SUMMARIZE: MR. KNOW ALL (Somerset Maugham) This story was happened in the Ocean-going liners from San Francisco to Yokohama for fourteen days. It was difficult to get accommodation, so the narrator had to share a cabin with a total stranger, but he expected him to be one of his own country men. Instead, he was deeply shocked to realize it was a chatty Levantine – Mr. Max Kelada. The narrator was prepared to dislike Mr. Kelada even before he saw him. When he went on board, he saw Mr. Kelada’s luggages and the toilet things that had already unpacked below.
The man’s name and the sight of his things aroused a strong repulsion in him since he was prejudiced against all non-Britons, feeling superior to them. The irony of the story lies in the fact that the list of Mr. Kelada’s “negative” traits presented in the beginning of the story shows an orderly, neat and tidy gentleman, such as: a sturdy build, clean-shaven and dark-skinned, with a fleshy, hooked nose and vey large, lustrous and liquid eyes, sleek and curly long black hair. When the narrator met Mr. Kelada, his hatred got even stronger. He abhorred the cultural differences between Kelada and himself.
He both detested and despised Mr. Kelada’s gestures. Therefore, the description of Kelada’s character is negative and biased. Mr. Kelada was a good mixer and ran everything. He organized some games as: sweeps, auctions, fancy dress ball, etc… Mr. Kelada was a person that seemed to know everything and was involved in everything, not sensing that he was disliked by everybody. He was very chatty and talked as if he head beer superior to everyone else. The passengers mocked him and call him Mr. Know-All even to his face. Beside that, there was a dogmatic person on this liner – Mr.Order now
Ramsay, who was a American Consular Service and was stationed in Kobe. He – the man with loose fat under a tight skin; was on his way back to resume his post after picking up his pretty little wife, who had been spending alone in New York for a whole year. She looked very modest and adorable with her simple clothes, which achieved an effect of quiet distinction. One evening, the conversation drifted to the subject of pearls. As Mrs. Ramsay was wearing a pretty chain of pearl, Mr. Kelada announced that it certainly was a genuine one which had probably cost many thousand of dollars.
And he was ready to bet a hundred dollar on it. On the other hand, Mr. Ramsay was cocksure that his wife had bought it for eighteen dollars in a department store. When Mr. Know-All took out a magnifying glass, a smile of triumph spread on his face, but he caught a desperate appeal in Mrs. Ramsay’s eyes. Then he was making over himself by all his effort and gave Mr. Ramsay a hundred dollars. Since Mr. Kelada did’nt want to destroy Mrs. Ramsay’s marriage, he ruined his reputation instead he told everybody that he was wrong and that string was an excellent imitation. The story spread over the ship and everybody mocked Mr.
Kelada. Next morning, while the narrator and Mr. Know-All were in their cabin, an envelope pushed under the door after a small scraping. It contained a hundred dollar bill from Mrs. Ramsay. at the moment the narrator did not entirely dislike Mr. Kelada. The moral of the story is that we must no jude a book by its cover. Rather than judging a person by his looks, color or origin we should observe his behavior and reactions in difficult situation. Often in our self indulged lives we don’t take a moment to step back and look deeply at the true characters of the people around us.
Instead we are happier with making our unsupported judgments on people and continuing to go about our own concerns. Mr. W. Somerset Maugham wrote a story called, Mr. Know-All, that shows us how we too often tend to act judgmental towards others, but later when we pause and take a closer look, we may find that they are truly greater in character than we are. The story starts with the narrator already expressing his dislike for the character, Mr. Max Kelada. He hasn’t even met the man before and he has already chosen to disassociate him. “ I was prepared to dislike Max Kelada before I knew him. … When I went on board I found that Mr.
Kelada’s luggage was already below. I did not like the look of it; there were too many labels on the suitcase, and the wardrobe trunk was too big. ” (Pg. 303-304) Here we can defiantly see a dislike for Mr. Kelada, before he even has a chance to show who he is, he isn’t liked. He hasn’t even received the chance to say one word of greeting or small talk, yet he is looked down upon as a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe because of his luggage. When the narrator finally meets Mr. Kelada he is set on the fact that he does not like him. He searches for the smallest reason not to like him and decides that Mr.
Kelada isn’t formal enough with the way he addresses him. “I do not like to put on airs, but I cannot help felling that it is seemly in a total strange to put mister before my name when he addresses me. Mr. Kelada, doubtless to set me at my ease used no such formality. I did not like Mr. Kelada. ” (Pg. 305) I could understand someone’s irritation if they were a doctor, or a General, or something of importance with not being labeled right; but to be upset because someone is talking friendly to you is being just plain rude. After a few days the narrator is sure that he does not like Mr. Kelada,…