Mr. W. Somerset Maugham's Mr. Know All

1160 words - 5 pages

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.â€? (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.â€? (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, and that no one else does either. “I did not like Mr. Kelada. I not only shared a cabin with him and ate three meals a day at the same table, but I could not walk round the deck without his joining me. It was impossible to snub him. It never occurred to him that he was not wanted. He was certain that you were as glad to see him as he was to see you. In your house you might have kicked him down the stairs and slammed the door in his face without the suspicion dawning on him that he was not a welcome visitor.â€? (Pg. 305-306) The narrator has now stated that he would resort to violence to show Mr. Kelada that he did not like him. Now there is a visible prejudice towards Mr. Kelada with out a particular reason.
Now that feelings are set and walls of prejudice built high a story starts to unfold that surprises the narrator on his views towards Mr. Kelada. One evening at dinner the...

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