Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

How does the narrator express his skepticism about the youth and their attitude towards work and life?


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Chapter 15 is more about youth and beginners not taking rowing seriously. J. lists the different types of rowing, as well as the pitfalls that novices face when they attempt to row for the first time. He discusses punting, a type of rowing where the passenger stands up in the boat and propels it along using a long pole that is pushed against the riverbed. Punting is hazardous for beginners; J. describes a friend who was not paying attention and stepped off the boat, leaving himself clinging to the pole in the middle of the river as the boat drifted away.

On another occasion, J. and his friends noticed an amateur punter who could not keep control of his boat. Thinking it was someone they knew, they mercilessly mocked him until realizing that the man was actually a stranger. Harris once had a similar experience, when a stranger thought he was a friend and began roughhousing with him, holding his head under water.