The Analysis of "The Irish Stew" by J.Jerome

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  • Topic: Irony, Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat
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  • Published : October 3, 2012
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Jerome Klapka Jerome was an English novelist and humorist. His books are loved by readers even nowadays, though Jerome’s contemporaries didn’t give high praise of his works and some literature critics thought that his novels and romances didn’t concern serious and actual problems of life being a little bit senselessness. But these suggestions were erroneous. On the contrary we can see his attitude to modern English reality and how he discloses absurdity of well-established norms of behavior, morals and manners. Jerome is best known for the humorous travelogue “Three Men in a Boat”. The novel narrates about three fellows George, Harris, Jerome, who discuss their problems with health of which they suffer so much. So they take a decision to have a rest of the city life. As the result comrades decide on boating holiday up the river Thames to Oxford during which they will camp. The theme of the extract is unpracticality of people against the nature. And the idea is to show how helpless modern man is when he is face to face with nature.

As for the extract given in the book we can divide it into three logical parts. The first one is called “Sweet Sonning”. In this part the author describes a beautiful town in which the main characters put up for the night. The narrator tells us about his impressions of Sonning, he says it is the most fairy-like nook on the whole river.

The second part called “Irish Stew”, which falls into four subparts: “Peeling potatoes”, “Scraping Potatoes”, “Other Ingredients”, “Montmorency’s contribution”.

The first subpart consists of narration how these fellows try a good, slap-up supper. For everyone in this company it seems a fascinating idea. So George gathers wood and makes a fire while Harris and Jerome try to peel potatoes. After long and harassing attempts they have to admit that peeling potatoes is very undertaking, both of them try to do their best but it is really hard. Besides George criticizes their work.

The second subpart is about scraping potatoes. There we can see find out that these comrades suggest it would be easier to scrape, but they are wrong. After five-and-twenty minutes of scraping they come to the conclusion that it’s really hard to do this too. Jerome admits that he could never have seen such a thing as potato-scraping for making a fellow in a mess. George gets at them adding that it is absurd to have only four potatoes in an Irish stew.

In the third subpart which is called “Other Ingredients” Harris, George and Jerome think that four potatoes isn’t enough, so that is the reason of putting other ingredients into the stew. We can’t but mention that George put washed half a dozen or some more potatoes in without peeling. Then he stirred it all up, adds cabbage and about half a peck of peas, all the odds and ends and the remnants, a pork pie and a bit of cold boiled bacon, half a tin of potted salmon and couple of eggs. And moreover he says it’s the advantage of Irish stew.

In the forth subpart “Montmorency’s contribute” their dog with a dead-water rat in his mouth wishes to present as his contribution to the dinner. Without a second thought Harris adds it to the stew.

As for the third and the last part called “A Great Success” we see that the main characters taste the dish they have cooked. They say it is a great success, there is something so fresh and piquant about it and though it may be too rich for weak stomach, it is very nutritious.

The story underdiscussion presents a piece of narration interwoven of direct speech and it is narrated if the first person.

The action takes place in Sonning, an amazing village with breathtaking views. The prevalent mood of the story is rather emotional, ironical and sometimes even satirical.

Speaking about the main heroes first of all we should pay attention to George. It is a nice fellow who is shown as one who gets accustomed to command. George is an image of the eccentric character, who is absolutely unpractical...
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