Literal Comprehension

When the First World War ended, the writer ‘Somerset Maugham ‘ decided to go to Japan from America by ship. It was very difficult to get a good seat in the ship. But he managed to get in cabin seat in the ship. His cabin partner , max Kelada , was much talkative. At first the writer thought that he was a Negro but later he came to know that he was also an English man.

However, he hated his chatty nature. He introduced with everyone in the ship and conducted a lottery action. He said that he had good knowledge of everything. So they called him ‘mr. know all’. Although alcohol was strictly prohibited to carry, he uttered writer to have cocktail “mix wine”. Once the writer, Mr. kelada, Mr and Mrs Ramsays got chanced to have dinner in the same table.

Mr. ramsays was in the consular service posted at Kobe, Japan. He had spent one year in alone in japan because his salary was very low. Now he had come to take his wife with him. Mr. kelada said that he was going to japan to examine pearls. He saw a pearls chain around mrs ramsays neck and said that they were original.

When Mr. Ramsays told him to guess the price, he said that they could cost upto 30,000 dollars.but when Mr. Ramsay said that they were false, he didn’t believe and they had bet of one hundred dollars. When Mr. Kelada was going to check the pearls, Mrs ramsay looked nervous. Although the pearls were original , Mr. kelada said that they were false to save Mrs. Ramsays. The next day when she returned his money, the writer was surprised to know the reality. He also know that Mr. kelada was really mr. know all. Then he began to like Mr. kelada.


The writer may be trying to show humanity and nature of women. Outer cover can never represents the inner reality. Although Mr. kelada is hated by all, he is proved to be the best example of humanity.

He became fool and lost money and prestige but he saved the happy married life of Mr and Mrs Ramsay. This story also shows the duel character of women.

Critical thinking 

Although this story gives the moral lession. Some ideas of the writer are not convincing. After reading this story we can ask some questions. If alcohol was not allowed to carry how did Mr. kelada offet cocktail to the writer? Did Mr. kelada know everything? Then why did people hate him?


I am very much affected by this story. After reading this story, I know that we can’t judge people from their appearance. This story also taught me that it is not easy to understand the character and secrecy of women. Now I won’t believe in women easily.