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Somerset Maugham`s Work “The Man With the Scar” Essay

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Updated: Nov 16th, 2021

The Man with the Scar by “Somerset Maugham “is a short story that describes the life of a war veteran, who seemingly makes a living by selling lottery tickets but in reality, does all this to grab adequate attention to procure a free drink. The man is indeed a war veteran as his scar is symbolic of a knife wound that has been either inflicted by a saber or the fragment of a shell. He is also fairly fond of a free drink and is always in the bar in the evenings with a clear intention of obtaining a free drink. Hence, the sale of lottery tickets is a farce, which in reality is a symbolic representation of his quest to obtain a free drink from strangers.

The tone of the story is fairly pleasant and soothing while the style is narrative. There is ample description regarding the man’s scar, his general appearance as well as his facial features. The author has tried to depict the irony through the mediums of the lottery tickets and free drinks. Over here, it is ironic to witness that the man with the scar is in reality selling lottery tickets to get a free drink at the bar. He is therefore not a seasoned salesman but a drunkard, who aspires to get his daily dose of free drinks by pretending to sell lottery tickets while striking conversations with strangers in a bid to achieve his goal. The point of view of the story is to express the innermost desires of a war veteran, which in this case happens to be his addiction and passion for obtaining free drinks from a local bar.

The theme of the story, “The Man With The Scar” by Somerset Maugham, is to express the author’s image of an alcoholic through the means of the man with a scarface. The plot also revolves around the man with the scar. The author, through the mediums of irony and symbolism, tries to showcase the hidden motive of the main character, the man with the scar, which has been hidden under the veils of the lottery tickets. While in reality, the man with the scar simply strikes conversations with strangers and on the pretext of selling lottery tickets, succeeds in narrating a story or two, mostly his war escapades.

The form and setting of the story are in a bar, which again is symbolic to the main character, the man with the scar. It is ironic that the main character of the story manages to attract the likes of a stranger and forces them, through the means of his narrative genius, to part with a glass of two free drinks in return. The man with the scar is indeed a war veteran, who was focused on his single-minded aim of procuring a free drink, for which he apparently lived.

Hence, the moral of the story is that an individual can go to any extent to achieve his goals, although his goals are directed towards his construction or destruction. The narrative of the story is flawless while the character sketch is a masterpiece in itself. The man with the scar has been described in a way which only a seasoned author like Summerset Maugham could manage.

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