Of Human Bondage

Average Overall Rating: 4.5
Total Votes: 507


Introduction

This is a study guide for Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. The broader theme of human bondage concerns the power games people play. The boys at Philip’s school are cruel and torment him for his deformity. It is unthinking cruelty for the most part: the rule of the more powerful over the weaker. But though cruelty produces suffering, it is not the focus of Maugham’s analysis. He is interested in the ways in which a person creates his or her own bondage to others, and what, if anything allows someone to get free. Even when he makes a friend of Rose at school, Philip, in his insecurity loses the friendship, for he becomes jealous of Rose’s other friends and then provokes Rose into breaking it off. He is horrified by how he makes the situation worse: “he had not been master of himself” (Chpt. XIX, p. 82). Ownership, power, control, jealousy, self-abasement—these are characteristic of the kind of love that Maugham identifies as bondage. The kind of love based on these qualities produces pain, shrinking of one’s heart, a lack of freedom and happiness. Please click on the study guide analysis category you wish to be displayed. Back and Next buttons can guide you through all the sections or you can choose to jump from section to section using the links below or the links at the left.
A Lost Lady Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Published: January 2, 2007
Pages: 704 pages
ISBN#: 0451530179
 
Choose to Continue:
Novel Summary
Character Profiles
Metaphor Analysis
Theme Analysis
Top Ten Quotes
Biography
Essay Q&A
Buy The Book!


 

Quotes: Search by Author

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z