Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow Literary Elements

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow Literary Elements


Collection of humorous essays.

Setting and Context

There is no setting mentioned as no references are made towards places or chronological references are made.

Narrator and Point of View

The story is told by a first person narrator who presents the events from a subjective point of view.

Tone and Mood

Regretful, ironic, playful

Protagonist and Antagonist

There is no protagonist or antagonist in the essays written by Jerome K., mainly because the essays are more philosophical than narrative type of writing. Through the essays, the writer expresses his point of view about different aspects from the every-day life and offers his own ideas in a humorous way.

Major Conflict

Being individual essays on different subjects, it seems that the major conflict is represented by the differences between the author’s way of thinking and the way the rest of the world thinks.


Because the collection is composed of individual essays, it is hard to determine a point that could be considered a climax. Each essay has a point that could be considered as being the climax of the story and for example, for the first essay, the climatic point could be the moment when the writer realized that he doesn’t like to be confined to his own home and forced to do nothing and runs away to a town where he walks around all day and ends up helping an old man break rocks.


In the beginning of the essay about babies, the narrator mentions how easy it is to upset the infant’s parent. This foreshadows the scenes mentioned in the essay when the narrator insulted a baby’s parents without intending to.


When he says that food makes him a little bit more emotional, that proves to be an understatement as he later reveals that he is strongly affected by the food he eats and that when he is full, he feels everything more strongly and has a more vivid imagination.


In the essay about eating and drinking, at one point after the narrator ends his story about the duck, he remarks that they had no respect for the old duck and that disrespect is similar to the attitude de general population had towards the old institutions that existed in England. This allusion wants to point out the negative attitude the general population had towards the ‘’old’’ institutions and that this attitude should be replaced by respect. While he agrees that some institutions are useless, that doesn’t give the population the right to treat them like garbage.


Each essay has a predominate image, depending on the subject discussed. For example, in the second essay, love is portrayed as a fire that must be maintained both by the man and women involved in a relationship. This fire is presented as warming those who fuel it and also those who happen to pass by it.


In the third essay, the narrator presents a paradox when he talks about the moments when a man is most predisposed to become sad. Those moments are in the afternoon, when everyone around him is happy and seems to enjoy life to the fullest. These times are when a man is most predisposed to become uncontrollably sad or blue.


In his eleventh essay, the writer draws a parallel between the living conditions of the poor and the rich. At first, he presents the privileged lives of the rich, who can afford to have enough food and indulge in drinking while not caring about anything else around them. On the other hand, the poor are forced to live in inhuman conditions, struggling to put food on their tables and to earn enough money to get by. The houses where the poor live are described as being places where misery and pain are something normal and where children are born only to die soon after.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

In the twelfth essay, the term ‘’mother’’ appears but in this case, it doesn’t stand for a biological mother, but rather for something else. In the beginning of his essay, he mentions how every house has a mother, or a landlady who makes sure that everything is in place and deals with those who want to rent rooms in her house.


In her own home, the country, Nature is sweet in all her moods

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