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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Importance of Kingston
It was a glorious morning, late spring or early summer when every leaf was green. Kingston or ‘Kymingeston’, as it was called earlier, was known ?‘ many great kings. Great Caesar crossed the river there. The Roman kings camped upon its sloping uplands. Queen Elizabeth had stopped there.
History of Kingston
Many old houses there spoke of those days when nobles and courtiers lived there. They lived in red brick houses. They had oak stairs that did not creak. The writer was reminded of a magnificent carved oak staircase in one of the houses of Kingston. It was a shop now in the marketplace, but it was evidently the mansion of some great person. The shopkeeper once took his friend through the shop and up the staircase of his house. The wall all the way up was oak-panelled. The friend was surprised to see the house. The oak- panelling was covered with blue wall-paper. The owner said that the room looked cheerful now. It was awfully gloomy before.
Jim felt sad to think, ’’Each person has what he doesn’t want and other people have what he does want.”
The story of Stivvings
Jim remembered a boy at his school. He was called Standford and Merton. His real name was Stivvings. He was the most extraordinary lad. He loved studies. He desired to win prizes and grow up to be a clever man. He wanted to bring credit to his parents. But he used to fall ill about twice a week and couldn’t go to school. If there was any known disease going within ten miles of him, he had it and had it badly. He had to stay in bed when he was ill, and eat chickens and custards and hot-house grapes. The other boys would have sacrificed ten terms of their school-life for the sake of being ill for a day. They took things to make them ill, instead they made them fat. Nothing made them ill until the holidays began. Then they would fall III till the term recommenced, when they would suddenly get well again.
The journey to Hampton Court
Jim now began to think about life. He thought how the art treasures of today were only the dug- up commonplaces of three or four hundred years ago. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Hams. He threw away the sculls, got up, and left his seat and sat on his back and stuck his legs in the air. Montmorency howled and turned a somersault and the top hamper jumped up and all the things came out. Harris wanted Jim to scull. Jim ran the boat round the walls of Hampton Court. It looked peaceful and quiet.
Harris asked Jim if he had ever seen the maze at Hampton Court. Harris said that he went in once to show it to someone. He had studied the map and thought that it was vety simple to come out. There they met some people who wanted to come out. Harris told them to follow him. They went round and round but could not find the way out Then Harris did not know what to do. So he Suggested that the best thing was to go back to the entrance. They started again but failed to find the Way out. They all got crazy and called the keeper. He came and gave instructions to them. But they could not understand anything. The young keeper also got lost with them. Then the old keeper came after dinner and rescued them. Harris said that it was a very fine maze. Harris and Jim agreed that they would try to get George into it, On their way back.
Jim, the narrator : Jim loves to brood. His thoughts are philosophical. He comments On life. He says that people are not satisfied with what they have and they yearn for something they don’t have. He thinks how after three or four hundred years the commonplaces become ancient pieces of art. The description of the oak stairs in the old houses reveals his love for history. The description of natural scenery shows his love for nature. The description of everything has an element of humour.
Harris : Harris narrates about the maze at the Hampton Court. He gets lost and fails to find the way out. But he offers to lead others who, too, have failed to find the way out. He is boastful by nature and his boasts land him into trouble.
It is late spring and their journey takes them to historical places. The narrator is reminded of a magnificent carved oak staircase in one of the houses of Kingston. Jim narrates the story of a school boy who loved studies. Harris narrates about the maze at the Hampton Court.
VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1 Have You seen the Taj Mahal in Agra?
Q.2. How do you decorate the walls of your bedroom?
Ans. I hang the photographs of my favourite actors to decorate my bedroom.
Q.3. What type of students do you like?
Ans. I like those students who study hard and are helpful to others.
Q.4. What do you do In the evening?
Ans. I go out for a long
Q.5. Can you find particular house of a map?
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1. In what type of the houses did the nobles and courtiers live ?
Ans. The nobles and courtiers lived in red brick houses. They had oak stairs that did not creak.
Q.2. What type of boy named Stivvings was?
Ans. Stivvings was the most extraordinary, boy at the narrator’s school. He loved studies. He wished to win prizes and grow up to be a clever man. He wanted to bring credit to his parents. He used to fall ill twice a week.
Q 3. How did Montmorency create a mess?
Ans. Montmorency howled and turned a somersault and the top hamper jumped up and all the things came out. Thus he created a mess.
Q.4. How was Harris lost In the maze at Hampton Court?
Ans. Once Harris went in the maze to someone. He had studied the thought that it was very simple to But he was lost in the maze. He to the entrance and tried again way out but failed.
Q.5. How were the persons lost In the maze rescued?
Ans. The young keeper came and gave instructions to them, but they could not understand anything. He also got lost with them. Then the old keeper came and rescued them.
Q.6 Why was Kingston so famous?
Ans. Kingston saw many kings Crowned, Great caesar crossed the river there, Roman Kings camped there and Queen Elizabeth of England stopped there which made it famous.
Q.7 With Whom is Harris being compared and Why?
Ans. Harris is compared with Queen Elizabeth who is described to have visited all public houses of Kingston. In the same way Harris knows every nook and corner where one can find drinks as he is fond of drinking.
Q.8 Why do you think the owner of shop had covered the old oak paneling with blue wall paper?
Ans. The owner of the shop had covered it with blue wall paper because oak paneling looked very gloomy. He did not like the look as he thought it would be like living in a church.
Q.9 What was peculiar about Stivvings?
Ans. Stivvings’ ambitions were indeed peculiar because when other boys of his age explored all ways and means to get sick and to miss school, Stivvings felt sad that due to his ill health he was not able to do his Latin exercise.
Q.10 Do you think Harris was a good guide? Why or Why not?
Ans. Harris was not a good guide. He could not come out of the maze. He met some people who were lost and asked them to follow him. But every time he tried to begin from the entrance, he lost his way and took them in a middle and found no way to come out.
Answer the following questions in detail:
- What does Jim say about the China Dog and other such objects?
Ans. Jim shows his philosophical view on man’s attitude towards the treasure of art. He says that things priced and looked at with awe today are nothing but commonly used articles of common people of three or four hundred years ago. He shows his love for history and nature and reveals a reality that present will become past. He talks of the China dog showpiece lying in his furnished lodging which is an ordinary piece of art work disliked by the writer as well as his land lady. He thinks after two hundred years, when this ordinary China dog would be dug up, people would admire it and praise the use of colours. He claims that it is human nature to prize what is rare and overlook what is common and easily accessible to man.
- What was special about shopkeeper’s house? What changes were made by him in it?
Ans. There was a superb carved oak staircase in the shopkeeper’s house. Its walls were oak-panelled with exquisite carvings. The drawing room was decorated with blue wall paper because the shopkeeper felt that oak gave a gloomy and awful look to the whole house, so he covered it with bright blue wall paper. The writer says that other people have to spend a lot to give their homes a look of carved oak but this man having it in plenty did not care a little for it.
- What happened to Harris in the maze?
Ans. Harris felt it was quite easy to come out of the maze at Hampton where he had gone to guide one of his cousins. He studied the map but found it misleading. He met some people in the maze who could not find their way out. Harris confidently asked them to follow him. They thought him as a great saviour and followed him. He planned to keep on turning to the right but reached the someplace again. People realised their folly and called him and impostor. Finding no way out people shouted out for the keeper but the newly employed keeper did not know the way out. At last and old keeper rescued them.
- Why wouldn’t writer like to live actually at Hompton Court?
Ans. Though the writer admires the peacefulness of Hampton Court, but he would not like to live there as he was bred in a city and was accustomed to its din, population, commotion and noise. The serenity of nature, the rustling of trees seem to be pleasant during the day but ghostly and eerie in the night. They present a strange, dull and mysterious stillness all around. So he would like to live in a place where there are gas-lit streets echoing with human voice and throbbing with life.
- What is writer’s opinion about the “art treasures of today”?
Ans. The writer has described his view about the art treasures. In his opinion things priced highly and looked at with awe today are nothing more than commonly used articles by common people three or four hundred years ago. He wonders if this trend will be followed in future also. Then he talks of the China dog showpiece lying in his lodgings which everybody disliked. He thinks after two hundred years when this ordinary China piece would be dug up in 2228 people would admire it and would be wonder-struck by the use of colours. The author comments that it is the human tendency to prize what is rare.
- Who broke Jim’s reverie and Why?
Ans. An old bald-headed man broke Jim’s reverie intervening by asking him
if he wanted to see the tombs whereas Jim was lost in imagination of a
pious life free from all sins and absurdities on seeing the lovely
landscape. But the old man’s shrill voice upset him.
- Explain the beauty of riverside as narrated by the writer.
Ans. The sunny river is flanked by the inhabitants of Hampton and Mousley who dress themselves up in their finest boating costumes. People wearing colourful costumes and sitting in the boats look fascinating. The riverside becomes the venue for people to flaunt their taste in colours and attractive attires. People with their dogs come here. They flirt, smoke and watch the boats. The hats, pretty coloured dresses of ladies and jackets of men make the river a confluence of amazing and fascinating colours. Pretty girls, excited dogs, moving boats, white sails, the pleasant landscape and the sparkling water produce the gayest sights of the river.
- What experience the writer has to face when he accompanied two ladies on a boat-trip?
Ans. Once Jim accompanied two ladies who were in silky stuff, flowers and ribbons, dainty shoes and light gloves. Jim thought that they were dressed for a photographic studio and not for a river picnic. They found the boat quite dirty and felt it might spoil their lovely dresses. When the writer sculled the boat, the oars splashed a few drops of water on their dresses and left stains. The writer tried his best to avoid flickering of water from falling over their dresses. But the oarsman splashed a good amount of water on them. The ladies covered themselves with rugs to save their clothes from staining. Every time a drop touched them, they visibly shrank and shuddered. Though it was a noble sight to see them suffering silently, but the writer felt nervous as he is too sensitive. During the lunch the ladies were reluctant to sit on dusty grass. They were always apprehensive that somebody might spill the curry on their dresses. They thought only of their dresses and could not enjoy the picnic.
- How do you enjoy the humour in dressing sense of the three men?
Ans. The dressing sense of the three friends is quite humorous. Jim likes red and black that match his golden brown hair. He feels that a light blue necktie goes well with it. A pair of Russian shoes and a red silk hanky round the waist give the combination a push. Harris likes shades of orange and yellow but that does not suit him as his complexion is too dark for yellow dress. The writer advises him to have a combination of blue and white but he refuses. The writer concludes that the less taste a person has in dress, the more obstinate he is. George has brought new things for the trip. His blazer is gaudy and showy. Jim thinks that it does not suit him but George is adamant. He says people should wear such dresses with can bear onslaughts of water.
- Give your own examples to show that people are not contended with what they have got, they always long for what they don’t have.
Ans. There are people who crave for new art pieces and they are ready to pay any price for that. Through this anecdote the writer presents bitter fact of human nature that people are not contended with what they have but crave for what they don’t have. For example a man, maintaining a bike, is not satisfied with it rather he craves for a car which may be out of his reach and impossible to maintain. Yet another craves for a big house which he does not have. The writer tries to prove that it is a human nature that the more he has the more he desires.
- Experience counts much, a novice may go wrong. Justify this statement in the light of the troubles faced by Harris in maze.
Ans. Experience has its own importance in human life. An experienced person is always good at every task whereas a novice generally may go wrong. As in the maze episode, Harris is an inexperienced man who in spite of trying again and again failed to come out of the maze. The same is the case with the newly appointed Keeper. He goes to rescue the people who lost their way out but he himself was lost in the maze. It is the experienced man like the old keeper who succeeds and rescues the people along with Harris. Though Harris is confident of himself but he has no experience of the job that is why he wandered in the maze without finding a way out.
- Writer has commented upon two traits of Harris’s character in this chapter. What are they?
Ans. The writer takes a dig at Harris and tells us that there was hardly any pub which Elizabeth had not visited as shown by the signs displayed there. This reminds him of his friend Harris who frequently visited pubs in search of drinks. The writer imagines if Harris becomes the Prime minister and dies, the pubs he had never entered would become famous. Secondly the writer mocks at his boastful and over confident attitude. He braggs about knowing the ins and outs of the maze but soon he is awarded with the title of ‘an imposter’ by the people stranded there and his chains get exposed. Thus his two traits are– he is fond of drinking and he is over confident.