Writing Assignment:
List biographical information about the author which you believe is relevant for understanding the story (use bullets). Then write a short text which explains how the points you have listed are relevant to the story.

· W. Somerset Maugham was born in 1874,
· When both of his parents died, he was send to be raised by an uncle in England.
· Maugham studied medicine in London; during he worked in Slums there.
· In the period of the First World War he worked in the Red Cross in France, where he met an American, Gerald Haxton, his later secretary.
· In 1915 he had an affair with Syrie Wellcome, but known to her, he continued the relationship with Haxton.
· After World War One he travelled a lot in the Far East and other parts of the globe.
· In 1927 he separated with Syrie
· He died in 1965
external image 220px-Maugham.jpg
A lot of his work at the time after the Second World War (including “The force of Circumstance”, which was published in 1926) revolves around marriage as a social contract: its benefits – comfort and security – and disadvantage – a loss of freedom and the absence of passion. His work is set in remote locations of the decaying British Empire. He also wrote about the colonies he had met and there are a lot of parallels between his life and his stories.

o Marriage as a social contract:
Benefits: They live in their own house, understand each other and live in harmony
Disadvantages: They don't speak about their past.

o Social taboo:
It is forbidden to speak or to ask about the father of half-casted children and the homosexuality.
o Stories set in remote locations of the decaying British Empire:
It's an isolated place, far away of social life
He travelled between Sembulu and Britain
He entered the same job as his father
In the place there is no care for children

o Critical of the emptiness of colonial life:
It is a very sad atmosphere
They live alone and have no contact to natives
The only excitement is the arrival of the steamer