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Of human bondage novel

For English readers, this is a Bildungsroman we mostly first encounter as adolescents.

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It earns its place in this list for the edgy economy of its dark, often cruel narrative more than its style prosaic or its humanity tormented. Maugham's unforgettable portrait of Philip Carey is one that teenagers, typically, novel ingest like junkies, not least because Maugham poured so much of himself into the plot of the bondage and its strangely sympathetic protagonist.

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Perhaps not since David Copperfieldan obvious inspiration No 15 in this serieshad an English writer mined his bondage life so explicitly or so ruthlessly. Philip Carey is an orphan human for love and experience.

Of Human Bondage

Like Maugham, who was a homosexual with a bad stammer, he is afflicted novel a disabling deformity, a club foot. Raised by his clergyman uncle, the boy is imprisoned in late-Victorian vicarage life dreaming of his release from bondage, and praying to an her firts anal sex God to have his disability healed. After a closely observed passage through boarding school, Philip escapes to study in Heidelberg, enjoys a brief spell as a struggling but human artist in Paris, and then returns home.

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Now begins the most poignant and memorable passage of the novel, Carey's hopeless affair with Mildred, a waitress. Maugham was a self-hating homosexual, and his picture of Mildred as Philip's love-object reflects the trials of a young gay man in the aftermath of the Oscar Wilde case.

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