The Force of Circumstance by Somerset Maugham

Caught between cultures. Schülerbuch. Colonial and postcolonial short stories (hier online bestellen)

Including the following stories:

Colonial Encounters Joseph Conrad, "An Outpost of Progress" (1898);
Somerset Maugham, "The Force of Circumstance" (1928);
George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant" (1936);
Doris Lessing, "The Second Hut" (1964);
R. K. Narayan, "A Horse and Two Goats" (1965);
Chinua Achebe, "Dead Men's Path" (1972);
Ngugi wa Thiong'o, "A Meeting in the Dark" (1974);
Muriel Spark, "The Black Madonna" (1963);
Qaisra Shahraz, "A Pair of Jeans" (1988);
Hanif Kureishi, "My Son the Fanatic" (1994);
Salman Rushdie, "Good Advice Is Rarer than Rubies" (1994).

Summary of the story:
The force of circumstance is a story which tells about a man, Guy, and his wife, Doris. They live in Malaysia. Guy moved there right after his school and has lived there for years. He left once and he came back with his white wife Doris. The story is not written in the I-person, it is a narrator who tells you the story. The language use is normal and the tone of voice a little bit ironic.
When Guy was young he was very alone at night. Night after night it was the same. One evening his boy asked wether he'd like to have a girl to come and live with him. First he had doubts about it, but he said yes after all, and she stayed. They got three children. After several years he sent her back to the village because he was leaving. Their relationship' was over. Then he returned with his new white wife Doris, but after a while she leaves him and the Malay woman returns.

Title explanation
The title 'The Force of Circumstance' can be explained from three different kinds of views:

- The common side
- Guy's side
- Doris' side
- In hard circumstances people have to make decisions, and they open up under pressure.
- Guy's side: his force of circumstance was that he was alone and he felt like he would go mad if he would stay alone. So he let the girl stay: it was also regular thing. He said that five men out of six do so.
- Doris's side: what she did was out of force of circumstance; she did what she had to do. She could not live there anymore. She could not see the woman, the house, everything. AHuman nature is very odd' . It was not her own choice, she could not help it.

About the author:
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 in London.
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 (MI6) in France, to act as a secret service agent. Maugham agreed and over the next few years acted as a link between MI6 in London and its agents working in Europe.
Maugham had sexual relationships with both men and women and in 1915, Syrie Wellcome, the daughter of Dr. Thomas Barnardo, gave birth to his child. Her husband, Henry Wellcome, cited Maugham as correspondent in divorce proceedings. After the divorce in 1916, Maugham married Syrie but continued to live with Gerald Haxton.
During the war, Maugham's best-known novel, Of 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 include 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.

Caught between cultures. Schülerbuch. Colonial and postcolonial short stories
Broschiert: 240 Seiten
Verlag: Klett; Auflage: 1 (Mai 2005)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN: 3125775124
Preis: € 8,20

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