Homework Help

What are themes of W.Somerset Maugham?

user profile pic

Lookpla | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 24, 2013 at 7:35 AM via web

dislike 0 like

What are themes of W.Somerset Maugham?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

a0542959 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted August 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

First, let's discuss themes he avoided. Maugham would have avoided (to a fault) any sort of homosexual theme. He was scared of what happened in the Oscar Wilde trial and, thus, would not even consider discussing such themes.

His first theme "attempt" was to cover the idea of women escaping from the standards of Victorian England. However, people saw his work as gloomy and depressing, so he decided to try to make the social atmosphere around him seem light and humorous. 

Stories with these themes were almost instant successes. By 1908 he had all the fame he desired from writing novels and switched to writing plays--by the end of that summer, he had four plays running on the main stages. 

He then began to visit the Orient quite frequently. His visits resulted in some of his best work. He wrote a novel, some readable travel guides, and many short stories depicting his time overseas. Due to the European interest in the Orient and his fame--he was, again successful.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes