William Somerset Maugham Mr. Know All Writer

Mr. Know All – Four Levels – Adventures in English-II

William Somerset Maugham Writer of story Mr. Know All
William Somerset Maugham

Four levels of “Mr. Know All” are:

Literal Comprehension

“Mr. Know All” is a story told by the writer “William Somerset Maugham”. This is a fourteen days ship journey from America to Japan. During the ship journey, the writer shared his cabin with Mr. Max Keleda, a negro. The writer disrespects him because he is black. Mr. Max Keleda was called Mr. know all because he knows about card games, politics, business, trade, necklaces, pearls, etc, and also he is very talkative. There was Mr. Ramsay, American counselor service. One evening at dinnerMr./Mrs. Ramsay and Mr. Keleda were there. Mr. Keleda was claimed that I have good knowledge about necklaces, jewelry, pearls and claimed the pearl Mrs. Ramsay was worn was original and its cost is 30000 dollars. But Mr. Ramsay said it is not original and its cost is only 18 dollars. And there was a bet if this pearl is original Mr. Ramsay would pay 100 dollars to Mr. Keleda. And, if the pearl was duplicate Mr. Keleda would pay 100 dollars to Mr. Ramsay. The writer was continuously watching. During the betting when Mr. Keleda was ready to buy the Peral at Mr. Ramsay said, Mrs. Ramsay was so nervous, showing unnatural habit. Seeing this Mr. Keleda claimed it is a duplicate, loose bet, and paid 100 dollars. Where the pearl was original and it is bought by Mrs. Ramsay doing illegal activities. The next morning Mr. Ramsay returned Mr. Keleda’s 100 dollars in envelopes secretly thinking bet is not a good way to earning. Finally seeing all these the writer started to love Mr. Max Keleda.


Maybe this story is trying to present a good human nature through Mr. Max Keleda. It presents racial discrimination between black people and white Americans. Also, presents the nature of women in absence of their husband. And most important it taught “Never judge a book by its cover”, we should not judge anyone’s main character by only seeing their color.

Critical Thinking

I loved the behavior of Mr. Keleda, who was always ahead of being a human. Although he was disrespected by others however he controls his anger and never harms them. That is the nature of a real human. However, some questions to this text are:

  • Why Mr. Max Keleda gives too much respect to the writer knowing that the writer was hated him?
  • How can we believe that Mr. keleda was ready to lose a bet to save the conjugal life of Mr./Mrs. Ramsay?
  • How can we believe that Mr. Keleda knows everything?
  • Why the writer ignores Mr. Keleda when he is showing too much respect for him?


Before reading this text “Mr. Know All” I used to think that women’s nature is very good and America is a well democratic country. But after reading this text I understood some unethical nature of women’s in terms of earning money. And America is not a well democratic country where racial discrimination still exists.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: