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An Analysis of William Somerset Maugham’s Sexual Prejudice in The Moon and Sixpence

Lu Wang


The Moon and Sixpence, written by William Somerset Maugham, is a highly infl uential novel. Maugham employs the first-person narrative technique in this work and portrays three female charac ters. Due to the limitations of the era and the influence of his personal experiences, Maugham possessed a particular bias against women. This bias is also evident in his depiction of female characters in The Moon and Sixpence. Through a feminist lens, this essay aims to analyze the author’s portrayal of the characters and their perspectives on life, revealing the author’s prejudice towards women. The essay comprises of four chapters: Chapter One serves as an introduction, highlighting the purpose and significance of the essay. Additionally, it provides background information on the author and outlines the main content of the novel. Chapter Two explicitly analyzes Maugham’s perception of women as portrayed through the three female characters in The Moon and Sixpence. It delves into the prejudice against women and explores the reasons behind this discrimination, including familial influences, the impact of marriage, and other societal factors. Chapter Three elaborates on the practical significance of examining Maugham’s bias and prejudice against women in The Moon and Sixpence. It aims to raise women’s independent conscious and promote gender equality. Lastly, Chapter Four concludes the essay by summarizing the perspectives and main content discussed.


The Moon and Sixpence; Female chara cters; Sexual discrimination; Independent consciousness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/ahe.v7i23.9862