Appointment in Samarra

Death in W. Somerset Maugham's very short story "The Appointment in Samarra" is a woman who seems to be matter-of-fact about her "work," which in this case specifically involves keeping an "appointment" with a servant. Maugham's Death is not fleshed out, so to speak, in part because of the brief nature of the story. It is not even a story, but rather a fable, as long as a joke, although not the sort of joke the reader will likely laugh at.

The feeling given by the tale is a cold one, but also one eased by a sense of the inevitability of death and the sense that no matter what we do, when it is our time to keep our appointment, it will be kept, however we might try to avoid it. Maugham's Death, then, draws on the feelings and thoughts of the reader with respect to death, and uses those pre-existing feelings and thoughts to ground his rather thin message about death's inescapability.

The oddest aspect of Maugham's Death is the fact that the merchant and the servant both knew Death on sight. It might be expected that the servant, about to die, would recognize Death and would even misinterpret Death's surprised look as "threatening." It seems strange, however, hat the merchant could simply go to the marketplace and immediately recognize Death. Does this mean that any individual could recognize Death wandering about in the marketplace, but that they were not afraid unless she gave them what they interpreted as a threatening gesture? It is a peculiar and unlikely touch to the



Related Essays

Effects of Cromer Appointment to Egypt Effects of Cromer Appointment to Egypt. .... THE APPOINTMENT OF GENERAL GORDON General Charles Gordon was a hero to the British public. .... (3846 15 )

"A Broken Appointment" "A Broken Appointment". .... In "A Broken Appointment," time is personified as an enemy, "marching Time," and it wears the speaker out as he waits in vain. .... (558 2 )

Police Chief Qualifications .... OF QUALIFICATIONS: AMERICAN CHIEF OF POLICE AND BRITISH SENIOR POLICE ADMINISTRATOR This research compares the qualifications required for appointment as an .... (2461 10 )

Information Flow for Patient Records .... At this point, the receptionist may either make an appointment for the patient to visit the clinic, or, if the patient needs to speak with either the nurse or .... (1491 6 )

Managerial Authority .... Leadership The essential style of organizational leadership practiced in the pediatric intensive care unit prior to the appointment of the new supervisor was .... (4411 18 )

Category: Literature - A
Common Topics
Click Here to Get Instant Access to over 32,000 Professionally Written Papers!!!
Join Now  
Saved Papers  
Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly!
"Great site, I got a lot of new ideas I would have never thought of before."
Nate A.
"I love this site!!!"
Marie H.
"Thank you for making such a high quality site! Your papers are the best I have seen around"
Debbie B.
"Your site was very helpful and gave me the details I needed in order to complete my essay!!!"
Mike F.
"This site is an excellent vehicle for quick referrences. Thanks a bunch!"
Carla T.
Copyright © 2007 - 2014 Lots of Essays. All Rights Reserved. DMCA