Essay about A Pattern Stylistic Analysis of the Story "The Escape" by William Somerset Maugham

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W.S. Maugham’s stories make exciting reading and give food for reflection The writer is a great master of ironic style. By using a biased 1st person narrator the author pretends to praise and justify what in fact he exposes and condemns. Thus the writer forces the reader to see through this pretence and make his/her own conclusions as to the purport of the work. The story "The Escape" is a fair example of Maugham's ironic style.
The basic theme of the story is marriage in bourgeois society, relations between men and women in connection with problems of marriage. The author tackles a typical phenomenon of modem society - a marriage of convenience. He looks at the variant of a marriage of convenience when a woman is the interested party.
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His hypocrisy knew no bounds when he beseeched Ruth to have patience. He had made her "look at hundreds of houses, climb thousands of stairs, inspect innumerable kitchens”.
Roger's hypocrisy in dealing with Ruth during the househunting is laid bare by means of inner and uttered represented speech. The story-teller inserts into his narrative fragments from Roger's direct speech addressed to Ruth on various occasions. Thus he makes the reader see for himself/herself the glaring discrepancy between Roger's words and actions. Cool-headed and in possession of his senses Roger tortured his victim gently, never failing to give her pet names - "Dear Ruth", "poor dear”. Having defeated his enemy in the battle of wits and endurance Roger felt no pity for his victim. When under the stress of househunting Ruth Barlow took to her bed, "an ever assiduous and gallant” Roger wrote to her every day, telling her "that he had heard of another house for them to look at”, thus finishing her off. When the victim admitted her defeat Roger urgently sent a letter full of hypocritical manifestations of his grief and sorrow. But that was not enough for him. The letter contained a spiteful parting shot charged with venom, which was Ruth's undoing.
Roger's letter is a powerful means of indirect characterization, revealing to the full the true nature of a coot-headed