Class 9 – English – Chapter 2 – Three Men In a Boat – Important Questions


Question.1. Describe the troubles and confusions faced by George when his watch stopped working on a winter morning. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. George got up early and failed to sleep. He narrated a past experience when the same thing happened. He was to go to city by nine. He was staying at Mrs Gippings’. As he had forgotten to wind up his watch, the watch stopped at a quarter-past eight. When he got up and looked at the watch, he was horrified. He thought that he was late. Actually it was 3 o’clock in the morning. He rushed out. There was still darkness. All the shops were closed. The policeman looked at George with suspicion. They asked him where he lived. They told him to go back home and sleep. Two constables went with him to Mrs Gippings’s home to see if he had told the truth or not. George came home, unlocked the door and went in. The policemen stood outside and remained standing outside the house for some time. Since that day George had made it a point not to get up early.

Question.2 The author ‘J’ jumps into the river and becomes a hero. Describe the incident highlighting the traits of J’s character. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The three friends – George, Harris and the narrator (‘J’) – had decided to go for a swin in the river. In the morning, George and Harris, and even the dog Montmorency refused to go for the swin as they shivered at the thought of cold water. ‘J’ did not want to go but even then he went. He held on to a branch of a tree and wanted to have just a dip in the water. The branch of the tree gave way and the narrator fell down into the cold water. When he came out, he put up a brave face, telling that his experience was enjoyable. He even tried to persuade his friends to go and have a swim. But no one agreed to his suggestion.
The author became a hero in the eyes of his friends for a while. They did not know what had actually happened. The author was not brave or daring. He was as timid as his other friends. He only pretended to be heroic.

Question.3. Describe what happens when Harris volunteered to make scrambled eggs ? (CBSE 2014)
What do you think about Harris as a cook ? Write your opinion in reference to the incident of making scrambled eggs. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. Harris was a bad cook. He pretended to be a good one, and offered to make scrambled eggs. He said that he had often made such eggs at picnics. George and the narrator gave him the stove and the frying pan for the purpose.
Harris took up the eggs and broke them, but failed to put the matter into the frying pan. Most of the broken eggs fell on his trousers and kept running his sleeves. At last he managed to put half a dozen of eggs into the pan. Then he burned his fingers in touching the heated pan. Each time this happened he would drop everything. He kept dancing round the stove, cursing everything. The narrator and George thought it to be a part of the cooking ritual. Montmorency went near the stove and got his nose scalded.
Harris had put six eggs into the frying pan. Only a teaspoonful of burnt, inedible mass came out of it. Harris only remarked that the results would have been better if he had got a fish-kettle and gas-stove.

Question.4. “Harris told them they ought to be grateful for a little excitement, sitting there fishing all day”. To whom does Harris say this ? Describe the incident in detail. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. Harris says these words to three old gentlemen fishing in the river. The three friends – Harris, George and the narrator ‘J’ – were sailing in their boat. It was the time of evening. The boat was moving fast as the wind was swift and favourable. The friends were happy and felt as if they had the river to themselves. There was no other boat in sight. Of course, there was a fishing punt. The friends in the boat paid no attention to the punt. They were really in a joyful, carefree mood.
Suddenly they were jolted out of their reverie. Their boat had run into the fishing punt. The three old men, who sat on chairs fishing, tumbled over one another. They raised themselves with much effort. In anger they cursed the three friends in the most foul language. Harris tried to calm them down, saying :
“You ought to be grateful for we have provided you with some excitement.”
However, the three old men were unconvinced. They remained in a bad, sulking mood.

Question.5. Harris cannot work without creating a chaos. Give examples from the story to justify this statement. (CBSE 2014)
Describe the experience of the three friends when they were sitting in a meadow to take the pie. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The three friends had sat down in a meadow to eat their pies. The place was ten metres away from the bank of the river. Harris was carving his beefsteak pie between his knees. “Have you a spoon there”, asked Harris. George and the narrator turned round to get one. It must be a few seconds. The moment they turned to give the spoon to Harris, they were shocked. Harris was not there. Where could he disappear ? He could not have fallen into the river which was far away. And there was neither tree nor bush around. The friends could only think that there was an earthquake and the split ground must have swallowed Harris !
After a while they discovered the head of Harris above the tall grass. In fact, Harris had been sitting on the edge of a gully hidden in tall grass, and had fallen into the gully. It happened just by chance. However, Harris blamed his friends for the fall.

Question.6. What do we come to know about the three friends from their experience at Datchet ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. It was a Saturday before the August Bank Holiday. The three friends were tired and hungry. They got to Datchet and began to look for a place for shelter and food. They came to a hotel called ‘The Stag5. As it had no honeysuckle there, the narrator rejected it. They went on and came to another hotel. It was a nice hotel. Harris did not like the look of a man there. So he rejected the place. The trio went back to ‘The Stag’. There was no bed vacant there. They picked up their things and went to the Manor House, a pretty little place. The landlady told them that they were the fourteenth party turned away within the last hour.
Soon the friends discovered that there was no place for them at Datchet. They exhausted themselves by moving from one place to another. Harris sat down on the hamper and announced that he would not go any further. Just then a small boy appeared. He took them to his mother’s house. There they were served hot bacon for supper. They got two rooms to sleep. The boy was really an angel in disguise.
This experience at Datchet reveals the whimsical nature of the three friends.

Question.7. Describe the attempts of the three friends to open the pineapple tin.
(CBSE 2014)
Answer. The three friends – George, Harris and the narrator ‘J’ – were fond of pineapple juice. They were delighted when George presented a tin of pineapple juice. They needed a tin-opener but they could not find it in their hamper.
Harris had a penknife. He tried to open the tin with it. The result was disastrous. Harris broke the knife and injured himself. When George tried to open the tin with a pair of scissors, the scissors flew away and nearly missed his eye. The narrator tried to pick a hole in the tin with a hitcher, but the hitcher slipped. The narrator fell between the boat and the bank.
As the three friends were bent on opening the tin of juice, they took the tin out on the bank. George held the tin and Harris held a short end of a stone against the top of it. When the narrator brought the mast down with all his strength, George was saved only because of his hat. The three friends made all efforts but they failed to open the tin. In desperation, they threw the tin into the river.

Question.8. What was recalled hy the narrator at Magna Charta Island ?
Answer. The sun got more powerful by the time the three friends had finished their breakfast. Just then a scene related to Magna Charta Island flashed across the mind of the narrator. It was the scene of the Baron’s troops in the little town of Stains. They camped there for the night, ate and drank. The children of the town stole to watch them. In the morning more groups of armed men came. All the river down to Stains was full of small vessels and boats.
It was moonlit night. The rumour spread that John had again escaped from the Baron’s grip and had stolen away from Duncraft Hall, with all his mercenaries. But the reality was that John had not been able to escape this time. He could have ordered his mercenaries to strike back. He gave in as he looked at the stern faces of the English fighting men. He took his seat in the barge. The Barons followed in. The barges left slowly the shore of Runnymede. They reached a little island. John stepped upon the shore. Great shouts rent the air when he signed the Charter granting liberty to England.

Question.9.Write a note on Montmorency’s encounter with the large black Tom. (CBSE 2014)
How did the dog Montmorency make a fool of himself ?
Answer. Montmorency was a fox-terrier, a kind of dog that took pleasure in dist urbing other dogs, chasing cats, etc. He was specially averse to cats. Once he saw a big black cat. He at once ran after it. The cat did not hurry up. It trotted quietly on. Then it sat down in the middle of the road. It looked at Montmorency with a gentle expression that said. “Yes ! You want me ?”The look of the cat was such as to chill the heart of the boldest dog. Montmorency looked at the cat. The cat rose and continued its trot. Montmorency came back, embarrassed. If anyone called “cats!”to Montmorency after that incident, he looked up piteously at him, saying, “please don’t.”
At another time, at Sonning, Montmorency kept on observing a boiling kettle. When the kettle began to splutter and steam, he regarded it as a challenge. He got an opportunity, rushed at the poor kettle and seized it by the spout. At once he gave a loud yelp and left the boat. He took three rounds of the island at a fast speed. He would stop every now and then to bury his nose in cool mud. From that day he began to regard the kettle with awe, suspicion and hate.

Question.10. How did the narrator and his friends annoy the people on the steam- launches? (CBSE 2014)
What did the friends do at Marlow ? How were they troubled when they resumed their journey ?
Answer. At Marlow the friends bought many food items. George recommended buying vegetables. So they got ten pounds of potatoes, a bushel of peas and a few cabbages. They also got a beefsteak pie, a couple of gooseberry tarts, and a leg of mutton from the hotel. They also got fruit, cakes, bread, butter, jam, etc. Wherever they shopped, the boy with basket followed them. Soon a kind of procession formed. It was led by Montmorency, carrying a stick, followed by two curs, George, Harris, some shop boys, the narrator, again the shop-boys, etc. All of them reached the landing-stage.
When the friends set out in their skiff, they had a lot of trouble from steam- launches. The stream-launches were going up in large number. Many times they came in the way of one or the other steam-launch. At one time they got confused. The people in the launch began to shout – “Pull your right – you, you idiot!”In fact, this was what would happen whenever they sailed in a skiff in the past, too. The launch would shriek with a whistle. The narrator or George would ignore it. They had discovered ways to irritate steam-launches.

Question.11. Describe the experience of the three friends preparing the Irish stew.
(CBSE 2014)
What duty was given to Harris and Jerome while making the Irish stew ? Did the stew turn out to be a success ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. It was George who suggested that an Irish stew should be cooked. The suggestion was liked as the friends could use vegetables, cold meat and other things in making it. George gathered wood and made a fire. Harris and the narrator started to peel the potatoes. But peeling the potatoes turned out to be a long, arduous task. The peeling was abandoned in favour of scraping the potatoes. Only four potatoes came to be peeled. George said it was absurd to have only four potatoes in the Irish stew. Harris and the narrator, then, washed about six potatoes and put them in without peeling. They also put in a cabbage and some peas.
George stirred it all up. Then many odd things were also put in the stew. A tin of potted salmon was emptied into the pot. The narrator brought out a couple of eggs that had cracked. The eggs were also put in. Many other things went into the pot.
The dog, Montmorency, came out with a dead water-rat. It was his contribution to the stew. Harris wanted to put the rat in. But George said he had never heard of water-rats in Irish stew.
The Irish stew was a grand success. The three friends enjoyed it. The narrator felt that he had never enjoyed a meal more than this. The stew was a dish with a new flavour. It was nourishing, too. After the stew, the friends had tea and cherry-tart. Harris was in an irritable mood. The narrator thought that it must have been the stew that had upset him.

Question.12. According to the author, why is it not suitable to stay in a house where a couple is courting ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. According to the author, it is not good to stay in a house where a couple is courting. The main reason is that wherever you go you are likely to confront the couple. It is embarrassing to you as well as to the couple.
The author gives an example of two imaginary lovers, Emily and Edward. If you decided to go in the drawing room to sit in peace for a while, you will hear the sudden rustling noises as you open the door of the drawing room. In the room you will find Edward looking at the photographs of some people and Emily is looking out at something through the window. It is clear that they have been disturbed and they do no like your intrusion. You will apologise, to which their responses would be cold as if they did not believe you. You try to talk to them, but they will hardly pay any attention to what you say. No sooner will you go out, the door will close again. This will be your experience in the garden, or wherever you see them. Worse, the couple will believe that you are following them.

Question.13. Describe the incident when J witnesses the nuisance of a fox-terrier at Haymarket stores. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. One day J saw several dogs outside the Haymarket stores. They were patiently waiting for their masters who were shopping inside. A young lady with a meek-looking fox-terrier came there. She chained the dog between a bull-dog and a poodle, and went in. The dog sat there looking at other dogs who were silent and grave.
All of a sudden the ‘meek’ fox-terrier bit the poodle’s foreleg. The poodle yelped in pain. Then the fox-terrier attacked a coolie and the coolie attacked the poodle. The fox-terrier came back to his own place quite innocently. Then he caught the bull-dog by the ear. This resulted in a noisy chaos. All the dogs started barking and attacking one another. People came to separate them. Even the police had to be summoned.
The young lady came out and picked up her dog in her arms. The dog looked like a lamb. She thought her dog had been troubled by other dogs. The dog gazed up into her face with a look that seemed to say, “Oh, I’m so glad you’ve come to take me away from this disgraceful scene !”

Question.14. Describe the fight between Harris and the swans. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. Harris brought back George and the narrator on the island. The friends found unaccountable strangeness about Harris. He looked tired, and there was a sad expression on his face. When George and the narrator asked him if something had happened, he said, “Swans!”Harris, then, told them that he fought with two swans – a female swan and her old ‘man’. He was able to defeat them. Afterwards the two swans returned with eighteen other swans. Harris said that a bitter fight followed. George asked how many swans he said there were. Harris replied that they were thirty-two. When George said that he had said eighteen, Harris said he hadn’t, and that he had said twelve. Soon the friends realized that Harris was in a drunken state. In the morning when they talked to him on the subject, Harris said, “What swans?”The story was obviously not true. It was Harris’s figment of imagination in his drunkenness.

Question.15. The description of the story of the woman who took her life is so heart-rending that it actually raises a question against the vices prevalent in our society. Express your opinion on the fate met by the woman. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The narrator was pulling the boat a little above Reading. Suddenly George saw something black floating on the water. It was the dead body of a woman. Her face was not beautiful. It was prematurely aged – looking thin and drawn. Some men on the bank took charge of the body, much to the relief of the friends.
The friends learnt about the story of the dead woman thereafter. She had loved and been deceived, or had deceived herself. She had sinned in giving birth to a child while she was still unmarried. Her family and friends had closed their doors against her. She tried to keep her child and herself alive on six shillings a week, which was almost impossible. She made one last appeal to her friends. When no one came to her rescue, she drowned herself in the river, leaving behind her child. She had, thus, sinned in living and in dying.

Question.16. Once George and the narrator escaped a fatal accident at a lock. Narrate the incident in your own words.
Answer. It was a pleasant day. The lock was crowded. A photographer was ready to click. George who was fond of being photographed sat down in the boat in a graceful pose. The narrator also took up a position in the prow. He arranged his hair and changed his expression that suited him. As they stood, a voice shouted: “Hi! Look at your nose.”
The narrator stole a slide glance at George’s nose. It was all right. He also felt his own nose, which seemed to be as it should be. “Look at your nose, you stupid ass !”came the same voice again. Then a voice came, “Look at your boat, sir !”It made both George and the narrator aware of something which they had missed. The nose of their boat had got fixed under the woodwork of the lock. The water level was rising around.
In another moment both the friends would have got drowned. They each seized an oar instantly, and with a vigorous blow released their boat. The blow sent them sprawling on their backs. The photograph which was clicked then showed only their feet waving madly in the air.

Question.17. Describe the element of humour in J’s description of his ‘love of work’ to the readers in the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The way ‘J’ describes his love of work is both ironic and humorous. He repeatedly expresses his love of work, yet ironically he does not really want to work. He says that he loves work, but his complaint is that he is often burdened with excessive work. He thinks that George and Harris, his friends, do little work.
Then he says that he is so much enamoured of work that he can look at it for hours – without doing it. His study room is filled with so much work that there is no room for it. Some of the work he has kept here for years without even touching it. He is conscious of it, and that is why, he sometimes takes it down, dusts it and keeps it back. We are amused when he says that he loves work but he is not selfish : he wants others to share it. He wants only a fair share of it. He often gets work to do without his asking for it. George thinks that he does not get half the work he should get.

Question.18. What was the reality of the trout and how was it revealed ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. George and the narrator entered the parlour of a riverside inn. There on the wall they saw an old glass-case in which there was a big trout. They had given the impression that they were total strangers to the place. George asked an old man how much he thought the trout in he glass-case weighed. The old man at once said “eight pounds six ounces”. Then the told them that it was he who had caught the fish with a minnow some sixteen years ago. After a while, he went out.
The local carrier came in. He claimed that it was he who had caught the fish just below the lock, with a fly. He said the fish weighed twenty-six pound. Then, after a while, another man came and said he had caught the fish with a bleak.,
The landlord came and made fun of all previous claimants. He said that it was actually he who had caught the fish when he was a boy, having bunked the class.
When the landlord went out, George climbed up on the back of a chair to have a better view of the fish. The chair slipped. George clutched wildly at the trout-case. Both came down with a crash. The trout lay shattered into a thousand fragmants. It was plaster of Paris.

Question.19. Under what circumstances was George told to play a comic song ? What was the effect of the comic song ‘Two Lovely Black Eyes’ on others ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. It had been raining incessantly. The spirits of the three friends were low. They tried to pass their time. They sang a song about a gypsy’s life. They also spent some time in playing cards. They also drank some toddy. George told them how a young man died after having slept in a damp boat due to rheumatic fever. Harris also told a similar story about a friend of his, who became a life ¬long cripple after having slept under a canvas for just one night.
The narrator wanted to listen to something pleasant. So he asked George to play the comic song Two Lovely Black Eyes’ on his banjo. No one had asked him to play banjo under any other circumstance. George at once brought out his banjo and began to play the song. The sad tune had its effect on Harris and the narrator. Harris sobbed and the dog howled. After the music, the friends managed to get some fitful sleep.

Question.20. Describe the experience of the three friends when they were caught in incessant rain while rowing. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. When the friends started their homeward journey from Oxford, they were caught in incessant rain. It grew chilly as the rain continued. It sounded as if a woman were weeping low in some dark chamber. The whole scene looked dull, as there was no sunlight.
The three friends – George, Harris and the narrator ‘J’ – felt sad and lonely, though for some time they pretended to be enjoying the rainfall. They said that it was a change, and that they could not expect to have sunshine all the time. They tried to hide their true feelings. They sang songs and played cards. George and Harris began to talk of those who fell ill while sleeping in the damp, rainy weather. Their talks about death and diseases only upset them. Then George was asked to play a song on the banjo. George played the song. The sad tune had its effect on Harris and the narrator. After the song, the three friends were able to have some sleep, though it was fitful.

Question.21. ‘George has never learnt to play the banjo to this day’. Why does the author say this ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. George tried to play the banjo but he could not learn to play it properly. When he played it at home, the landlady would come and stop him saying :
“I like your playing banjo, but the lady upstair is expecting a child. The doctor is afraid that it might harm the child.”
George then began to play the banjo round the square at night. But on the complaint of the inhabitants of being disturbed, he was caught by the police, which released him on the promise that he would not play the banjo for six months. When the situation did not change even after six months, he sold it at much reduced price.
When the boating trip started, be bought a new banjo, hoping to have time to learn to play it. But again, he was discourged. Harris objected to it. He said he had had a headache. When George said that the music would remove headache, Harris said he would rather have a headache than listen to his banjo. Even Montmorency would sit and howl steadily through his performance. George got irritated and tried to hit the dog with a boot.
Thus, George gets no time to learn to play the banjo, as the author tells us.

Question.22. What light does the incident of preparing Irish stew throw on Harris’ and Jerome’s character ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. Preparing Irish stew is an important incident. It reveals the characters of both Harris and Jerome. Both are shirkers. They cannot do any work properly and completely. They soon lose their patience. They start peeling potatoes for the stew. They look upon the job as fun at first. They continue to peel but remain dissatisfied. They peel potatoes so deep that they are reduced to the size of peas.
When they start scraping potatoes, they soon feel tired. George has to put unpeeled potatoes in the frying pan. Thus it becomes clear that both of them are incapable of any sustained work.
Harris is fond of doing new experiments. He wants that a water-rat, brought by Montmorency, can go in the Irish stew. When George objects to it, he says that unless they do not try new things there can be no progress. He is, in short, an odd experimentalist.

Question.23. What led to the friend’s abandoning their boat in the last leg of their trip?
Answer. The boat started from Oxford upon the homeward journey. It began to rain shortly. The three friends rowed the whole day through the rain. At first they pretended to enjoy the rain. They sang a song about gypsy life. The rain continued. Everything in the boat was damp. The supper was not a success. The friends tried to have a nap and while away their time in gambling. George told them how a man in a damp boat caught rheumatic fever and died. Harris told about a man who slept under a canvas one night and woke up a cripple for life. A pleasant talk about diseases followed. George played ‘Two Lovely Black Eyes’ on his banjo. His friends liked the tune. They became quite sentimental.
The rain continued to pour down. The friends decided to continue to pull on to Pangbourne. Then George suggested that a train leaves Pangbourne after five, which would take them to the town in time to get a chop in the restaurant mentioned by the narrator earlier. Having agreed to the suggestion, the friends left the boat with a boatman at Pangbourne and walked stealthily to the railway station.

Question.24. Comment upon the end of the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’. (CBSE 2014)
How did the journey come to an end ?
Answer. The three friends had to abandon the journey in a boat because of continuous rain. They caught a train and reached Paddington at seven and went direct to the restaurant where they had a light meal. After giving orders for a supper to be left at half past seven, they went to Leicester Square. As they were not in proper dress and were wet they attracted a good deal of attention at the Alhambra. They got in with much difficulty and enjoyed a ballet.
They came back to the restaurant where their supper was ready. The food was simple but nutritious. They took some drinks and felt good. Harris looked out of the window upon the street. It shone darkly in the wet. The rain continued to fall.
Harris remarked that they had a good trip. He raised his glass and cheered to ‘Three Men well out of Boat”. The dog Montmorency gave a short bark in agreement with the toast.

Question.25. What impression of Jerome do you form after reading the novel ? Support with examples. (CBSE 2014)
Describe any of the three friends you like the most. Why ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The narrator, Jerome, is the main character in the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’. He is friendly, caring and imaginative. He keeps his eyes and ears open, and observes men and nature minutely.
His love for history is clear. Whenever he lands an important historical place, he goes into a historical retrospect. For example, when their boat comes to Magna Charta Island he captures vividly the scene of King John being captured by the Barons and taken to the island to sign the charter of freedom for the English. About Reading, he recalls how once it was besieged by the Earl of Essex. Parliament would come here whenever there was a plague on at Westminster.
He is quite humorous and witty. At one place he wets George’s shirt. Thinking it to be his (the narrator’s) shirt George laughs loudly, but when the narrator begins to laugh, George gets confused. To his chagrin George learns that it is his shirt that the narrator has wetted. The narrator tries to make him laugh and see the fun of the thing, but in vain. The stories he tells about the lying fishermen are quite amusing. Many incidents which he describes are full of fun and mirth, for example, the dog’s encounter with a big black cat and with a boiling kettle.
He is quite practical. He knows how and when to avoid the task of pulling the boat which is hard and boring.

Question.26. Write the character sketch of Harris. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. Harris is an important character. He is quite pretentious in so far as his cooking is concerned. He makes tall claims about preparing scrambled eggs which his friends must not have eaten in their lifetime. The way he makes mess of everything while preparing these eggs is quite amusing. He burns his fingers, curses everything and dances about in confusion.
He is also whimsical. Once at Datchet he along with his friends came to an inn named the Manor House. He rejected the inn simply because he did not like the looks of a man stooping there. Once he gets drunk and forgets that he is to bring his friends back to the island. In his drunkenness he makes a funny tale of his fights with ‘swans’. When he regains his senses he asks his friends “What swans ?”
He is somewhat suspicious. He slips into a gully covered with grass and comes out in a very bad state. He is in an irritable mood. He blames his friends for the mishap.

Question.27. What impression of George do you form after reading the novel ?
Support with examples. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. George is an important member of the rowing party. He learnt rowing quite late and has had some bad experiences. He loves to get up late to enjoy his sleeps. Whenever he gets early he feels very irritable. Once he had a very bad experience of getting up early at Mrs Gippings. He went out at 3 a.m. thinking that it was about to be 9 a.m. He became a suspect in the eyes of the policemen. He is not as jolly as the narrator. When the narrator wets his shirt accidentally, he gets angry and does not view it as a funny incident.
He is fond of playing banjo. The narrator and Harris do not have good opinion about his ability to play banjo well. However, they become sentimental when George plays ‘Two Lovely Black Eyes’.
In a country inn he deliberately goads a man to make a story about the trout in the glass-case. It reveals his mischievous nature. He is also practical. He knows that rowing in a continuous rain may prove to be harmful. So he suggests abandoning the boat and reaching their destination by train.

Question.28. What do you think of Montmorency, the dog, in the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’ ? Support with examples. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. Montmorency is not portrayed as a mere dog. In fact, he is treated at par with the human members of the rowing party. He is a fox-terrier who are clever, adventurous and fighters.
Montmorency does not like cats. Once he saw a big black cat. He began to run after the poor cat. The cat showed no hurry. It sat down in the middle of the road. The look of the cat was such that Montmorency had to stop and look back at the cat. After a while, the cat went away. Montmorency came back, embarrassed. If anybody now says “cats”to Montmorency, he shrinks and looks up piteously at him as if to say “please don’t”.
Montmorency is adventurous. He cannot let any challenge unresponded. Whenever he saw the boiling cattle, it seemed to challenge him. He got an opportunity once to seize it by the spout. With a loud yelp it left the boat and took a round of the island, running and stopping every now and then to bury his nose in cool mud. From that day he began to dread the kettle. Montmorency is a fighter by nature. At Oxford he had eleven fights on the first day and fourteen on the second. He was so happy that he thought he had got to Heaven.

Question.29. Humour arises out of the unusual behaviour of characters in ‘Three Men in a Boat’. Comment. (CBSE 2014)
There are numerous humorous characters in the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’. Elucidate with any two examples. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. There is no doubt that humour arises out of the unusual behaviour of characters in the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’. Harris and the narrator, Jerome, are two such characters, though George also adds to humour at times.
Harris provides much amusement in the novel. The way he burns his fingers while making scrambled eggs, drops everything and dances round the stove is quite hilarious. Then, Harris’s story of swans in a drunken state provides much humour.
The narrator, Jerome, is also a humorous sort of person. At many times his witty remarks amuse us a lot. For example, talking about the difficult stretch of the river, he humorously says : “The man who could row a straight course from Oxford to Illfley ought to be able to live comfortably, under one roof, with his wife, his mother-in-law, his elder sister, and the old servant…”As a narrator he observes and narrates incidents which become hilarious. One such incident is Montmorency’s encounter with a cat.