Chapter 7: Packing
Exercise number - 1
Discuss in pairs and answer each question below in a short paragraph (30 − 40 words).
- How many characters are there in the narrative? Name them. (Don’t forget the dog!).
- Why did the narrator (Jerome) volunteer to do the packing?
- How did George and Harris react to this? Did Jerome like their reaction?
- What was Jerome’s real intention when he offered to pack?
- What did Harris say after the bag was shut and strapped? Why do you think he waited till then to ask?
- What "horrible idea" occurred to Jerome a little later?
- Where did Jerome finally find the toothbrush?
- Why did Jerome have to reopen the packed bag?
- What did George and Harris offer to pack and why?
- 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.
- The four characters in the narrative are Jerome (the narrator), George, Harris, and Montmorency (the dog).
- The narrator volunteered to do the packing as he took pride in himself for his packing skills. He always felt that he knew more about packing than any other person.
- Jerome’s suggestion was readily accepted by George and Harris. Jerome did not like their reaction because George put on a pipe and spread himself over the easy-chair. Wherein Harris put his legs on the table and lit a cigar.
- The intention behind Jerome agreeing to pack was that he would boss the job, in turn Harris and George would work under him. He also thought that every now and then he would push them aside to teach them how to do it properly. That is the main reason on why their reaction irritated him.
- Harris asked Jerome if he wasn’t going to put the boots inside the bag after the bag was shut and strapped. Jerome knew that Harris was like that and he would always never say a word until he had shut and strapped the bag.
- A little later the "horrible idea" that occurred to Jerome was the doubt if he had packed his toothbrush or not. He never remembered if he has packed his toothbrush or not.
- Jerome finally found the toothbrush inside a boot after going through everything he had packed.
- Jerome found that that he had packed his tobacco pouch and hence he had to reopen the packed bag.
- George and Harris offered to pack the hampers for carrying food. Harris told that it would be better if he and George do the rest of the packing as they would want to start in less than twelve hours’ time.
- Statements i, iii, iv, vi, vii and ix are true.
What does Jerome say was Montmorency’s ambition in life? What do you think of Montmorency and why?
Montmorency’s ambition in life was to get in the way and get scolded. It felt that a day was not a waste, if it could go anywhere where he was not wanted and be a perfect nuisance, make people mad, and have things thrown at its head. To get somebody to stumble over and curse it steadily for an hour was its highest aim. It’s pride becomes so unbearable on successfully accomplishing it.
Discuss in groups and answer the following questions in two or three paragraphs (100 −150 words)
- 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.
- How did Montmorency ‘contribute’ to the packing?
- 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.)
- Jerome, George and Harris all the three friends proved to be bad at packing things. As Jerome took pride in himself for the packing skills he volunteered to do the packing. He still forgot to pack his boots and he could not remember if he had packed his toothbrush or not; he also had accidentally packed his tobacco-pouch and showed that his packing skills were not up to the mark and he had to unpack everything he had already packed during these instances.
When George and Harris began packing the hampers, they proved to be a lot worse than Jerome. A cup was broken by packing heavy things on top of light items; they put things behind them and couldn’t find the items when they wanted them; they stepped on things and upset almost everything.
- Montmorency sat down on the things which are to be packed. According to the narrator, whenever Harris or George reached out their hand for anything the dog had a fixed belief that it was for its cold damp nose. It put its leg into the jam and disturbed the teaspoons and also pretended that the lemons were rats. It killed three of them in the hamper before Harris could hit it with a frying pan.
Harris blamed Jerome for encouraging the dog. Jerome told that a dog like Montmorency did not require any encouragement and it had a natural sin that was born within it which made it do all such things.
- This story is funny as three adults make complete fool of themselves with their bag packing skills. The narrator who has pride in his packing ability unpacks and repacked the same things three-time much to the amusement of his friends and his friends were worse than the narrator. The narrator then simply sits back and watches them make a mess of everything while packing. When the dog, Montmorency entered the picture things got more chaotic. The narrator compared the state of chaos at the time of creation of the world to the things he unpacked for finding his toothbrush.
The narrator says that he had never seen anyone do more with one-and-two pence worth of butter while seeing all that George and Harry had managed to do with the butter. The narrator describes how Montmorency pretended that the lemons were rats. It killed three of them in the hamper before Harris could hit it with a frying pan.
Match the words/phrases in Column A with their meanings in Column B.
Use suitable words or phrases from Column A above to complete the paragraph given below.
A Traffic Jam During power cuts, when traffic lights go off, there is utter __________ at crossroads. Drivers add to the confusion by __________ over their right of way, and nearly come to blows. Sometimes passers-by, seeing a few policemen __________ at regulating traffic, step in to help. This gives them a feeling of having __________ something.
During power cuts, when traffic lights go off, there is utter chaos at crossroads. Drivers add to the confusion by getting into a row over their right of way, and nearly come to blows. Sometimes passers-by, seeing a few policemen slaving at regulating traffic, step in to help. This gives them a feeling of having accomplished something
- The table below has some proverbs telling you what to do and what not to do. Fill in the blanks and add a few more such proverbs to the table.