The Happy Man

Topics: W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, Sadie Thompson Pages: 6 (2448 words) Published: May 13, 2011
«Life is full of compensations»
Somerset Maugham
William Somerset Maugham is one of the best known English writers of the 20th century. William Somerset Maugham (1874-1966), a well-known English novelist, short-story writer, playwright and essayist, was the son of a British diplomat. He was born in 1874 in Paris and educated at King's School in Canterbury, studied painting in Paris, went to Heidelberg University in Germany and studied to be a doctor at St. Thomas Hospital in England. Although Somerset Maugham did not denounce the contemporary social order, he was critical of the morals, the narrow-mindedness and hypocrisy of bourgeois society. Maugham became internationally celebrated; his plays were performed all over the world. Now independent and well able to enjoy life Maugham began to travel. He traveled a lot and spent long periods in the United States, the South Seas and China. But his favourite country was Spain and a great deal of his works devoted to it. For instance «The Happy man» that was written in 1927. Somerset Maugham's style of writing is clear and precise. He does not impose his views on the reader. He puts a question and leaves it to the reader to answer it. When criticizing something he sounds rather amused than otherwise.

I’d like to analyze the text, which is entitled “The happy man”. The author is William Somerset Maugham, an English writer. He wrote novels, short stories and plays and most of them had a great commercial success. He is known to have explored many professions including doctor, spy, and playwright. There are many biographical details in his stories and characters, for example in the text “The happy man” the narrator and the second main character are the doctors; and the narrator is, at the same time, a writer, because he wrote the book about Spain, and the story itself in some way concerned with the process of travelling. The genre of the story is narration. The theme of the novel is the act of giving advice. At the beginning of the story the author reflected on the subject of life, destiny and the problem of giving advices. He stated that it was dangerous thing to order the life of others. Anyway, the author knew that once he had advised well. One day a stranger visited him, his name was Stephens and he was a doctor. Because of the fact that the narrator wrote a book about Spain, Stephens wanted to figure out information about it, he planned to live there. Stephens told the narrator the story of his life; he wanted to change it and asked the narrator to give him advice. The narrator told him if he did not care of money but was content to earn to keep body and soul together then he could go. Stephens left him and the narrator forgot about that episode. Many years later the narrator was in Seville and had to see a doctor because of some indisposition. The doctor happened to be Stephens. The narrator learnt of outcome of his advice. Stephens thanked him, because he followed the narrator’s advice and was satisfied with his life. The plot structure shows the actions of the characters, presenting events in chronological order. The exposition in the text is the philosophical reflection given in the first paragraph. Inciting incident is the visit of Stephens in order to talk to the narrator. The risking actions, such as development, are the monolog of Stephens about his life, the explanation why he wanted to visit Spain. Climax is the act of giving advice. The falling actions are the event when the narrator went to Seville, the need to see a doctor, because of the narrator’s indisposition, the second meeting of two main characters. The resolution is the process of getting knows the outcome of the act of giving advice, that it was a good outcome, the description of happy Stephens. The denouement is made up of Stephens’s thoughts about his life. Speaking about the main characters, there were two main characters: the narrator and Stephens. The narrator of the story was described...
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