Passion in "The Moon and Sixpence" Book Review by Nicky

Passion in "The Moon and Sixpence"
A review and discussion of Somerset Maugham's book "The Moon and Sixpence".
# 151534 | 929 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Jun 24, 2012 in Literature (English) , Art (General)

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The paper addresses the drive and passion behind Charles Strickland's painting in Somerset Maugham's book "The Moon and Sixpence". The paper goes on to discuss Maugham's message that if someone is to create an artistic masterpiece, passion is a necessity and one must divest oneself of the constraints of Western society and reach into internal primitiveness. The paper also notes Maugham's skills as a storyteller in that he creates an impelling novel and causes the reader to admire Strickland.

From the Paper:

"In his middle-age, Strickland leaves his family behind and moves to Paris to follow his dream of painting. During his years as a painter, he struggles financially and, at times, has little to eat. He also abuses his relationship with his acquaintance, Dirk Stroeve, and eventually dies of leprosy in Tahiti where he continued to pursue his artistic vision. The Moon and Sixpence is to be somewhat based on the life of Paul Gauguin, but it can be said of many other artists who also gave into their passions. Plaut at the Museum of Fine Arts relates that Gauguin's masterpiece "D'ou venons-nous," with its "richness of its color, the subtle unity of its composition, and the absolute significance of its subject matter" (35), is "considered the most complete example of Gauguin's genius as well as one of the outstanding paintings of the last quarter of the nineteenth century" (35). Gauguin could only achieve this level of art, because he was able to free himself from the vulgarity and monotony of the bourgeois life in Paris as he searched for primitive realities and beauty. Gauguin may have been called arrogant, impetuous and indifferent to social conventions (Plaut), but this is what ultimately led to his being able to complete his art."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cordell, Richard. Somerset Maugham at Eighty. College English (1954) 15.4, 201-207
  • Klaus, Jonas. W. Somerset Maugham: An Appreciation. Books Abroad 33.1 (1959), 20-23
  • Maugham, Somerset. The Moon and Sixpence. Encyclopedia of the Self. 1999-2001.
  • Mark Zimmerman. 13, November 2009.
  • Plaut, James. A Gauguin Masterpiece. Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts. 34. 203 (1936), 34-038

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Passion in "The Moon and Sixpence" (2012, June 24) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Passion in "The Moon and Sixpence"" 24 June 2012. Web. 03 December. 2023. <>