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

What do you learn about human nature and the 3 friends from the following Incidents

A.The way they react to weather pridictions . Ch5

B.Confusion at waterloo station.Ch5

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In Chapter Five, Chapter 5, the author gives readers a brief glimpse of why J. dislikes urban life so much. As George, Harris, and J. travel through London on their way to the Thames, they encounter a wide variety of people, most of whom are unsavory and vulgar. Rather than helping the men with their bags, they mock them and speculate rudely about where they are traveling. The confusion at the train station is another example of the hectic confusion that J. is trying to escape. Despite the jovial tone of the novel, one can sense a pervasive cynicism about people, a cynicism that often extends even to the people who are ostensibly his friends.

By this point in the text, readers may begin to wonder why J. constantly criticizes Harris. Harris will continue to be J.’s proverbial ‘punching bag’ throughout the text. “On second thoughts,” Jerome writes, “I will not repeat what Harris said. I may have been to blame, I admit it; but nothing excuses violence of language and coarseness of expression, especially in a man who has been carefully brought up, as I know Harris has been” (55).

Part of the reason for this criticism is to demonstrate J.’s hypocrisy; he himself is guilty of many of the character flaws he attributes to Harris. Harris also provides Jerome with an outlet for slapstick and insult comedy, which does not always fit into J.’s wry observational humor. Through Harris, Jerome gets an opportunity to cater to readers who might not be interested in J.’s ironic satire. But finally, by using one of his friends as an antagonist, Jerome is able to more effectively deliver his light but cynical worldview.