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Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham Review

Title: Of Human Bondage

Author: W. Somerset Maugham

First published January 1, 1915

760 pages, Hardcover

Rating: 4.13

Overview

Growing up with a deformity, young Philip Carey has been tormented for as long as he can remember. But as he grows up into a young man with a thirst for adventure and knowledge, he sets out on a journey that takes him from the streets of Paris to the halls of medicine in London.

Still, nothing can quell his desire for more. When he falls deeply in love, his life takes a dramatic turn.

W. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage is a captivating tale that mirrors the author’s life in many ways, blending fact and fiction to create an autobiographical novel that will leave readers spellbound.

About the Author

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874 and grew up speaking French before he learned English. Some critics believe that this early exposure to French helped him develop his pure writing style.

Maugham’s parents passed away when he was young, and he had a difficult childhood, which he wrote about in his poignant work, Of Human Bondage. Although he became a qualified physician, writing was his true passion.

He struggled for ten years before achieving success, pouring out novels and plays while almost starving.

During Maugham’s time, experimental modernist literature was gaining popularity, and writers like William Faulkner, Thomas Mann, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf were receiving critical acclaim. Some criticized Maugham’s plain prose style, calling it a “tissue of clich├ęs.”

During World War I, Maugham worked for the British Secret Service and traveled extensively, including many trips to America. After the war, he made his home in the south of France and continued to move between England and Nice until his death in 1965.

Editoral Review

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham: A Review

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Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage was first published in 1915, and it has since become one of the most celebrated works of literature of all time. Maugham was a British writer who rose to prominence as a playwright, but he is perhaps most famous for his novels, which explore the complexities of the human condition.

Of Human Bondage is a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story that traces the journey of Philip Carey from childhood to adulthood. The narrative follows Philip as he struggles to find his place in the world and deals with the challenges of unrequited love, illness, and existential crises.

Set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the novel provides a vivid and detailed portrait of life in England during that period. Maugham’s writing style is masterful, and he weaves together complex themes such as fate, free will, and the struggle for identity with ease.

One of the strengths of Of Human Bondage is its rich characterization. Philip Carey is a complex and nuanced character, and the novel provides a deep and insightful look into his psyche.

The other characters in the novel, such as Mildred Rogers, the object of Philip’s affections, are equally well-drawn and add depth to the narrative. Despite its many strengths, Of Human Bondage is not without its flaws.

Some readers may find the novel meandering and slow-moving, with a plot that lacks a clear direction at times. Additionally, some of the themes explored in the novel can be difficult to grapple with, such as the idea of destiny and the limitations it imposes on human agency.

Overall, however, Of Human Bondage is a truly remarkable work of literature. It is a beautifully crafted novel that explores the complexities of the human experience with remarkable depth and insight.

Maugham’s writing is both elegant and profound, and his ability to capture the nuances of human emotion is unparalleled. In terms of its cultural and historical significance, Of Human Bondage is a testament to the enduring power of literature to capture the essence of the human experience.

It is a work that is as relevant today as it was a century ago, and it has much to say about the struggles and challenges we face in our own time. For those who are looking for a deeply insightful and emotionally resonant work of literature, Of Human Bondage is an essential read.

It is a masterpiece of modern literature and a testament to the enduring power of the written word. Rating: 4.5/5.

While the novel’s pacing can be slow at times, its rich characterization and profound insights make it a truly remarkable work of literature. Highly recommended for lovers of literary fiction.