Three Men in a Boat
Jerome Klapka Jerome is one of the popular and well-known English authors. He is famous for writing essays, short stories, and novels. Especially, he is famous for his special humor, all his stories are based on that sparkling manner of writing. The passage presents a piece of narration intercepted with a description. It may be split into two logically complete parts. The first part – “Beautiful Sonning “ describes the place the three friends got out of the boat and put up for the night. The second part – “Cooking Irish srew” narrates how they cooked Irish stew.
The extract begins with the description of the beautiful view and comfortable destination of the place where the action comes to pass. From the very beginning we see the narrator admiring Sonning: “It is the most fairylike little nook on the whole river. It is more like a stage village than one built of bricks and mortar. Every house is smothered in roses…” From those exact sentences we can guess that the narrator is a kind of a person who admires beauty and can give his own impression. The author describes the place the characters got out very colourfully and vividly.
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The vividness of the description has been achieved, firstly, by the use of bookish words and word-combinations (“to be smothered in”, “dainty”, “splendour”), secondly, by the use of the epithets which disclose the author’s emotionally coloured individual attitude towards the place described (“fairy-like”, “dainty”, “veritable”, “sweet”), thirdly, by the similes “fairy-like nook”, (Sonning) “like a stage village”, which also create a picturesque image, and, finally, by the metaphors “smothered in roses” and “clouds of dainty splendour” which contribute to the same effect – to a more colourful presentation of the setting.
All these language means create a lyrical romantic mood of this part and makes us imagine the beauty of nature, the fullness of emotions and feelings. The second part presents a piece of narration which deals with the proceedings of making an Irish stew. This part is written in a humorous and ironical key (slant). It is the humour of the laughter provoking situations in which the three friends found themselves when cooking the stew. Besides, a special choice of words also produces a humorous and, especially, an ironical effect.
That is due to the author’s mock-serious manner of treating the trifling incident of making the stew as a big event. The formal words and phrases (evince, proceedings, throughout, reappear, contribution, desire, assist, etc. ) are out of place in this context, they create a contrast between the situation and the language units chosen to reproduce it. As a result, the sentences acquire a definite ironical sounding. The other device of revealing the author’s irony is exaggeration. The following statements sound exaggerated: “The job turned out to be the biggest thing of its kind that I had ever been in. ;
“We worked steadily for five-and-twenty minutes, and did four potatoes. ”; “We said we should require the rest of the evening for scraping ourselves”; “The more we peeled, the more peel there seemed to be left on. ”; “It seemed difficult to believe that the potato-scrapings in which Harris and I stood, half-smothered, could have come off four potatoes. ” Irony is also strongly felt in the sentences: “It shows you what could be done with economy and care. ”; “He said that was the advantage of Irish stew: you got rid of such a lot of things.
The words in the sentences are marked by positive connotation, but it is obvious, that these connotative shades of their meanings contradict the situation, and consequently, the sentences sound absurd and imply mockery. If we look at the way how the friends prepare the potatoes we realize they may have never done it before. The next sentence: “Scrapping was even harder than peeling” makes us completely sure the author wanted to show the humor of the situation. later the fellows added some more potatoes in their Irish stew without even peeling them, and lots of other odds and ends and the remnants.
The author doesn’t forget to outline the role of their dog in the story – Montmorency made his own contribution to the meal, it brought a dead water-rat which was added in the supper. The most interesting fact concerning all this fuss is that their supper was a great success: “I don’t think I ever enjoyed a meal more. There was something so fresh and piquant about it. …here was a dish with a new flavor, with a taste like nothing else on earth. ” The extract can be divided into four parts: 1. The exposition. Sonning. 2. The development of the plot.
Starting to prepare the ingredients for cooking. 3. The climax. When a dog brought a dead water-rat for Irish stew 4. The denouement. Enjoying the dinner. Speaking about its general definition we should note the text is told in the 1st person narrative. It helps us to imagine, that we take part in all the events of this story. The description part of the story is illustrative of literary-bookish English. The narration is interlaced with the descriptive passages and rare dialogues of the personages. The account of events is interwoven with a humorous portrayal of the young fellows.
The prevailing mood of the extract is rather optimistic and cheerful, is seen in their admiration of the place and the meal. The author makes use of the long and complicated sentences as well as the short and simple ones. There are a ;lot of verbs and adverbs in the sentences that we can guess the action moves fast, dynamically. To my opinion, the message is the following: don’t be afraid of hard work and experimenting. even preparing the meal needs time and effort. To this story is suit one proverb “No bees, no honey”.