Maugham The Verger | An Analytical Study


Maugham The Verger | An Analytical Study

S. Maugham's Short Story 'The Verger' -An Analytical Study

Maugham The Verger | An Analytical Study

Maugham The Verger | An Analytical Study

The Verger’ is an English short story by Somerset Maugham (1874- 1966), a storyteller, novelist, dramatist and essayist. This short story deals with the theme of the sufferance of a subordinate official under a proud and arbitrary superior official.

It is a short story that seems to deal with two episodes of a person. It is a story of a verger (a church official whose duty is to take care of the interior of a church) named Albert Edward Foreman. He is a verger at St. Peter’s Neville Square Church. He had been serving there as a verger for sixteen years satisfactorily. He was illiterate but was dutiful and sincere. Once, a new vicar was appointed there. He was of a strange demeanour. The new vicar having come to know that the verger was an illiterate person called in him and said that it was a disgrace for such a reputed church to keep an illiterate person like the verger. So the vicar gave him three months within which the verger should learn how to write and read. Otherwise, he must go. The verger said, “I’m too old a dog to learn new tricks.” After a month he resigned from his post. 

The second episode of the same verger begins as a businessman. Though he was disheartened he lent a stall beside a long street where there was not a shop of fags and tobaccos. He soon rose in the business. Then within some years he opened half a dozen shops and began to run by managers. Every weekend he visited the shops collected the profits and deposited them in the bank. After ten years of his business, one day the manager of his bank called in him and asked him how he earned such an amount of huge money and suggested him to invest the money for better profit. But when he had to sign the document then the bank manager was amazed to know that the verger was illiterate. He had only learned to write his name after he opened his business. Before he came to business, he was the verger of St. Peter’s Neville Square Church.

The main character of the story is Albert Edward Foreman. He is a good, dutiful sincere vicar. He worked sixteen years as a verger in the St. Peter Neville Square Church and with his duty, he satisfied all. But later on, he become the victim of the new vicar and had to resign from his job.

The second character of the story is the vicar. He is a man of special demeanour. He is very attentive to maintaining his self-status. He showed his displeasure with the illiterate verger and consequently the verger had to give up his job.

The story is loose in Structure. The first episode bears too prolix exposition. It has neither complication nor falling action but the only climax. The climax reaches when the verger told him that he would have to leave his job unless he learns reading and writing within three months. In the second episode, there is only exposition and climax.

The Setting of the story is consistent with the situation and in delineating the setting the author has succeeded praiseworthily. The custom of the church and the manners of the church officials are vividly portrayed. 

The Method of Narration of the story is objective as the author portrays his characters and expresses the mental conditions of his characters objectively.

The Dialogues in the story are very sparing but prolific. Every dialogue pushes the story ahead and unfolds the inner motives of his characters.

The Philosophy of Life which is also considered to be a component element of a good story is not apparent in the story. But it may be drawn out from the story that the subordinate officials often become the victim of haughty and arbitrary superiors. Besides this, the verger’s life as a businessman shows that illiteracy is not a barrier to those who are sincere and dutiful. 

The Linguistic Style of the story is something quaint and complex and far from being refined.

In Length the story falls in the mediocre- neither very short nor long. In a word to say, it is a short story of ideal length. The analysis of the various aspects of the story done above shows that it is a good short story in theme but structurally and linguistically a quaint one. 0 0 0.

Maugham The Verger | An Analytical Study

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N. B. This article entitled ‘Maugham The Verger | An Analytical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘World Short Story Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus. Maugham The Verger | An Analytical Study

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period

Books on Linguistics by M. Menonimus:

  1. A Brief History of the English Language
  2. Essays on Linguistics
  3. My Imageries
  4. Felicitous Expression: Some Examples
  5. Learners’ English Dictionary

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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