Complete thousands of tasks, learn solutions and improve your grades!

Register now! Browse subjects


1. I SAID I’d pack.
     I rather pride myself on my packing. Packing is one of those many things that I feel I know more about than any other person living. (It surprises me myself, sometimes, how many such things there are.) I impressed the fact upon George and Harris and told them that they had better leave the whole matter entirely to me. They fell into the suggestion with a readiness that had something uncanny about it. George spread himself over the easy-chair, and Harris cocked his legs on the table.
2. This was hardly what I intended. What I had meant, of course, was, that I should boss the job, and that Harris and George should potter about under my directions, I pushing them aside every now and then with, “Oh, you!” “Here, let me do it.” “There you are, simple enough!” — really teaching them, as you might say. Their taking it in the way they did irritated me. There is nothing does irritate me more than seeing other people sitting about doing nothing when I’m working.
The lesson “Packing” is an extract taken from the novel Three Men in a Boat”. It is written by Jerome K Jerome. The lesson, and as well as the entire story, is narrated by the protagonist Jerome, who is referred to as “J.” in the story.

The lesson opens with the narrator stating that he would pack. While reading the second line of the story, one can understand that the narrator was praising himself. He thought that he was an expert in packing. He also mentioned to his readers that he felt packing was one of the many things he knew better than others. It shows that the narrator has great faith in the work he does. Also, the narrator felt surprised while thinking about how many such things are there in the world that he knew better than others. Here, one can see the narrator’s overconfidence in himself. Usually, each person has different skills, and they know where they are good at. In the case of the narrator, he knew that his ability to pack was superior to others.

The narrator then introduces his two friends to the readers: Harris and George. These two individuals were not just his fictional companions but also his real-life friends. Coming back to the story, the narrator had a better understanding of his friends. Usually, people know many good and bad things about their friends because it is common in friendship. In comparison to other relationships, people share a lot of stuff with their friends. While knowing about his two friends’ packing skills, the narrator tells them to leave the entire packing matter to him.
BeFunky-collage (38).jpg
George and Harris
After hearing the statement from the narrator, the two friends quickly agreed with the narrator, and their sudden decision made the narrator feel weird about them. They accepted the offer quickly to get rid of packing. Usually, packing things might be a difficult task. Before packing, the items should be listed in order. In case if things get misplaced, it will irritate one’s mood. So while packing things, one needs the patience to sort out the things in the right place. With these considerations in mind, George and Harris left the packing matter entirely to the narrator. Feeling that they had escaped from the most hectic job, they both thought of resting for a while. George relaxed comfortably in the easy chair. Meanwhile, Harris sat on the sofa with one leg crossed over the other and his feet on the table. They both sat leisurely to watch or comment on the narrator when he did anything wrong.

On the other hand, the narrator did not think that his two friends would sit simply. By saying that he would pack, the narrator did not mean that his friends could sit and relax while he was doing all the work. He had meant that he would take control over the job and make them do their respective works. Also, the narrator would say now and then, “Oh, you!” Here, let me do it.” “There you are, simple enough!”. It means that whenever his friends were not doing their work correctly, he’d interrupt in between and tell them this is not the right way of packing. Also, he would tell them that he would do the packing. This does not indicate that the narrator will complete the task. He was using a strategy to persuade his friends to complete their tasks. On the contrary, nothing had happened as he expected. As a result, he was irritated by the way his friends understood it.

The narrator then told his audience that nothing frustrates him more than seeing other people doing nothing while he was working. Sometimes, some people do not do their tasks perfectly, and they would rely on others. Doing things by ourselves is more satisfying than handing our responsibilities to others. From the above paragraphs, one can understand that the narrator’s friends were lazy in doing their jobs, and they completely threw the packing work to the narrator.

Meanings of the difficult words:
IrritateShowing or feeling slight anger; annoyed
Fact A thing that is known or proved to be true
Suggestion An idea or plan put forward for consideration
Readiness The state of being fully prepared for something
Uncanny Strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way
IntendTo have as a plan or purpose
Potter To spend time in a pleasant, relaxed way, often doing small jobs in your house
DirectionInformation or orders telling you what to do
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Packing- Jerome K Jerome (pp. 82-93). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.