William Somerset Maugham is a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and the highest paid author during the 1930s. By 1940, when the collapse of France and its occupation by the German Third Reich forced Maugham to leave the French Riviera, he was a refugee – but one of the wealthiest and most famous writers in the English-speaking world. May be that is why in 1943 he wrote a short story called “The Unconquered”. The action takes place in France during World War II. The main character is a girl Annette who has patriotic feelings to her motherland. She hates German aggressors. It happened that she was raped by a German soldier and got pregnant. The soldier’s name was Hans. He wasn’t a bad guy and he wanted to marry Annette in some time. But her strong patriotic feelings prevented her from doing it. She gave a birth to their child but then she drowned him.
The title of the story doesn’t orient the reader in the place and characters of the events. The extract under consideration opens with the description of the place where the story takes place. The name of the city “Soissons” speaks volumes about the place of the events – France. The name of the main hero “Hans” testifies to the idea that he was German. The military terms “garrison”, “inspections”, “training”, “rank and file”, and “invasion” help the reader in understanding that it was war time. Such partial parallel constructions as “There was a bustle of activity in the garrison at Soissons. There were inspections and there was intensive training. There was no doubt they were going somewhere” help the reader to visualize the events that take place in the city. It was early spring time – March and that is why it was really cold outside. Such adjectives as “grey”, “windy”, “cold”, and words “sleet”, “snow” and “flurries” are in peace with this idea. Nobody understood what was going on – rank and file didn’t