Mr. Know-All by W. Somerset Maugham
This story deals with prejudice, hasty judgements and stereotypes. The story examines the relationships that develop when people are confined to a ship (which is a small sample of society) for an extended period of time. The writer criticizes the racial prejudices and snobbish attitude of the British people. He tries to show why people are disliked and prejudiced against and at the same time makes the reader look closely at the character of the narrator, who is the one doing the judging and through whose eyes we see the whole story. At the end of the story, we learn that we shouldn’t generalize according to our own prejudices. The characters
The narrator- He is prejudiced. He observes the others and judges them. He doesn’t get involved. At the end of the story he realizes that Mr. Kelada is a real gentleman, but he still says: ”I did not entirely dislike Mr. Kelada.” He can’t really like him because of racial reasons, but he understands he isn’t as negative as expected. Mr. Kelada- He is a rich oriental who has a British passport. He shows off his money and his knowledge. The British see him as pushy, vulgar and ridiculous. He is involved in everything that happens, he is sociable and needs to be accepted and liked. He behaves as if he were sure of himself and he isn’t sensitive enough to notice that he is laughed at. However, this man, who is so anxious to prove that he knows everything, gives up his pride for the sake of a woman he doesn’t even know. He turns out to be a considerate person and a real gentleman. Mr. Ramsay- He is a dominant person who thinks he knows everything and needs to be always right. He is not gentle and he is not a gentleman. He is not sensitive and doesn’t even notice what the others do notice about his wife. Mrs. Ramsay- She is a quiet and gentle woman. She is a contrast to her husband. She is elegant, but in a modest way. She is unhappy with him and obviously not very honest with him, but she...
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