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Rest goes hand in hand with happiness. Three Men in a Boat can be understood as an exploration of what it takes for humans to be truly happy. For the novel’s characters – and for many real laborers in Victorian England – a holiday presents a very special occasion that is anticipated all year. As he chronicles the men’s trip up the Thames, Jerome parses what it means to have a satisfying holiday – and by extension, to be happy. The men bicker constantly and are incompetent at performing even basic tasks, which makes the trip just as stressful – if not more so – than their lives in London do. However, through his humorous and serious digressions, Jerome conveys that happiness is not about doing particular activities or being with certain people, but rather about appreciating one’s current situation in restful surroundings. One should explore variety but then return to who one actually is.