Four Levels of Mr. Know All

Mr. Know All Four Levels

Four levels of the story Mr. Know All are:

Literal Comprehension

“Mr. Know All” is a story told by the writer “William Somerset Maugham“. This story is of a fourteen-day 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, an American counselor service. One evening at dinner, Mr./Mrs. Ramsay and Mr. Keleda were there.

Mr. Keleda claimed that I have good knowledge about necklaces, jewelry, and pearls and claimed the pearl Mrs. Ramsay was wearing was original and cost 30,000 dollars. But Mr. Ramsay said it is not original and its cost is only 18 dollars.

And there was a bet if this pearl was original Mr. Ramsay would pay 100 dollars to Mr. Keleda. And, if the pearl was duplicated 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 Mr. Ramsay said, Mrs. Ramsay was so nervous, showing unnatural habits.

Seeing this Mr. Keleda claimed it was a duplicate, he lost the bet and paid 100 dollars.

Where the pearl was originally 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 betting is not a good way to earn.

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.

It also presents the nature of women in the absence of their husbands.

And most importantly it taught me “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 human. Although he was disrespected by others 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 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 does the writer ignore 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 was very good and America is a democratic country.

But after reading this text I understood the unethical nature of women in terms of earning money. And America is not a well-democratic country where racial discrimination still exists.

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