The moon and the sixpence
The writer’s life and creativity Theme , motive , symbol 2. The main character 3. Conclusion 4. . The writer’s life and creativity: William Somerset Maugham was born in the British Embassy in Paris on 25th January, 1874. William’s father, Robert Ormond Maugham, a wealthy solicitor, worked for the Embassy in France. By the time he was ten, both William’s parents were dead and he was sent to live with his uncle, the Rev. Henry Maugham, in Whitstable, Kent.
After an education at King’s School, Canterbury, and Heildelberg University in Germany, Maugham became a medical student at St. Thomas Hospital, London. While training to be a doctor Maugham worked as an obstetric clerk in the slums of Lambeth. He used these experiences to help him write his first novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897). The book sold well and he decided to abandon medicine and become a full-time writer. Maugham achieved fame with his play Lady Frederick (1907), a comedy about money and marriage. By 1908 Maugham had four plays running simultaneously inLondon.
On the outbreak of the First World War, Maugham, now aged forty, Joined a Red Cross ambulance unit in France. While serving on the Western Front he met the 22 year old American, Gerald Haxton. The two men became lovers and lived together for the next thirty years. During the war Maugham was invited by Sir John Wallinger, head of Britain’s Military Intelligence (M16) in France, to act as a secret service agent. Maugham agreed and over the next few years acted as a link between M16 in London Human Bondage (1915) was published.
This was followed by another successful book, The Moon and Sixpence (1919). Maugham also developed a reputation as a fine short-story writer, one story, Rain, which appeared in The Trembling of a Leaf(1921), was also turned into a successful feature film. Popular plays written by Maugham nclude The Circle (1921), East of Suez (1922), The Constant Wife(1926) and the anti- war play, For Services Rendered (1932). In his later years Maugham wrote his autobiography, Summing Up (1938) and works of fiction such as The Razor’s Edge (1945), Catalina (1948) and Quartet (1949).
William Somerset Maugham died in 1965. 2. Plot “The Moon and Sixpence” The Moon and Sixpence tells the story of Charles Strickland, a conventional stockbroker who abandons his wife and children for Paris, not dreading the tongue of scandal. Mrs Strickland asked the author to go to Paris for the sake of removing misconceptions and throwing light on this story. It turned out that Strickland decided to be a painter, being a forty-year old man without any special education . After this talk the author went back to England and told Mrs Strickland about everything .
Five years later the author made up his mind to go to Paris and to live there for a while; he settled down and went to meet his old friend Dirk Stroeve, a painter. Stroeve knew Strickland and his paintings, he worshipped him, considering his paintings to be a sensation . Some time later Strickland got ill; Stroeve and the author brought Strickland to his house and Blanche Stroeve took care for him . Strickland and Blanch ad a “love affair”. It all lead to her death, because she was willing to live with him, but he didn’t need her anymore after he’d got what he wanted . Some time later Strickland left for Marseilles.
After travelling a while the author came to Tahiti, a lofty green island, where Strickland painted the pictures on which his fame most securely rests and where he spent the rest of his life . Strickland was living a poor life, without money, Job, food, when at last he found a shelter at her hotel. There he got acquainted with a native girl, Tiare’s relative, Ata . They married and went to the forest where Ata had a house; he bore two children . Then it turned out, that Strickland was ill with leprosy, he wanted to leave the family but Ata didn’t let him do it. Some time later his eyesight got worse, but he continued painting in spite of it .
Due to the fact that Ata couldn’t go to the town and buy canvases to him he used the walls of his house . Strickland got rid of some strong irresistible obsession imprisoning his soul with the help of those paintings . Soon he died. The most tragical thing in his death was the destroying of his masterpieces – burning of the house to prevent spreading of leprosy. 3. Theme, motive , theme, motive, symbol Theme- The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland .
Symbol-. ” Presumably Strickland’s “moon” is the idealistic realm of Art and Beauty, life. Main character- Describing Charles Strickland, Maugham begins with what is a super ordinary man: “He was null. He was probably a worthy member of society, a good husband and father, an honest broker; but there was no reason to waste one’s time over him… ” Conclusion- Global Message Some people can think that it was a fool thing to do – to leave such a convenient life or uncertainty. But for Strickland money made no difference, the goal of his life was above all.
He chose the path of poor life, but did what he felt like doing. He Just was honest with himself and did what his soul made him do. “Why should you think that beauty, which is the most precious thing in the world, lies like a stone on the beach for the careless passer- by to pick up idly? Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist.
It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it again in your heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination. ” The quote given above reveals all the sense of art and it’s being understandable not to all people. The life of Charles Strickland is similar to the lives of practically all the great painters: their paintings were appreciated only after their death, while during their lives they were criticized, they lived forgotten, under conditions a simple man wouldn’t survive. But still they continued painting instead of taking some other Job, which would provide them with better conditions .