted about it He, finally, put forward a suggestion : “Let’s go up the river a boat trip” . They all agreed with this suggestion. The only one who did not accept this suggestion was Montmorency — the dog. But his objection was ruled out.

                                                                CHAPTER REVIEW 
Three friends — George, Harris and the narrator.
The Dog- Montmorency

The narrator
He is a hypochondriac. He has the habit of imagining that he suffers from the same disease as described in the patent medical advertisements. He is very friendly with his doctor. He hates to go on a sea-voyage. He narrates to his friends about what happened to his brother-in-law and a friend.

Harris thinks that he suffers from fits of giddiness. He pretends to be interested in sea-trips. He thinks that all of them need rest and a holiday.

He likes to talk in medical terms. He suggests to his friends that they should undertake a boat trip. His suggestion surprises his friends think that he is incapable of making such a suggestion. He is considered lazy by his He weighs about twelve stones.

Montmorency-the Dog
He opposes the suggestion of going up the river. He doesn’t like outside scenery. He is not allowed to run after a rat.


The three friends — George, Harris and the narrator — discuss about their imagined illness. Then they decide to go out for a holiday. The readers can have a peep into the working of the narrator’s mind. They come to know how people suffer from sea-sickness and how they refuse to admit it in their conversation with others on land.



Q.1.What will you do If you suffer from a headache?
Ans.  I’ll take a painkiller.
Q.2.Do you like to go out for a picnic?
Ans. Yes/ no.
Q.3.What can keep you healthy?
Ans. A long walk daily can keep us healthy.
Q.4.When should one get up In the morning?
Ans. One should get up early
Q.5. Do you know how to swim?
Ans. No

Q.1. What did the three friends—George, Harris and the narrator—think about their illness?
Ans: George and Harris thought that they suffered from fits of giddiness. But the narrator was sure that he suffered from the ailment of liver. He was certain because he thought, after reading a patent liver-pill circular, that he had the same symptoms of the ailment as described in it.
Q.2. What did the narrator come to know after reading a medical dictionary In the British Museum ?
Ans: After reading about every disease alphabetically in the medical dictionary he came to know that he suffered from every disease mentioned in it except the disease called the housemaid’s knee (arthritis).
Q.3. What were the medicines that the doctor prescribed the narrator?
Ans. The medicines prescribed were: ‘One pound beefsteak, with one pint bitter  beer every six hours, a ten-mile walk every morning, and sleep at at eleven sharp every night.’
Q.4.What conclusion did the friends arrive at about their ailments?
Ans. The friends Came to the conclusion that the remedy for their ailments Was ‘rest’ and a holiday. They thought that they should seek out Some old-world spot far away from the crowd.
Q.5. What did George suggest ? Who disagreed with the suggestion?
Ans. George Suggested that they should take a boat trip along the river. Montmorency the dog, disagreed with the suggestion.

  1. In What way author’s illness different from his friend’s?

Ans. The author actually suffers from a disease called ‘hypochondria’ whereas his friends suffer from strange attacks of giddiness.

  1. Why did the writer believe that he had all the diseases?

Ans. A man suffering from hypochondria imagines that he has all disease of the world and the writer suffers from ‘hypochondria’.

  1. What did the prescription say?

Ans. The prescription said:

1 lb beef steak with 1 pt bitter bear every 6 hrs

1 ten-mile walk every morning

1 bed at 11 sharp every night and

“Don’t stuff your head with things you don’t understand.”

  1. What did the three friends eat for supper and how was it funny?

Ans. They ate a little steak, onions and some rhubarb tart. Having fancied of illness, they took no interest in their food for half an hour. It was an unusual thing for the writer. It is quite funny that they are not ill, still avoid eating rather enjoy drinking and smoking.

  1. How did the writer’s family cure him from his supposed liver problem?

Ans. They striked him with clumps on his head and he felt cured of his liver problem. The incident also happened in the past with him.

  1. What surprised the two friends when George gave a suggestion?

Ans. George was a lazy person. He comes up with the find suggestion of taking a boat trip. His two friends were surprised, as they thought he was not capable of making such a sensible suggestion.

Answer the following questions in detail:

  1. What type of disease is hypochondria?

Ans. A man is said to be suffering from ‘hypochondria’ who imagines that he has all the diseases of the world. As he reads about diseases and symptoms of some disease, he feels that all those symptoms are present in him and he is suffering from all of them.

  1. In what ways writer think himself to be a boon for medical students?

Ans. The write visited a British Museum to read about the treatment for some slight ailment. He read about every disease alphabetically in the medical dictionary and was convinced that he suffered from every disease except the house maid’s knee (arthritis). This self-diagnosis filled him with horror and despair. His body housed innumerable diseases, hence he could be the best body for case study for the medical students. They would not have to go to hospitals to study. His body was a hospital and the medical students would have to walk round him and take their diploma.

  1. What did the doctor mean by saying “And don’t stuff up your head  with things you don’t understand”?

Ans. The writer considered himself to be suffering from all kinds of diseases. He went to a doctor who was his friend. The doctor examined him thoroughly and found that he had no illness rather he was hypochondriac. So the doctor, with some other funny prescriptions, suggested him so. He means to say that the writer should avoid reading those things that are medicines which he does not understand. He means the writer should not bother with the matters about which he has no knowledge.

  1. Why was writer not willing to go on a sea-trip?

Ans. The write hates sea-voyages. He gives a detailed and graphic description of what happened with his brother-in-law when he went forc a short sea trip once for the benefit of his health. He had to return from London to Liverpool and when he returned, the only thing he was anxious about was to sell his return tickets. He is of the view that sea voyage needs as long a period as two months at least. A short trip to a sea voyage was worth nothing because falling ill was on inevitable effect of it.

  1. Give day wise account of author’s sea journey for a week.

Ans. When Harris recommends a sea trip in order to take rest and change, the author vehemently opposes the idea and asserts that sea-trip is a viable idea when one has as little time as two months at his disposal. He says that a man sets out on a sea voyage with high spirits but soon falls sick and gets depressed due to the mundane routine. As he gradually recovers and starts liking the sea-trip, he realises it is time to return to shores. He also describes about the experience of a short sea-trip his brother-in-law had taken.

  1. Give your opinion about the three friends.

Ans. The three friends, Harris, George and the writer are doubtful of themselves to be suffering from all imaginable diseases. One evening they meet and discuss their ailments and desire to find solution of them. George and Harris feel acute fits of giddiness whereas the author is sure that his liver is out of order. All the three are in fact hypochondriacs. None of them is really ill, their illness is in their minds. They fancy and invent illness. They apprehend to be ill. They feel to be ill as an excuse to hard work as they are all lazy and want nothing to do.

  1. Jim makes fun of his friends but doesn’t spare himself too. How?

Ans. The writer mocks the funny traits of his friends but spares not even himself. He himself fancies of suffering from innumerable illnesses but charges George of being whimsical of illness and that there is nothing\ really bad about his health. He also derides Harris who recounts a funny way of beating sea sickness. But the writer is quite fair as he has the ability to make fun of himself. He goes to the British Museum, reads about all the diseases and finds himself as suffering from all kinds of diseases except the housemaid’s knee. The writer is surprised over the fact that he does not suffer from housemaid’s knee. It is funny when he calls himself a hospital. When he visits the chemist with the doctor’s prescription, the reader is quite forced to laugh at his funny wit.

  1. What personality and character of George do you form in your mind after reading this chapter?

Ans. George loves to speak in medical terms. When the three friends meet to discuss remedies of their ailments, he suggests them to take a boat-trip. Harris and Jim both are surprised at his sensible suggestion which they had never expected from such a lazy and unwilling fellow. He is extremely lazy and pretends to be ill out of fear of any kind of labour. He weights about twelve stones.

  1. Bring out the humour in doctor examining Jim.

Ans. Horrified and depressed by the fact that his body was a store house of all kinds of diseases, Jim visits his doctor for treatment. When the doctor inquired about his problem the writer replied that life was too brief todescribe and that he might pass away before he would finish the list of his ailments. Only he said that except housemaid’s knee, he had all diseases. The doctor takes everything quite normally. He examines him casually, sees his tongue, feels his pulse and thumps his chest strongly and writes the prescription. The writer goes to chemist and gives him the prescription. The chemist returns it to the writer and says that he is a chemist and not a cooperative stores or family hotel. In fact the doctor had prescribed him no medicines but healthy food, long walk and early sleep as he had no illness.

10.Give an account of the argument made to reject the sea trip. 

Why is the sea trip rejected by the three friends in “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K. Jerome?
What were the reasons for Jerome rejecting a sea trip?
Why is the sea trip rejected by the three friends in the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’?
Ans.- In Chapter One, Harris suggests that the three friends should initiate on a sea trip. Jirom, the writer is the first one to disagree. He argues that a sea trip is a great experience if one can take a few months for it; however, if the sea trip will only last a week, it can be a devastatingly joyless experience. He maintains that it usually takes a week to overcome the propensity of getting seasick, and by the time one does, the trip will be over.
J relates the story of his brother-in-law, who made the mistake of going on a short sea trip. By the time he got to Liverpool, his brother-in-law was anxious to sell his return ticket at a discount; he had had enough of the sea and wanted to take the train home. Evidently, the short sea trip had been too taxing for him, and he maintained that one could get more exercise sitting down (presumably being seasick) than “turning somersaults on dry land.”
Next, J relates the story of his friend, who went on a week’s voyage around the coast. This friend paid full price for a week’s worth of food that he never got to eat. The initial fare was unappetizing, and then his friend got seasick. This left him having to survive on thin captain’s biscuits and soda-water for four days. By the time he was well enough to sample the food he had paid for, the voyage was over.
Jerome tells his friends that he worries George will suffer the same fate. For his part, George maintains that J and Harris will likely be the ones to get seasick before he does. He declares that he’s never gotten seasick, even during tempestuous sea trips. Then, J offers some strange advice on balancing one’s body during sea trips; he argues that it is “an excellent preventive against sea-sickness.”
You stand in the centre of the deck, and, as the ship heaves and pitches, you move your body about, so as to keep it always straight. When the front of the ship rises, you lean forward, till the deck almost touches your nose; and when its back end gets up, you lean backwards. This is all very well for an hour or two; but you can’t balance yourself for a week.
Upon hearing this terrible advice, George pipes up that they should go up the river instead. He argues that they will have “fresh air, exercise and quiet,” and eventually, this is what the three friends decide to do. They reject the sea trip because none of them can agree that a week’s voyage will prove enjoyable.


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