Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

by Jerome K. Jerome
Start Free Trial

How is Harris different from the narrator? Which trait of his is very clear in the second chapter?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Let's start by saying that J., George, and Harris all think they are great at pretty much anything and everything; however, the truth is that they are more or less bumbling idiots that like to blame anything and everything else for their problems. The narrator (J.) tends to be very...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Let's start by saying that J., George, and Harris all think they are great at pretty much anything and everything; however, the truth is that they are more or less bumbling idiots that like to blame anything and everything else for their problems. The narrator (J.) tends to be very optimistic about most things. He's a hypochondriac, but once the decision to camp out is reached, he is generally fairly positive about the adventures that they are going to have. In chapter 2, he spends several paragraphs spouting forth near-poetry about how awesome and glorious camping is. By contrast, Harris tends to be a bit more pessimistic. He thinks his ideas are great, but he loves to bring up counter-arguments, and he is the type of person to believe that something better can be found somewhere other than his present location. Additionally, he isn't easily excited by really anything other than alcohol. The narrator tells readers that nothing really excites Harris and that he doesn't look for beauty. In chapter 2, the text is narrating how J. thinks camping is going to be lovely and awesome. The first contribution that Harris makes is to state how horrible camping is when it rains.

You can never rouse Harris. There is no poetry about Harris — no wild yearning for the unattainable.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team