Archive | August, 2011

Of Human Bondage By William Sommerset Maugham

16 Aug

William Sommerset Maugham has a slow and sultry but a very clear way of describing human nature, the unlimited possibilities of human thoughts and hopes.
The book “Of Human Bondage” has all the characters one expects to meet in one’s life time. Everyone has a little bit of Phillip (the central character) in them; sympathetic towards one who loves and cares, but sympathy which can never transform into love.
Once again rejection emerges as the ultimate power in this story; all the feelings revolve around it.
Phillip was rejected by his friends in school because of his club foot, and he remained ashamed of it, till the very last. And then he was rejected by Mildred, another powerful character in the story; loved deeply by Phillip but a character sure to be hated by readers until they get bored of the redundant pattern of Phillip trusting her, and she breaking his trust. Yet he loved her until she started loving him back, and that is when he could break free of his love which was destroying him.
Mildred too like Phillip is present in all of us in varied proportions, and the proportion decides how much happiness we seek for ourselves keeping our responsibilities for others at stake.
But, then she too was in search of love and love alone; and her love escapades were not based solely on money as one would think in the beginning. It was partly similar to pattern as that of Phillip; she could care, sympathize but never love back someone who was madly in love with her.
She is excited till, chasing and being chased is in the equation but as soon as the matter is posed at the verge of permanency she has to run away from it. She never thinks even once before trading her good future for adventure. And miseries and constant failure fails to change her nature and she goes back to what she is every time, like all of us.
Other characters  Phillip’s uncle, Vicar at Backstable, his Aunt who tries to mother him at first but fails owing to her own childlike character, his friends Haywards, weeks, those he met at Paris, women who came in Phillips life all are woven around so as to show Philip metamorphosis from a shy, vulnerable kid ashamed of his deformity to a man who learnt that the perfect way was to marry, have children, settle and not keep running after ambitions for long.


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16 Aug

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