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

by Jerome K. Jerome
Start Free Trial

Who is Montmorency and what does the narrator think about him initially in Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)?

Expert Answers

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

When J. first gets the dog Montmorency, he thinks of him as a sweet, angelic fox terrier. J. thinks he won't be on the earth for long because he seems so other-worldly. However, J. soon finds out how wrong he is about this seemingly dear little pet. Montmorency is a...

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

When J. first gets the dog Montmorency, he thinks of him as a sweet, angelic fox terrier. J. thinks he won't be on the earth for long because he seems so other-worldly. However, J. soon finds out how wrong he is about this seemingly dear little pet. Montmorency is a feisty, scrappy fighter who kills chickens, gets into frequent battles with other dogs, angers a a neighboring woman by killing her cat, and frightens a neighbor's "ferocious" dog, keeping him penned in a toolshed, too afraid of Montmorency to come back out. In addition, J. learns that his gardener has made money betting on Montmorency's ability to kill rats, and finds that Montmorency most enjoys gathering a gang of disreputable dogs around him to fight gangs of dogs in the slums.

Feisty, fighting Montmorency becomes an important member of the crew as the three men embark on their Thames adventure. Montmorency holds the whole trip in some disdain, but he does contribute to the comedy. For example, when he brings a dead rat to the "throw anything in the pot" stew," nobody is sure whether the rat actually ends up in the dinner or not.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Montmorency is the dog in the group, a fox terrier. He belongs to J., the narrator, who explains the dog’s background in Chapter II. At first, J. thinks the dog has the look of “an angel sent upon the earth.” He’s so cute, small, and unassuming that you would think he would turn out to be the best behaved dog you’d ever met. J. learned differently when neighbors came to complain about killed chickens and a dead cat. Montmorency had even penned up a man in his own tool-shed, he had behaved so ferociously. So the readers quickly discover that the dog has two sides to his personality. He occasionally contributes something worthwhile during the river trip. In Chapter XIV, he catches a water-rat for George’s Irish stew.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team