Of Human Bondage Book Pdf ePub

Of Human Bondage

by
4.1241,269 votes • 2,761 reviews
Published 02 Jan 2007
Of Human Bondage.pdf
Format Paperback
Pages684
Edition391
Publisher Signet
ISBN 0451530179
ISBN139780451530172
Languageeng



The first and most autobiographical of Maugham's masterpieces. It is the story of Philip Carey, an orphan eager for life, love and adventure. After a few months studying in Heidelberg, and a brief spell in Paris as a would-be artist, he settles in London to train as a doctor where he meets Mildred, the loud but irresistible waitress with whom he plunges into a tortured and masochistic affair.

"Of Human Bondage" Reviews

Vit
- Ivanovo, Russian Federation
5
Mon, 19 Jun 2017

“Life seemed an inextricable confusion. Men hurried hither and thither, urged by forces they knew not; and the purpose of it all escaped them; they seemed to hurry just for hurrying’s sake.”
The riches of the novel are in its characters – there are many of all sorts and Somerset Maugham portrays his personages with the scrupulous psychological precision. Of Human Bondage is written in the very lucid language so it is a great pleasure to read every sentence in the book.
“Insensibly he formed the most delightful habit in the world, the habit of reading: he did not know that thus he was providing himself with a refuge from all the distress of life; he did not know either that he was creating for himself an unreal world which would make the real world of everyday a source of bitter disappointment.”
Somerset Maugham leads his hero from early childhood to mellow adulthood and he guides his protagonist through all the vicissitudes of life: ups and downs, welfare and penury, qualms and assuredness, love and loathing and further on…
“Philip did not surrender himself willingly to the passion that consumed him. He knew that all things human are transitory and therefore that it must cease one day or another. He looked forward to that day with eager longing. Love was like a parasite in his heart, nourishing a hateful existence on his life’s blood; it absorbed his existence so intensely that he could take pleasure in nothing else… This love was a torment, and he resented bitterly the subjugation in which it held him; he was a prisoner and he longed for freedom.”
Love is capable to bring heavenly delights but unrequited love may easily turn into a baleful torture…

Perry
- Mobile, AL
4
Thu, 18 Aug 2016

MISOGYNE BONDAGE
First from Maugham's Self-Loathing, Chauvinistic Closet
Before discussing the title, my thoughts on this superb 1915 novel:
Reading it was a strain, slow-moving until the protagonist Philip Carey went to Paris to study art, after which I found it fascinating, then infuriating and ultimately affirming. That is to say, I loved the parts about art and Paris and his relationship with Fanny Price, the poor and talentless soul who committed suicide; I detested his main love interest (a unilateral infatuation of the first degree) in Mildred Rogers, the Cockney waitress who used and abused him without pity, and his pathetic lapses into co-dependency on her. Thus, I was heartened by Philip's ability to finally escape the chains of fear and self-hatred caused by losing his parents young, having a clubfoot and being attached by "love" to an awful leach.
Now, to misogyne bondage:
The enterprise of comparing this novel with his other three major novels, The Painted Veil, The Moon and Sixpence and The Razor's Edge, as well as his most acclaimed short story, "Rain," has been terribly illuminating. As I contemplated, I saw a peculiar pattern in Maugham's female leads (in these works, at least) and was reminded of an essay by Christopher Hitchens that I read in his brilliant collection Arguably: Selected Essays, in which Hitchens reviewed the Maugham biography Somerset Maugham: A Life, by Jeffrey Meyers. See C. Hitchens, "W. Somerset Maugham: Poor Old Willie," The Atlantic, May 2004. After re-reading this essay and traveling back through my memory of the four novels and short story, I am convinced that Maugham was a misogynist sparked by his self-loathing as a closeted homosexual.
Consider first,

Maugham worked assiduously to create a persona for himself in life. And the life was, according to this admirable biography, a good deal more exquisite, dramatic, torrid, and tragic than any of the works. Born and brought up in France, Maugham lost his parents when quite young and from then on was farmed out to mean relatives and cruel, monastic boarding schools. The traditional ration of bullying, beating, and buggery seems to have been unusually effective in his case, leaving him with a frightful lifelong speech impediment and a staunch commitment to homosexuality.”
***
“An ideal way to “lock in” homosexual disposition is probably to spend time as a gynecologist in a slum district of London—which, astonishingly enough, is what the fastidious young man did. Though he would ultimately abandon medicine, he passed considerable time delivering babies in the abysmal squalor of Lambeth, on the south bank of the River Thames. As part of his training he witnessed cesarean births in the hospital, where death was not uncommon
.”
C. Hitchens, "Poor Old Willie," supra.
Reviewing each of his four major novels and his most renowned short story, one is struck by the common thread: the females are all weak, wanton and/or wicked. These women are the type of which George Bernard Shaw so mordantly quipped in his play, "Mrs. Warren's Profession": "She may be a good sort but she is a bad lot."
Mildred Rogers and Fanny Price (who only appeared briefly) from the instant novel are discussed above. In the short story, "Rain" (1921), the prostitute Sadie Thompson is violated by a missionary intent upon saving her soul and after finding the missionary dead from suicide, the narrator observes that Sadie has returned to "the flaunting quean" they had first known when coming to American Samoa. "Quean" means "a low woman; a wench; a slut."
In The Razor's Edge (1944), Sophie Macdonald, a childhood friend of the protagonist Larry Darrell, becomes an alcoholic, opium addicted "slut" after losing her husband and child to a tragic car accident. On the eve of the wedding of Larry and Sophie (whom he's trying to save from a life of debauchery), Larry's pre-war girlfriend, the wealthy, wicked Isabel (who wants Larry for herself), leads a sober, fragile Sophie back to the path of destruction by effectively handing her a bottle of expensive vodka.
In The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Blanche Stroeve, wife of a Dutch painter who is a friendly comrade of the Gaugin-based antihero, abandons her husband for "Gaugin," who quickly casts her aside once she's served her purpose as a model and short-term concubine, after which she kills herself.
Finally, in The Painted Veil (1925), Kitty Garstin Fane, the heroine, is a flighty and self-centered "low woman" who, shortly after marrying Dr. Fane, embarks upon a lurid, torrid affair lasting two years and only laughs when initially faced with Dr. Fane finding out. Notably, this is my favorite Maugham novel, probably because he gives Kitty redemption. While this may seem the exception to my thesis, I'd point out that Kitty is like the others in her sexual promiscuity, a trait that seems particularly deplorable to misogynists.
Does this take away from the brilliance of Maugham's works or mean that he doesn't remain on my list of favorite authors? No. But, I do believe that being forced by then-existing societal norms to hide his homosexuality significantly contributed to his self-loathing, in turn leading to his negative outlook toward women. Were our culture more advanced, as it is now progressing, maybe Maugham would not have felt compelled to conceal his sexual preference and would not have been so fundamentally adverse to females and, as a consequence, might have been more kind to the superior sex (IMHO) and penned novels with more positive female characters or at least given his seriously damaged female characters more redeeming arcs, such as he did in The Painted Veil.
I don't do this for a living so I cannot afford to spend any more time revising or cleaning up this review, so please forgive any errors or if I have offended anyone.

Kelly
- Brooklyn, NY
4
Tue, 06 Nov 2007

Has one of literature's great lines about reading:
"Insensibly he formed the most delightful habit in the world, the habit of reading: he did not know that thus he was providing himself with a refuge from all the distress of life; he did not know either that he was creating for himself an unreal world which would make the real world of every day a source of bitter disappointment."

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
- Salt Lake City, UT
0
Sun, 18 Mar 2018

DNF at 25%. This 1915 semi-autobiographical novel by W. Somerset Maugham just isn’t working for me. Of Human Bondage meanders slowly through the childhood and young adult life and times of Philip Carey, an orphaned young man with a rather tough life and a LOT of hang ups.
It’s insightful but prosy and very long-winded, with characters who aren’t particularly appealing making lots of poor decisions (and I didn't even get to the biggest one! Thank you, Wikipedia plot summary).
I know this is generally considered Maugham’s masterpiece and my literary GR friends pretty much all gave it 5 stars, but I just can’t with it right now. Maybe later some day.

JSou
5
Wed, 13 Jan 2010

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A GUY WITH A CLUBFOOT HIS GIRLFRIENDS A BITCH

Related Books of "Of Human Bondage"

Victory Pdf Book
by Joseph Conrad
The Wapshot Chronicle Pdf Book
by John Cheever
The Old Wives' Tale Pdf Book
by Arnold Bennett
Under the Volcano Pdf Book
by Malcolm Lowry
Studs Lonigan Pdf Book
by James T. Farrell
The Good Soldier Pdf Book
by Ford Madox Ford
Under the Net Pdf Book
by Iris Murdoch
A High Wind in Jamaica Pdf Book
by Richard Hughes
The Rainbow Pdf Book
by D.H. Lawrence