In W. Somerset Maugham’s short story “Salvatore,” the author presents his theme of love and affection by demonstrating the protagonist’s character through the voice of an unnamed third-party narrator. Without telling the reader about the protagonist’s goodness, which equates to love and affection, the author shows the man’s qualities through his actions, leaving the reader to draw obvious conclusions.
The narrator begins the portrayal of the main character named Salvatore, son of a fisherman, by recalling events from his childhood:
I knew Salvatore first when he was a boy of fifteen with a pleasant face, a laughing mouth and care-free eyes. He used to spend the morning lying about the beach with next to nothing on and his brown body was as thin as a rail. He was full of grace.
Maugham lets his readers know that “Salvatore acted as nursemaid to his two younger brothers.” His kindly character unfolds early in the story, which lays the foundation for the protagonist’s life of...
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