William Somerset Maugham — The Moon and Sixpence
In the “The Moon and Sixpence”, Somerset Maugham narrates the story of Charles Strickland, a well off London stock broker who abandons his wife and children in midlife to become a painter. Strickland is convinced that he must paint, despite the fact that he has never done so. Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, Maugham’s characterization of Strickland reveals that the pursuit of his personal artistic vision is not without considerable sacrifice and the callousness of his character often falls under question. Told in Maugham’s absorbing story telling style, the novel gains depth and complexity in revealing the narrator’s struggle to appreciate Strickland’s genuine artistic expression in view of his often incomprehensible behavior.