The Moon and Sixpence

” The world is hard and cruel. We are here none knows why, and we go none knows whither. We must be very humble. We must see the beauty of quietness. We must go through life so inconspicuously that Fate does not notice us. And let us seek the love of simple, ignorant people. Their ignorance is better than all our knowledge. Let us be silent, content in our little corner, meek and gentle like them. That is the wisdom of life.”

 Finishing this masterpiece by Maugham was never a cinch. Montage of human emotions, dialectic of the plot and the jargon floundered its completion. Title of the book inspired from the quote “Like so many young men he was so busy yearning for the moon that he never saw the sixpence at his feet ” clearly portrays the Strickland’s dilemma of choosing among the emotionally attachment to his better half(sixpence) or to leave her and pursue a life of pure aesthetic elegance       ( The moon).

Told episodically, with a saga of  events revolving around Strickland, Maugham presents an insight in the heart and soul of  the main character (Strickland) and his transformation towards a callous existence. The inspiration of the story was Paul Gauguin, the originator of the primitive art. The novel presents an eccentric point of view that reflects those moments of  non- prejudicial thinking where a genius transients his short term goals for an epoch. Loosing the ability to be sentient and eschewing of panache are described as the presage for such an elevation of mind. Maugham makes an exquisite illusory comparison of shedding of the leaves for a distant spring , in this regard.  

The book follows Strickland and his work from France to Tahiti, where the story ends. Strickland’s unwillingness to compromise for his pursuit of art is implausible.Living in penury, denigrated by the society with a proof of his existence nearly effaced, he starts abashing anyone and everyone who tries to come close to him, which includes his purveyors and even those whom he beseech. 

Like every other classic, it too presents the entry of a mellifluous young charming lady who leaving her equanimity becomes his minion and her own personality becomes a vile minuscule existence. 

The book ends with the note  Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem “. 


# It was my 2nd classic.

# Incase you have read it, F. Scott Fitzgerald is the next author in the series.

# In a period of last 2 months, i have read a lot. A lot of Book reviews are on their way.

#If nobody spoke unless he had something to say, the human race would very soon lose the use of speech. – The Painted Veil

# And I have nothing to say  😛

#Song of the day – You are Beautiful – James Blunt

#Tchao !!!!


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