Analysis « Mr. Know – All»

In: Novels

Submitted By anastasias
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Analysis « Mr. Know – All» by William Somerset Maugham The story under analysis was written by William Somerset Maugham. He was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era. Mr. Know- All is a story with a moral lesson. The subject is simple. A rich British merchant of Oriental origin, called Mr. Kelada, meets a group of Westerners on a ship sailing across the Pacific Ocean. His cabin-mate, a British citizen who is the nameless narrator of the story, dislikes Mr. Kelada even before he sees him. However, at the end of the story Mr. Kelada, the Levantine jeweller, proves to be a real gentleman when he sacrifices his own pride and reputation to save an American lady’s marriage. As a result, he earns the respect of the narrator. It is a narration with the elements of description. The story is told in the first person. As for time settings, it is a short time after World War I. It is mentioned for two reasons. First, it justifies the accidental meeting in the same cabin of the narrator and Mr. Kelada. The passenger traffic on the ocean-liners was heavy, so the narrator had to agree to share a cabin with a person he disliked. Second, it may give us a possible reason for the narrator’s unjustified antagonism towards Mr. Kelada. Usually, during periods of war, feelings of prejudice and dislike for foreigners grow stronger. As for place settings, it takes place on a ship in international waters– a neutral place. The journey for the USA to Japan takes 14 days. The ship becomes the symbol of the world with people who are prejudiced and even racists. The atmosphere of the story is annoying because the behavior of Mr.Know-all was bad. The language of the story is rich. To show the atmosphere of the story the narrator uses epithets: Mr Kelada was short and of a sturdy build,…...

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