What are the characteristics of the major characters of Jerome K. Jerome's book Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)?

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chsmith1957 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are four major characters, as noted by the title of the book. All have some boating experience, but none could be considered seasoned seamen.

The narrator is referred to as J., but he should not be confused with the author of the book, Jerome K. Jerome. This is a work of fiction. J. tells the story as he sees and interprets it. We don’t know if he holds a “real” job, but he seems to have a journalistic bent, as well as a wry sense of humor. He can turn any random act into an interesting and detailed story.

William Samuel Harris is another gentleman in the story. He too may not hold much of a job, if any. He tends to make grand events out of small acts as well, much to the consternation and frustration of everyone around him. He believes he can do small tasks, but he really cannot. See Chapter VI for his recollection of getting lost in the Hampton Court maze, as well as his attempt to make scrambled eggs for breakfast in Chapter XI.

George works in a bank five and a half days a week. He seems to be a little better organized than his two friends are, but he can sometimes become clumsy or confused. See Chapter VI for the story about what he did one night when his watch stopped. George can also take charge and can get tasks done when they need to be finished.

Montmorency is the fox terrier. According to J., the dog looks like an adorable and angelic pup, but he has a habit of getting into fights with other dogs and also with cats. On the trip, he is stared down and scared by a cat on the street in Chapter XIII. He also tends to get under foot and interfere with some of the men's tasks.

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