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A Pattern Stylistic Analysis of the Story the Escape by W.S.Maugham

In: English and Literature

Submitted By nasty2891
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A Pattern Stylistic Analysis of the Story "The Escape" by William Somerset Maugham
W.S. Maugham’s stories make exciting reading and give food for reflection The writer is a great master of ironic style. By using a biased 1st person narrator the author pretends to praise and justify what in fact he exposes and condemns. Thus the writer forces the reader to see through this pretence and make his/her own conclusions as to the purport of the work. The story "The Escape" is a fair example of Maugham's ironic style.
The basic theme of the story is marriage in bourgeois society, relations between men and women in connection with problems of marriage. The author tackles a typical phenomenon of modem society - a marriage of convenience. He looks at the variant of a marriage of convenience when a woman is the interested party.
The plot centers around a love affair between Ruth Barlow, twice a widow, and Roger Charing, a no longer young man with plenty of money. The story of their relationship is told by the 1st person narrator, a convinced bachelor. He is apt to treat the subject-matter of marriage lightly and is inclined to admire Roger for his acumen in getting rid of Ruth. At a cursory reading this compositional device leads the reader astray, making him/her mistake the story for a humorous one and side with the narrator and his protagonist. Only after some reflection on the peculiarities in the development of the plot, and the means of characterization used to bring out some essential features in the characters of Ruth and Roger does the reader fully comprehend that it is a story of a man's cruelty and callousness to a woman, having social significance and consequences.
The message transmitted to the reader by the whole poetic structure of the story may be put into the following words: a marriage of convenience may be a sordid and ruthless business that drives both...

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