I. Discuss in pairs and answer each question below in a short paragraph (30– 40 words).
1. How many characters are there in the narrative? Name them. (Don’t forget the dog!).
There are four men characters in the story. They are the author, Jerome K. Jerome, and his two friends George and Harris. There is also their dog named Montmorency.
2. Why did the narrator (Jerome) volunteer to do the packing?
Jerome thought that he knew more about packing than any other person. That was why he volunteered himself.
3. How did George and Harris react to this? Did Jerome like their reaction?
George and Harris agreed to it at once. They sat down comfortably and began to smoke. Jerome did not like this at all. He had not intended this at all. He had only wanted to superintend the job and keep on directing them about how to do it.
4. What was Jerome’s real intention when he offered to pack?
Jerome never wanted to do the packing himself. He only wanted to superintend the job. He had wanted that he would keep directing George and Harris about how to do it.
5. What did Harris say after the bag was shut and strapped? Why do you think he waited till then to ask?
Harris asked the narrator if he didn't want to put the boots in He wanted to show that the narrator was no good at packing. That was why he waited till then.
6. What “horrible idea” occurred to Jerome a little later?
The "horrible idea" that occurred to Jerome a little later was whether he had packed his toothbrush or not. The thought of forgetting it always haunted him whenever he started for a journey.
7. Where did Jerome finally find the toothbrush?
Jerome finally found the tooth brush inside a boot when he was putting the things back one by one after turning them out of the bag.
8. Why did Jerome have to reopen the packed bag?
Jerome found that he had packed his tobacco-pouch in the bag, He had to reopen the bag to have the pouch.
9. What did George and Harris offer to pack and why?
George and Harris offered to pack the hampers. It was already 10 p.m. They were to start their journey in the morning. That was why they offered to do the rest of the packing. They also wanted to show that Jerome was no good at packing.
10. While packing the hamper, George and Harris do a number of foolish and funny things. Tick the statements that are true.
(i) They started with breaking a cup.
(ii) They also broke a plate.
(iii) They squashed a tomato.
(iv) They trod on the butter.
(v) They stepped on a banana.
(vi) They put things behind them, and couldn’t find them.
(vii) They stepped on things.
(viii) They packed the pictures at the bottom and put heavy things on top.
(ix) They upset almost everything.
(x) They were very good at packing.
Statements (i), (iii), (iv), (vi) and (vii) are true.
II. What does Jerome say was Montmorency’s ambition in life? What do you think of Montmorency and why?
Jerome says Montmorency’s ambition in life was to disturb people while they are working and be sworn at. Montmorency was a mischievous little dog who loved creating troubles for others. Whenever he found people busy with their work, he might feel bored and wanted to get involved. He meant no trouble intentionally. A dog like Montmorency never wanted any encouragement. He was born with such a nature that made him do things like that.
III. Discuss in groups and answer the following questions in two or three paragraphs (100–150 words)
1. Of the three, Jerome, George and Harris, who do you think is the best or worst packer? Support your answer with details from the text.
Of the three, Jerome is the best packer He knew how to arrange things in order. Both Harris and George messed everything. Harris packed the strawberry jam on top of a tomato and squashed it. George stepped on the butter. They were getting constantly irritated by Montmorency. Till the time Jerome packed, although he took his time, the job. They even kept things behind them and then kept searching for it. They made everything such a mess.
2. How did Montmorency ‘contribute’ to the packing?
Montmorency’s contribution to the packing cannot be forgotten. His ambition in life was to disturb others and be abused by them. He came and sat on things, just when they were going to be packed and he put his leg into the jam. He disturbed everything. He pretended the lemons to be rats and got into the hamper and killed three of them. Montmorency wanted to be a perfect nuisance and made people mad. If things are thrown at his head, he felt his day had not been wasted. To get somebody to stumble over him and curse him steadily for an hour was his highest aim and objective. When he got succeeded in accomplishing it, his conceit became quite unbearable.
3. Do you find this story funny? What are the humorous elements in it? (Pick out at least three, think about what happens, as well as how it is described.)
Yes, this story is definitely funny. Jerome’s episode of packing, Harris’s and George’s way of packing and Montmorency’s contribution have made the story funny and interesting. Jerome was confused about his toothbrush and found it in a boot. He also packed his tobacco-pouch in the bag. The incident of butter makes the reader laugh. George treads on the butter and it sticks to his slipper. Later he put it on the chair. Harris sits on the chair and it sticks to his bottom. They squash the tomatoes by putting the strawberry jam on them.