Interpretation of the extract from “Three men in a boat” by Jerome K. Jerome (Chapter XIV)
The text under interpretation is an extract from the book “Three Men in a Boat” by an English writer Jerome K. Jerome. He wrote novels Three Men in a Boat, The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, Novel Notes and Three Men on the Bummel. Jerome K. Jerome is famous for his art of story-telling, his vivid style and his humor which is generally expressed in laughter-provoking situations often based on misunderstanding. With sparkling humour he criticized the weak sides of human nature.
The three men are based on Jerome himself and two real-life friends, George Wingrave and Carl Hentschel, with whom he often ...view middle of the document...
Harris and the author submit to George. They look so absurd, odd, helpless and compliant that seems too fun. Their characters, as I think, are the same, at least in this chapter. George can be contrasted with Harries and the author. It’s striking how so different persons can be very close friends. The author doesn’t give any description of the characters’ appearance, he leave it for the reader’s imagination. The reader can get all this character’s description of their temper in the direct author’s statements; he is also one of the friends, and through the character’s own speech in dialogues. The fact that the story is written in the form of the first person narration lets the reader feel that it’s some private story which was told you by your old friend.
The main idea of this extract is showing how the person look when he do something in the first time, and not just showing it, but the author rises, I think a question, should the man do something he like if he doesn’t cope with it in a proper way. Let’s try to sort out this problem and start from the very beginning.
Firstly, the extract starts with the description of Sonning. It’s a village, “the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river”, “every house is smothered in roses and now they are bursting forth in clouds of dainty splendor”. All these metaphors make a good impression about this place and the reader can feel some calmness and happiness when he images all these pictures in his own head.
It seems a fascinating idea to the friends to try a good slap-up supper. The epithets single out that this thought seems to the author funny and also that the author likes his characters and he doesn’t scoff of them but just make fun of their inability to cook a simple dinner and even to peel the potatoes. This humor can be found through the whole text. And sometimes the author uses such a stylistic devise as the exaggeration. For example: “I should never have thought that peeling potatoes was such an undertaking. The job turned out to be the biggest thing of this kind that I had ever been in.” it helps to make the situation more fun and ridiculous.
Even the elements of irony are in the text. Such as “I never saw such a thing as potato-scraping for making a fellow in a mess.” And there are the hyperbolas such as “it seemed difficult to believe that the potato-scrapings, in which Harris and I stood, half smothered, could have come off four potatoes”. These devices show to the readers that the author finds absurd details in each action of the heroes.
Of course it doesn’t relate only to these friends and only to this concrete situation. I think that the author has in mind all peoples who start to do some new work or something like this. Maybe it is some kind of the synecdoche when the author, speaking about concrete situation and concrete peoples, means the whole class of peoples who not take their place in life or have not found it yet.
Or the author wants to say that you may look funny and...