1. How does the title of this story set the tone for what you’re about to read? 2. Give a good working definition of the term setting.
3. What is the setting of this story? Is it important to the story? Why? 4. What sort of person do you think of when somebody is called a "know-all" ? 5. What is our narrator’s opinion of Max Kelada?
6. What sort of things does Max Kelada do that gets him labelled as "Mr. Know-All"? 7. Why didn’t Mrs. Ramsay want Mr. Kelada to look at her pearls? 8. Did your opinion of Max Kelada change by the end of the story? How? 9. What do you think happened by the end of the story, from the dinner party to the end of the tale? 10. What is the theme, or message in this story?
11. What literary devices are used in this story? Provide examples to support your answers. A post-war story about Pride and Prejudice
And now, obviously, more to the point: the theme of our story, related to late Ms. Jane Austen, who proudly instituted it, is once again, Pride and Prejudice. The narrator is prejudiced against Mr. Kelada. In the background: World War II, the casualties at Pearl Harbor, the victims after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombardments, and the timid attempts of establishing diplomatic relations between U.S and Japan (a certain and plain Mr. Ramsay, serving in the American Consular Service, is traveling on the same problematic ship). From the very beginning, everything seems wrong about Mr. Kelada: his name, his luggage, his perfume, his toilet things, his scent, everyone is prejudiced against him – but in the end he proves to be definitely the noblest character among the three, and the narrator goes along with “not entirely disliking” him.
The American couple seem to have several problems of structure as well, and Maugham, from the point of view of the British (if not European) author, takes great pleasure in analyzing them. He takes care to mention every wrinkle in Ramsay’s “really-made clothes”, and, in order...
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