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Mr. Know All – Four Levels | Adventures In English Vol II

trainMr. Know All
Four Levels | Adventures In English Vol II
BBA | BBA-BI | BBA-TT | BCIS | Second Semester

Unit : Four ( Critical and Creative Thinking )
Written By :William Somerset Maugham (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s.

Literal Comprehension:

“Mr. Know All” is a very beautiful story written William Somerset Maugham. He was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. 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 however 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. Ramsay 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. Ramsay neck and said that they were original. When Mr. Ramsay told him to guess the price, he said that they could cost up to 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 and then he began to like Mr. Kelada.


In this story the writer may be trying to show humanity and nature of women. This story may be trying to tell us about the writer’s attitude towards non-whites. He also teaches us to apply skepticism even on very close, relatives who are living far from us. 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:

I like this story very much as this story gives a very good moral lesson. But ,Some ideas of the writer are not convincing and questionable.

  • Did Mr. kelada know everything? Then why did people hate him?
  • Is a passenger allowed to carry all kinds of wines with him?
  • Does anyone dislike the other because of color?
  • Does anyone give up his money even after winning the bet?
  • Can we find such Mr. Know all in this world?
  • Don’t we find a frank and friendly person good during a long journey?
  • Should a husband really suspect on the behavior of his wife?


I am very much affected by this story. Before reading this story, I used to make friendship with as many people as I met. I enjoyed talking with them about what I know. But I did not study their view whether they liked my talk or not. I also understood 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.


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