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!).
2. Why did the narrator (Jerome) volunteer to do the packing?
3. How did George and Harris react to this? Did Jerome like their reaction?
4. What was Jerome’s real intention when he offered to pack?
5. What did Harris say after the bag was shut and strapped? Why do you think he waited till then to ask?
6. What “horrible idea” occurred to Jerome a little later?
7. Where did Jerome finally find the toothbrush?
8. Why did Jerome have to reopen the packed bag?
9. What did George and Harris offer to pack and why?
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.
1. There are four characters in the narrative. They are Jerome (the narrator), George, Harris and Montmorency (the dog).
2. The narrator volunteered to do the packing as he took pride in himself for his packing skills. It was one of those things that he felt he knew “more about than any other person living”.
3. George and Harris readily accepted Jerome’s suggestion. George smoked a pipe and “spread himself over the easy-chair”, while Harris put his legs on the table and lit a cigar.
No, Jerome did not like their reaction.
4. When Jerome had offered to pack, his real intention was to boss the job. He wanted to make Harris and George work under his directions, and to push them aside every now and then to teach them how to pack properly.
5. After the bag was shut and strapped, Harris mentioned that Jerome had not packed the boots.
He had waited till then to ask because he wanted to make Jerome realise his mistake and ridicule his so-called expertise at packing.
6. When Jerome unstrapped the bag to pack the boots in, a “horrible idea” occurred to him. He wondered whether he had packed his toothbrush or not. He was a bit finicky about having his toothbrush packed every time he went on a trip.
7. Jerome had to make a lot of effort to find his toothbrush. As he had packed everything, he had to rummage through the packed bag to find it. Jerome finally found the toothbrush inside a boot.
8. Jerome had to reopen the packed bag twice owing to his forgetfulness. Once he had to reopen the bag as he had forgotten to pack the boots. The next time, he unpacked when he realised he had packed his tobacco-pouch in.
9. George and Harris offered to pack the hampers for carrying food. Harris said that they would want to start in less than twelve hours’ time and therefore, it was better that he and George did the rest of the packing.
10. Statements (i), (iii), (iv), (vi) and (vii) are true.