Unit: Three ( Humor and Satire)
Written By: E.V( Edward Verrall) Lucas (12 June 1868 – 26 June 1938) was an English humorist, essayist, playwright, biographer, publisher, poet, novelist, short story writer, and editor.
This story “Third Thoughts” is written by E.V Lucas. The narrator’s friend was not a successful businessman. Once the writer’s friend while visiting New York bought a painting thinking that it was by Turner. He got it at a cheap price since the seller was also confused about its originality. With the painting, he went to London and sold it for fifty pounds. He was so much happy that he decided to share the profit with the seller of New York.
At first, he decided to share fifty percent of his profit and wrote a letter but having no stamp, he went to his room. Again at about 3 AM, he thought it quite inappropriate to share the profit but still thought of sending ten pounds only. His thinking kept on changing and couldn’t sleep well. Again, he thought of sending five pounds thinking that if he shared, the Goddess would be angry and he thought it was he who knew the value of the painting.
If he had known it, he wouldn’t have given him at such a cheap rate, so it is wrong to send him the profit. Finally, he decided to send only a pound. Early in the morning, he went outside and spent all his money in gambling. Finally, he concluded that buying and selling a straight forward matter. Everyone in this matter tries to get the benefit. The buyer once paid to the goods has no obligation to the dealer.
In this story, the writer might be trying to tell us about the constantly changing nature of the human mind that seems to be full of humor and satire. Basically thinking with the nature of a businessman’s mind it proves that the human mind can never be rigid and fixed. Especially in business, their mind keeps on changing. At another level, it sheds light on human earning since the earning as that of writer’s friend has no meaning at all in life. The most important thing in the story is that in business buying and selling are straight forward dealings. It has nothing to do with human consideration, sympathy, and faith. Once goods are sold or bought they have nothing to do with them since then.
I like this story very much as it offers a great deal of humor and satire. But in many respects, it doesn’t seem appropriate and convincing. So some of the ideas in this story are questionable:
- Does anyone want to share his profit? Isn’t the idea of sharing profit with the dealer humor?
- Does any seller sell his goods without knowing it?
- Does a customer get Turner’s painting at such a low price?
- How can we say that there is no value of feelings and emotions while doing business?
As I went through the story, it reminded me of my own events that I experienced earlier. Once I had been to my village after a long time from the city. I had taken a beautiful watch there. Everyone liked it, one of my friends promised to pay Rs 500 for it, so I gave it to him. I got Rs 300 as profit, and so I got extremely happy.
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