W.S. Maugham – Charles Strickland character sketch

Charles‘ Strickland character sketch

After having read “The Moon And Sixpense” by W.S. Maugham personally I feel really impressed and I still cannot recover from it. It amazed me much by its mystery and strangeness. The main character Charles Strickland is one of the most fascinating characters I have ever read about. His whole life story can be divided to two basic parts.

In the first part I made a quite different impression of Strickland’s personality than in the second one. As we can see, at first he seemed to be a sensitive, exemplary man and father, remarkably kindhearted, hard-working and highly moral person. He was working for his family and he managed to maintained them for seventeen years! That family didn’t lack anything and everybody could say that they all were happy together, not only from the first sight.

However Nature likes to play sometimes, and in some cases She is so pleased to see her children suffering and in big troubles. Thus Charles’ Strickland happy family life was a target that couldn’t remain as it was before. It was to be destroyed and bring harm and tragedy to other innocent people surrounding him.

So as we see in the second part everything turned upside down. After abandoning his wife and kids, Strickland changed into a very different personality than he was before.

While living with his family being a kind and sensitive man, he became severe, indifferent to everything and everybody. He lived for only satisfying his needs and for…painting. He soon became utterly obsessed by the need to paint, and that obsession led him to do all sorts of socially unacceptable things. He started living pure emotional life. He refused comfort that he couldn’t live without in the past and chose a poor hotel room where he realized his brilliant ideas for painting. Poverty was a trouble for him anymore. Strickland didn’t care about himself much, what brought him to a serious disease, that conditionally changed his life. He didn’t even need love, which he understood as a human weekness. Women were only a temporary entertainment for him; and he hated if any of them wanted to become his friend or adviser, because it seemed silly to him. Charles just enjoyed living on his own, not needing anything or anybody.

Time after time he was becoming more and more rude, unfeeling, callous, untalkative and reserved. He never liked literature so he didn’t express his thoughts well. Though he discovered a way to express himself well – painting. He found means of expression that transcended language.

Charles Strickland lived in a dream and never cared about past and reality. One state that existed to him was forever lasting presend. His whole life was a constant persistant fight against all kinds of difficulties, but many things which seemed to be scaring for many other people, never affected him. Contrarily, the more troubles were oppressing him, the more firm and unshakable he was becoming.

Strickland changed so, that other people could hardly recognise him. These changes codemned him to a life of poverty and disdain by most who knew him. Though he didn’t care about what other people thought about him. However the only thing that didn’t change in him was his boredom, that everybody could notice.

It is rightly said that you know a person form his works. It also fits for Strickland perfectly. As he was a strange and mysterious person, all that could be seen in his paintings. They were really impressive, mysterious and had a smell of some unrevealed secret. That mystery was alluring and torturing. Maybe that was the reason why people were amazed so much by his paintings and kept an opinion that Strickland was a genious.

From the outside Charles was a stalwart, broad-shouldered, stout man, and he looked so constrained in his formal clothes, just like his hobbled soul, that needed to be released.For some people Strickland looked like a primitive man, being untidy and ugly, not caring about himself and others. He even didn’t look as a normal man. But as I have mentioned, other people’s opinion wasn’t interesting for him anymore, as he was living an emotional, strange life, quite different from other normal people and families.

So in conclusion, we can say that Charles Strickland was an admirable villain. Admirable to follow his passions and becoming a genious in his sphere, but a villain because of the way it hurt those around him.