Mr Know All And The Film Man-To-Man Analysis
Somerset Maugham’s short story Mr. Know-All is a quintessential text about “othering,” or a psychological operation upon which colonialist ideology depends. Specifically, I will argue that Maugham’s story reveals the colonialist ideology lurking at the core of British cultural identity and that colonialist psychology is a pervasive presence in the narrative as a whole, because that psychology is central to the characterization of the narrator.
The story is told from the perspective of a person whose culture group has long been stereotypically considered privileged. Therefore, readers need to be cautious of an unreliable narrator and potential bias and prejudice that might be involved in the first-person narrative. The narrator in Mr. Know-All strikes me as a hard-core racist and an English snob right after the story unfolds. Because he was prepared to dislike Max Kelada even before they met, and simply on hearing the non-British name of his companion made his heart sink. From the statement “I should have looked upon it with less dismay if my fellow-passenger´s name had been Smith or Brown,” we can certainly sense that the narrator places the British at a higher level than people of foreign origin, either consciously or unconsciously. He regards Mr. Kelada as a foreigner unworthy to be called “British”, which culminates in the statement “[t]he Union Jack is an impressive piece of drapery, but when it is flourished by …show more content…
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