Character Analysis

17797613_1291434110942762_1552101479_oEvelyne Richard

Hi pals!

You surely noticed that the action of the novel, along with the evolution of the characters, moves very quickly. Here is a short analysis of the main characters discussed in Part 5 to help you to keep track over it all.

Maugham is involved in many situations in this chapter. First, he is the one who has to deal with Isabel when she panics over Sophie and Larry’s engagement. He even defies her point of view, which makes Isabel very angry, but he manages to bring back the harmony in their friendship. Then, he sees Sophie in Toulon after she broke the engagement. Thus, he gets to know the reason why she left Larry without notice. In the end, Maugham takes very good care of Elliott when he is sick. He comes to visit him every time he is having a bad day and he even manages to have a party invitation mailed to him, because the fact that he did not receive one upsets him to the highest point. In this part, Maugham is a very good support for many characters.

Isabel is very upset that Larry will marry Sophie Macdonald. She still loves him and she is very jealous that Sophie will be the one to marry him, since it should have been her many years ago. She manages to behave in the presence of Larry and Sophie, but she is very sensible to this whole situation. She is very glad when she learns that their engagement was broken.

Gray is so grateful to Larry for curing his headaches that he almost worships him.

Larry takes pity of Sophie Macdonald’s situation when they first meet her at the bar, and shortly after, he wants to marry her. His relationship with Sophie is very similar to the one he had with Suzanne Rouvier. He takes a vulnerable and troubled woman as his lover and he takes very good care of her. He ends up being disappointed since Sophie runs away just before the wedding.  

Elliott is getting old and his health condition deteriorates throughout the chapter. On his deathbed, the main thing that makes him upset is that he has not been invited to Edna Novemali’s party, which is pathetic according to Maugham. He dies at last, preserving the same values he cherished throughout his life, namely, pride and prestige.

Sophie Macdonald is an old friend of Isabel and Larry when they all lived at Marvin. Sophie was deeply in love and had a child, but both her husband and their baby were killed in a car accident. After their deaths, she was devastated. She moved to Paris and started to live a very different lifestyle. She developed a dependence to alcohol and to opium, and she slept with a great number of men. She enters the story when Larry, Gray, Isabel and Maugham meet her in a bar on Rue de Lappe. Shortly after this event, Larry and her decide to get married. She quits her bad habits for him, but she definitely does not seem healthy nor happy. One day, while waiting for Isabel in her apartment, she gets drunk and she runs away. Larry looks for her everywhere, but he cannot find her, so the wedding is called off. Then, Maugham sees her in Toulon, and she explains that she could not resist to her bad habits and that she had to leave Larry for this reason.

Joseph is Elliott’s servant. He is very involved in Elliott’s life and he takes very good care of him while he is sick.

Edna Novemali is a very wealthy American woman. She married a Roman prince, which conferred her the title of Princess Novemali. According to Maugham she is a very nice person, but she has a “malicious tongue.” She is known to host amazing parties, but she did not invite Elliott to her next one, because he revealed to a number of people that she was having an affair with her chauffeur.

Miss Keith is Princess Novemali’s secretary. She is very faithful to Edna, but she makes an exception when Maugham asks her to take an invitation card so that he could mail it to Elliott and so that he would stop being upset because he was not invited to the party. Besides, even if Edna does not like Elliott very much, Miss Keith thinks he is a gentleman and she feels pity for him.

Paul Barton is reintroduced in the story. Elliott still hates him because of his ungratefulness towards what Elliott did for him so that he could enter society. This time, Paul has the nerve to come to see Elliott on his deathbed to ask him if he could borrow a precious costume that he wants to wear to Princess Novemali’s party, to which Elliott was not even invited.


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