Stereotype and Narrator

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Mr. Know-All

Literary analysis
THE STORY
Mr. Know- All is a story with a moral lesson. The subject is simple. A rich Britishmerchant of Oriental origin, called Mr. Kelada, meets a group of Westerners on a shipsailing across the Pacific Ocean. His cabin-mate, a British citizen who is the namelessnarrator

of the story, dislikes Mr. Kelada even before he sees him. However, at theend of the story Mr. Kelada, the Levantine jeweller, proves to be a real gentlemanwhen he sacrifices his own pride and reputation to save an American lady’s marriage.As a result, he earns the respect of the narrator. THE SETTING

Time
– 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 acabin with a person he disliked. Second, it may give us a possible reason for thenarrator’s unjustified antagonism towards Mr. Kelada. Usually, during periods of war,feelings of prejudice and dislike for foreigners grow stronger. Place

– 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 evenracists. THE PLOT
The story consists of two plots: the
main plot
and the
sub-plot
.1.The
main plot
deals with the conflicting relationship betweenthe narrator and Mr. Kelada.2.The sub-plot
deals with the relationship between Mr. Keladaand Mr. Ramsay. They discuss real pearls (nature-made) and cultured pearls (man-made), then they bet whether Mrs. Ramsay's necklace ismade of real pearls or an imitation.The two plots are connected

. The sub-plot serves to bring the complications of themain plot to its climax and solution. That is, after the narrator discovers that Mr.Kelada is in fact a gentleman (despite his vulgar manners) he changes his opinionabout him. THE CHARACTERS

The characters may be divided into different groups:

The
major
characters:
Mr. Kelada and the narrator

The
minor
characters:
Mr. And Mrs. Ramsay, and the doctor.

The
prejudiced
:
the narrator and Mr. Ramsay.

The
non-prejudiced
:
Mr. Kelada, the doctor and Mrs. Ramsay.

The
Oriental
:
Mr. Kelada


The
Westerners
:
Mr. And Mrs. Ramsay and the narrator.

The characters are described by their appearance and characteristics,except for the narrator. THE NARRATION- point of view
The story is told in the
first person
– the narrator sees everything and is a part of the plot.In the first episode
, where he meets with Mr. Kelada, the narrator is
more active,and involved
. He observes, comments and judges Mr. Kelada as he sees him throughhis own eyes. Since he is influenced by his prejudiced society, his judgments are subjective
.In the
second episode
, involving the necklace examination, the narrator is
lessinvolved
. He is like a cameraman who takes photos and writes down what he hears objectively
. After the chain examination is over, the narrator becomes subjectiveagain.In the last episode
, the narrator discovers Mr. Kelada’s true character. As a result, heundergoes a change
– he realizes that people should not be judged by their looks but by their actions and character. It is the narrator who closes the story. CRISIS and TURNING POINT OF THE STORY
The cultured pearls topic is the crisis of the story. The heated argument between Mr.Ramsay and Mr. Kelada reveals their true characters. Mr. Ramsay
appears to be a prejudiced person who does his best “to have a fling atthe Levantine”. Mrs. Ramsay’s
character is also revealed as being insincere in her relationship withher husband, whom she had been deceiving. When she was alone in New York for ayear, she probably had a lover who gave her the expensive pearls. Nevertheless, shehas the decency to secretly return to Mr. Kelada his “lost” money. Mr. Kelada

,...
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