Somerset Maugham is one of the most outstanding British authors. He was popular in his age and in his writings he arose many social and psychological problems. He was an incredibly talented novelist, had many works and his popularity reaved of rest the other, less popular writers. He was blamed for plagiarism, however he survived and that rumor didn’t affect his reputation and successful career.
His writings impress greatly by the vividness and critical thinking. His manner of writing makes you feel a participant of the described actions. “Theatre” is not an exception. In this story the author introduces to us an incredibly talented woman – Julia Lambert. Though Somerset was an ordinary observer of the plays and was never close to the theatre life, he described so realistically the idea, which was firstly conveyed by Shakespeare: “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players”. Julia Lambert is a vivid confirmation of this quote. If you are an attentive reader, you will see, that in real life Julia just choose the appropriate role from one or another play. The author describes her numerous affairs with different men, and she thinks that she feels real passion and love; however this is not true in reality. Roger, her son, is the only person who dares provide a glimpse of reality to her. At the end of the story, Roger tells her that he doesn’t know when she is real, and whether she can anyway be real. At this moment of truth, when her only son tells her about his disappointment in his mother, she thinks whether she can play the mother of Hamlet. At the end of the story, she triumphantly breaks the dreams of the young actress and her play on the stage is one of the best in her life. After this success, sitting alone in the café, she proves to herself that her acting IS the real life, thus demonstrating to us the whole tragic moment.
To my way of thinking, in this novel, Julia Lambert is an embodiment of the whole society. As a matter of fact, people lie to each other pursuing their own aims – and this vice exists outside the hours. The problem is conveyed clearly. May be it is high time to stop running and thinking only about ourselves. We forget about human values, care about our ego and satisfy only our needs. We are full of primitivism, greediness and prosaicness. Where is the romantic in the relationships, where is the desire for adventures and heroic deeds? I think the author asks us these questions between the lines and our task is to answer them to ourselves. And maybe we can realize that we should be real and don’t hide our faces behind the mask of pretense.
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