The Mouse: Summary & Analysis

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

If you are curious about H.H. Munro's (also known by his pen name Saki) 'The Mouse', you've come to the right place. Take a look at the following lesson, where we will summarize and offer an analysis of the story.

The Mouse

If you have ever found yourself in a super-embarrassing situation that you can't seem to escape, you will be able to relate to Theodoric in Saki's The Mouse. Follow the lesson all the way through, and you will even find a lesson about being too worried about what others think.

Theodoric

In the very beginning of The Mouse, it is clear that Theodoric is not a likable character. In fact, he is portrayed as a spoiled brat. The narrator tells us that his mom did her best to protect him from the ''coarser realities of life.'' He has just returned from visiting a vicar's home and is full of complaints. There was no carriage ready when he had to leave, and he even had to help get a pony from a stable. Now, he smells like a barn, and there might even be straw in his hair. As he sits reflecting on this clearly traumatic experience, he realizes that there is a mouse in his clothing.

A Makeshift Changing Room

Wiggle and squirm as he might, he has no luck getting rid of the mouse. He realizes that the only way banish the mouse from his clothing is to take them off. His ''ear tips tingle in blush'' at this thought because there is a woman seated near him. Theodoric decides to hang a rug across his section of the train so he can take his clothes off and remove the mouse. He is successful, but just as the mouse scurries away, his makeshift curtain falls, and the woman's eyes shoot open, staring at him. Theodoric grabs the curtain and attempts to hide his nudity as much as he can. The two then share an awkward conversation, but the woman maintains composure. She either didn't see much or isn't disturbed by the situation.

Oh, By the Way

Still feeling embarrassed, Theodoric tries to make an excuse for being unclothed. He says that he must have caught a sickness and a chill. When this doesn't do the trick, he explains the situation to the woman, telling her that he had a mouse under his clothes and that is why he was in this situation. The woman jokes that surely getting rid of one small mouse wouldn't make him feel that he has a chill. Theodoric dreads the moment the train stops because he will have to take off his covering in order to get dressed again. Surely the woman will see him. The train finally stops, and Theodoric quickly flings off the covering, exposing himself to the woman while frantically putting all his clothes back on.

The story ends with Theodoric feeling mortified, as the woman asks him to help her find a porter since ''being blind makes one so helpless at a railway station.''

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