Download The Razor's Edge Study Guide
- Maugham's short story "The Fall of Edward Barnard" (in The Trembling of a Leaf: Little Stories of the South Sea Islands, 1921) has remarkable parallels to the plot and themes of The Razor's Edge, especially the clash of Eastern and Western cultures. Two young men from Chicago are in love with the same woman, Isabel. One of them, Edward, travels to Tahiti. He is expected to return in two years and marry Isabel, but he discovers a new set of values in Tahiti and does not return.
- A Passage to India (1924), by E. M. Forster, is set in India when that country was governed by Britain. The novel deals with the difficult relations between the English and the Indians. Like The Razor's Edge, it discusses Indian religion but in a less explicit, more allusive way.
- Siddhartha (1922), by Herman Hesse, is about a young man's search for enlightenment in ancient India. It contains descriptions of mystical philosophy and experience that are similar to but more convincingly presented than those of Larry in The Razor's Edge.
- Shankara's Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (first English edition published in 1947), translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, is a short explanation by Shankara (686-718 A.D.) of the Vedantic philosophy that Larry Darrell adopts in The Razor's Edge. There is also an informative introduction. Isherwood was one of a group of expatriate English writers in California who were deeply involved with Vedanta. It has been suggested that Isherwood was the model for Larry, although both Maugham and Isherwood scoffed at the idea.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support
Already a member? Log in here.