Chapter Summary (7)

Alexane Drolet

In the chapter’s first line we learn that the police of the village wants to meet with Maugham. The author always had a good relationship with the law, so he wonders what is the reason of their visit. After a few seconds, we learn that the police is there to inform Maugham that a body has been found in the harbor and the police wants him to identify the body because they think it is Sophie MacDonald’s. Maugham takes the first train to go there and to identify the body in Toulon. When he arrives, he starts talking with the police officer about Sophie’s bad reputation. Maugham is not surprised to hear about this. The police is clearly wondering how could a respectable man like Maugham be linked to a girl like this. Maugham insists to tell him that he barely knew Sophie and that he only saw her once or twice in his life.


While speaking with the officer, Maugham learns that the body has been found by two fishermen and has already been identified by Sophie’s friend. Following his conversation with Maugham, the inspector wants to meet with Larry. They go together to the morgue to identify the body, and as soon as they see it, they have no doubt that it is Sophie’s. Maugham describes this experience as horrible and he says that he would rather not have seen this. Larry does not speak during the identification nor after. He is speechless. They both go to a small café but Larry does not drink at all. He is shocked. When Larry finally decides to talk to Maugham, he confesses one last time the love he had for Sophie and that she was the only woman he ever wanted to marry. He describes her as his ideal, which leads to Maugham to ask him why didn’t he marry her after all. Larry’s answer to this is pretty simple; for him, Sophie was a child. Maugham is wondering why Larry has not mentioned a word about Isabel yet. The author goes to the hotel with Larry and when they arrive, he leaves immediately.


After what has happened, Maugham really wants to see Isabel so he decides to go to Paris for 24 hours. He wants to have a conversation alone with Isabel and it is important for him that Gray would not be part of it. When Maugham arrives, he sees that he would be alone with Isabel. His main goal is to worm out the truth from her and to talk about what happened to Sophie. At first, Isabel is lying to Maugham, which starts to piss him off. Then, Isabel admits what really happened and clearly states that she was part of it. She is also very clear about the fact that she is happy about Sophie being dead and that she would do the same thing over again. Maugham tells Isabel that if she would have left Sophie alone, she would be alive right now. Isabel did not directly killed Sophie but she participated to the reason why her dead body ended up like  trash in the harbor. Isabel tells Maugham that she wants him to think that she is a good woman. Because of the author’s tenderness, he is not able to directly say to Isabel that she is not. He prefers to enumerate her qualities which makes Isabel very happy. Few months after his 24 hours trip to Paris, Maugham starts to miss Isabel. He could not talk to her as she is only using the phone and Maugham is only writing letters.


The author continues to see Suzanne Rouvier. She announces to Maugham that she will get married to Monsieur Achille soon. Her plan is to devote herself to her art, which is painting. She shows Maugham some landscapes she painted in the last years. From Maugham’s point of view, Suzanne’s painting is vaporous and unsubstantial, but it has a “flowerlike grace” and elegance, which he admires. He even buys one of her painting to encourage her. Suzanne is so happy about this sale. This is actually the first time she is selling one of her paintings.


The author finishes his novel with a brief description of Larry’s future. His main conclusion about the main character is that he has been absorbed into tumultuous interests and, therefore, he was kind of lost in the world’s confusion.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s