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What are our first impressions of the Davidsons from the opening pages of Rain by W. Somerset Maugham.

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Rain by W. Somerset Maugham Our impression of the Davidson's. Task: What are our first impressions of the Davidsons from the opening pages of Rain by W. Somerset Maugham. Rain, by W. Somerset Maugham. If you were to type this information, these few words into a search engine on the internet, one such as 'Goggle', you would find a huge amount of information. This may not be surprising to some people, due to the huge amount of advertising that this technology has received. However, the mass array of information that would come up; is around three thousand nine hundred web sites, all about Somerset Maugham, and his short story Rain. This gives us an indication about how popular this story was, and, how it is. 'Rain' by Somerset Maugham was also turned into an hour and a half movie in 1932; another indication of its popularity. But we have to ask the question, why is this short story, part of a collection of books (sold as The Trembling of a Leaf in 1921, and now as The Collected short stories Volume 1) such a popular story? The way that Somerset Maugham is so experienced, in writing as well as life, as many know of his exciting and eventful life, of a spy for British Military Intelligence (MI6), a surgeon, working in the Red cross, and much more, is reflected in his writing. The way that Somerset describes medical conditions for example; shows that he has training in Medicine. Also, due to the fact that 'Rain' is a short story, everything that is said, in dialogue or in description is there for a reason. The way that W. Somerset Maugham describes the characters is skilful, because it is done in quite a fast way to save more time for the actual plot, but the reader does not immediately pick up on this while reading the story for pleasure. He also describes characters in a very descriptive fashion, and uses interesting words for dramatic effect. ...read more.


'"But among white people it's not quite the same," she went on,' This quote is from when the doctor and Mrs. Davidson are talking about marriage customs. The way she talks about white people being different is a very racist attitude I feel. She also has a very snobbish attitude, and at one point she will not even say the word feet. '"This is the season for them. When you're asked to a party at Government House at Apia you'll notice that all the ladies are given a pillow-slip to put their - their lower extremities in."' This is from when she is talking about mosquitoes and how to cover their feet. The first time that Mr. Davidson is introduced is in the 6th page of the story. We are told about his views and what he says by his wife, but we are not actually introduced to him until this page. From what Mrs. Davidson talks about him, the reader already has an impression that he is very unsociable, committed to his work, and that he thinks very highly of himself. 'He had been polite enough to the Macphails during the journey, but he had not his wife's sociability, and had spent much of his time reading.' This confirms the readers (assumed) impressions of Mr. Davidson. This quote confirms that he is a very unsociable person, and the way it says that he was 'polite enough', hints to the reader that he did not enjoy socialising with the Doctor and his wife. The next few sentences build up to the reader an image of what Mr. Davidson looks like. Somerset Maugham uses very interesting language, and by the end of the few sentences, it is quite repulsive to think of the image of Mr. Davidson. 'He was a silent, rather sullen man, and you felt that his affability was a duty that he imposed upon himself Christianly; he was by nature reserved and even morose.' ...read more.


'"It's early to go to bed yet, isn't it?" said the doctor. "We have a good deal of reading to do," explained Mrs. Davidson. "Wherever we are, we read a chapter of the Bible before retiring for the night and we study it with the commentaries, you know, and discuss it thoroughly. It's a wonderful training for the mind."' This shows that the Davidsons seem to rarely be intimate. We also get the impression that Mrs. Davidson herself is quite timid of her husband. '"It would be a brave man who tried to stand up against Mr. Davidson," said his wife, tightening her lips.' The way that Mrs Davidson tightens her lips, I think, makes her sound quite afraid of her husband. In conclusion, the way that Somerset Maugham can write is amazing, it is no doubt that this story was the base of a feature film. The way that character descriptions are written is very clever, and the use of emotive language, similes, and the use of longing images to keep the character in the readers mind, is a very good use of English. The image of Mrs. Davidson is one of a very judgemental, critical, and snobbish woman. She is very stuck in her ways, and will not change. She is also very serious, and shows this by her clothing and jewellery, and likes to think of herself as sophisticated, and shows this in the way that she styles her hair. Mr Davidson has an image of a very unsociable, abrupt, ugly, frightening character. The image that Somerset Maugham gives us while describing him is a very thin, pale, unhealthy, ill person with very strange features. As a couple, I think that they do not love each other, but I do feel that Mrs Davidson has respect for her husband. I think that they are too headstrong to admit that their marriage is not working, and would not split up the God binding marriage that they have between each other. B Grade AS English- W. Somerset Maugham - Rain ...read more.

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