[Read] ➳ The Unconquered ➻ W. Somerset Maugham – Agedanna.info
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Published in House of Books Ltd, New York 1943
W. Maugham is a famous short story writer. I suppose almost everyone knows at least one of his works like “The Facts of Life”, “The Luncheon”, “The Marriage of Convenience” and so on. As for me, I know a lot of stories of Maugham like this one and I can say that I’ve never read the story of his like this before. All the stories of W. Maugham differ so much from “The Unconquered”.
This story is based on real events during the Second World War. It’s about a young woman named Annette and the soldier Hans. It’s a very tragic story which takes place in France in the farm near Soissons. “The unconquered” starts with very dramatic scene of the rape of Annette by Hans. Afterwards Hans feels guilty about what he’s done and goes to their place to give her family some presents and gifts. But when he comes Annette look at him with the eyes blazing with anger. He sincerely doesn’t understand during the whole story why she hates him so much. But how can she forgive the rapist? So, the story develops rapidly and Hand starts to realize that he’s fallen in love with Annette but she doesn’t just dislike him, but hates him with her whole heart. Sooner or later Hans finds out that Annette is pregnant and propose to her but she rejects him yelling. The most intriguing fact that her parents don’t mind of his proposal and even appreciate it. The story ends very tragically. Annette kills her son to hurt Hans as much as she can. And she did it.
In my personal opinion, the story is worth to read. It naturally shows the events of the Second World War to us for full. How people behave in particular situations at that time. But I don’t actually understand the parents’ behavior especially. How could they forgive the foreign soldier who came to their place, raped their daughter and beat the father? It’s something outstanding for me. Of course, we didn’t live at that time and couldn’t understand their way of life but for me it just can’t happen. To speak about Annette’s behavior, I can understand it, she wanted to hurt him and she did it, in terrible way but she did. No one could blame her. To be honest, when Hans started to understand that he loved her I felt a little bit guilt for Annette’s behavior but then I imagined that if I were her, I would never forgive him and even committed suicide after the rape immediately, so she’s very strongwilled woman and in some way a role model.
To sum up, the book’s worth your attention if you aren’t sensitive and susceptible. The style of the author is easy to read and the whole story is short so you can read it during the travel, the break, the lunch and so on. The plot is quiet interesting and it’ll be absolutely capturing for you. The only thing that is unacceptable for me is the relation of Annette’s parents to Hans. In other aspects this story of W. Maugham is one of my favourite since that. Of course, it doesn’t leave positive feelings but it’s just severe life which everyone should know and accept. Think about it.
William Somerset Maugham was an English playwright, novelist, and short story writer. He was one of the most popular authors of his era, and although he did not receive the same critical acclaim as did his modernist contemporaries with their more experimental prose styles, he was reputedly the highest paid of his profession during the 1930s. Maugham's modernism expressed itself not in his literary style, but in the themes of his stories, which demonstrated the disaffection of his characters with the modern world.
"The Unconquered" is a short story that was written in 1943 during the Second World War. It was included in the 1947 collection of Maugham stories Creatures of Circumstance. The novel under the study is based on real historical events of the Second World War. It was terrible period for many countries such as Russia, England, Poland, France and many others. The German fought fierce war. Hitler wanted to be the leader of whole world. The War lasted more than 5 years. It was the greatest World war on the Earth. There were involved many countries, about 65 million of people were died, so much money was spent, many towns and cities were destroyed. And it was the only one war where nuclear weapon was used.
The events of this history take place in France. Two German soldiers stationed at Soissons ask the way at a nearby farm. One of the soldiers named Hans gets drunk, hit farm owners and rapes their daughter Annette. After a while Hans visits the farm to show there is no illfeeling and brings silk stockings as a gift to Annette, but she refuses to accept it. He continues to visit whenever he can and, bringing muchneeded food, gets on friendly terms with the farmer and his wife. Despite this fact, Annette treats Hans extremely unkindly, even contemptuously. Sometimes she just ignores him.
On one visit she tells him she is pregnant. After that Hans realizes that he loves Annette and that he is going to marry her and take over the farm. The farmer and his wife, who have no son to inherit the farm, consent to the idea. But Annette says: "I hate him. I hate his vanity and arrogance.... I think I should die happy if I could find a way to wound him as he's wounded me." This statement shows the true character of Annette: proud and true to her principles. We finally have a complete image of this character. Unlike their daughter the owners of the farm are not so adamant. They don’t mind his proposal to their daughter and starts persuading Annette to accept Han’s offer. They say: "We've been defeated and we must accept the consequences. We've got to make the best arrangement we can with the conquerers." But either Hans and the farmers fails.
Soon after the birth, Hans arrives at the farm again. He cries in joy: "Oh, my God, I'm so happy.... I want to see Annette." But neither Annette nor her son are not there. The voltage builds up. They try to find Annette, but she comes herself, and she has no one in her hands. It turns out that she has drowned the baby in a nearby brook.
The Annette’s deed seems very contradictory. She did as she saw fit. But was it right? From a moral point of view, it's terrible, wrong, cruel and unfair. Murder itself is inhumane, and the murder of a newborn baby is just beyond the bounds of my understanding. Although from the point of view of principles, and especially in the conditions of war, everything becomes more confused. Patriotism, love of the homeland and hatred of the enemy directs the actions of Annette, and she cannot do anything about it. She despises Hans, and so she hates his child, and will hate him all his life. So, could she have lived all her life with this hatred? This is a difficult question. Annette act is broken and devastated, and I don’t think that she will be able to have a normal life. Actually, none of the characters will.
«The Unconquered» touched me to the bottom of my heart. In this story Maugham is ruthless, heartless and at the same time all so ambiguous. Who can decide the fate of a raped woman? Only the woman herself. Can a woman forgive someone who insulted her? It's up to her. Anyway, this story is outstanding and I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to feel the real power of Maugham's prose.
The review by Valeria Sokolyan ,2 "B"
Review of the story by W.S. Maugham
This week I have read the story “The Unconquered” ,which was written by the famous English novelist of the 20th century William Somerset Maugham.
W. S. Maugham was an English novelist, playwright, and shortstory writer whose works are characterized by a clear simple style, and a deep understanding of human nature.
I liked this book very much from the very beginning. First of all,there are a lot of characters and we can watch different temperaments of different nations and characters. Besides, the plot of the story is extremely interesting and intricate. It starts with a situation in the house of the farmers.It was the second World War and two nations were fighting between each other.Dozens people died andI think it is the worst time which the humanity has ever been felt.The author tells us a story about the family of farmers and angry and merciless Germans.It is a story how one day and one event can change your life forever.
The plot is that the young girl was raped by drunk German by accident.Her name was Annet and his one is Hans.The next time Hans visited Annet’s family and tried to reclaim a fault because of his action.It was notso easy because Annet was adamant to Hans’ entreaties.She was too proud and I can understand it because she also had a lover whose name was Pierre Gavin and the girl was going to marry him.Unfortunately,he was killed by enemy soldiers.Of course,Hans was happy of such news but he did not know what the life would prepared for him and which sufferings the life would bring to him.
Later Hans realized he had (?)fallen in love with Annet and he decided to tell her about it.Obviously,Annet flung aside all his decisions because she hated him.The main character was quite conscious they would have a happiness with Annet and their little baby but he was mistaken.
The story has a lot of thrilling episodes. I could not help feeling nervous especially when Hans and his friend forced entrance to the unknown family,made a mess,raped the young virginal girl and beat elderly people.
To cut a long story short,Hans did not know the exactly data of delivery and when he finally back to the village,madame Perier told him that Annet gave a birth and it was a boy. Hans's heart gave a great leap in his breast. He hung his arms round the old woman and kissed madame Perier on both cheeks.He had such a great desire to see his first birth.When they came into there was no one in the room.Later Annet walked in , she was soaked and deathly white.She looked at Hans and when he asked the question about baby she just said she took it down to the brook and held it under water till it was dead.At the moment, Hans gave a great cry, the cry of an animal wounded to death.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the story is rather cruel,exicitng,depressing but believable.I can say she is Nation’s Pride.I can not imagine how strong she was,how many emotions and feelings were inside her.To tell the truth, I could not help crying while reading it.It made me sad and I just retired into myself for some time.But It is a real life and such tragedy can happen.
On the whole the book is good. It is worth reading.If you want to know more about last century’s events and about the strength of women,you should read it.
The most awful thing that may happen with the humanity is a war. It crashes people's fates, changes their natures and affects their lives. This problem is thoroughly described in the story named «The Unconquered» written by William Somerset Maugham, who is better known as W. Somerset Maugham. He was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highestpaid author during the 1930s.
The story tells us about a period when France was defeated by Germany. But this story doesn’t deal with the dreadful tragedy of the whole country. It is about the misfortune of two particular people. One of them is a young woman Annette who was raped by a young drunk german soldier. And the second person is the very rapist. His name is Hans. When he realized what he had done, he tried to apologize to Annette, to make amends, but all his efforts were vain. Pregnant with his child Annette took an offence and killed the baby.
This story is very contradictory. Some people would sympathize with Annette, others would feel sorry for Hans. And some people would also blame Annette , others would accuse Hans. Personally I think that Annete should have forgiven Hans because I believe that every person makes mistakes. And no matter if these mistakes are heavy or not. If person repents sincerely in what he has done, he deserves forgiveness. I think that Annette was a weak, arrogant and cruel girl because she couldn’t forgive Hans and did a heartbreaking thing – she killed her own baby. From my point of view, only strong people could forgive people even if they did a lot of harm to them.
To put it in a nutshell, this story is very sad, but at the same time incredibly strong and dwells upon a lot of important topics.
Recently I have read “The Unconquered” by W. Somerset Maugham. I think the author is wellknown to all of us; he is famous for his plays, novels and especially short stories. But as for me I didn’t like this work of his and I want to tell you why.
The action of the story takes place in France during the Second World War. Two soldiers lose their way and found themselves on a farm, where one of them, Hans, gets drunk and rapes the farmer’s daughter, Annette. After that Hans starts to visit the farm to show that there is no illfeeling. He brings gifts and presents and makes amends with Annette’s parents. But she despises Hans and refuses to eat anything that the soldier fetches. One day Annette tells him that she is pregnant. Hans realizes that he loves her and asks her to marry him. The woman rejects the soldier. She says that she hates him and the child that he has given her and that her country has been defeated, but hasn’t been conquered. When the baby is born, Annette escapes from her house and drowns it in a brook.
To my mind, this is a story about a strong woman. But I do not like that she is independent and willful due to her patriotic feelings. If a woman gets raped, she should not forgive the rapist under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter whether he is one of the conquers of her country or not. It is also not normal for her family to tell her «It's not the first time that's happened to a woman and it won't be the last time». I did not like all the other characters in the story because the parents only care about their farm and who can help them with running it. And I don’t believe that Hans’s feelings for Annette are sincere, it seems for me that he loves only his child.
I personally think that it is great that the story shows such a strongwilled person. But it is important for us to remember that such behavior cannot be excused by war or drinking alcohol. Even nowadays there are countries where the rapist will not be send to prison, if he marries the victim. Raping women is equally awful during both war and peaceful time and marriage or gifts don’t change that. Nevertheless, the story doesn’t tell us that women shouldn’t forgive rapist. It shows how great it is to care about your country and be patriotic and that is the reason why I do not recommend it.
The story “Unconquered” was written by an outstanding English novelist –Somerset Maugham. He became known as an author when In 1907 Maugham's first play, Lady Frederick, was successfully produced. The titles of some of Maugham's early novels were familiar to a whole generation of readers: Of Human Bondage (1915), The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Ashenden: or, The British Agent (1938), and Cakes and Ale: or, The Skeleton in the Cupboard (1930). Productive throughout a long life, Maugham is still well regarded for writing his famous short novels where despite the fact all the actions happen in a short period of time and heroes’ sufferings and thoughts are not described thoroughly, readers can still feel the atmosphere of the book and sympathize with different characters or feel happy for them. One of such novelsis a story “Unconquered’.
This story is based on the real historical events of the 2nd World War. During these times a lot of people were suffering and the hero of this novel isn’t an exception. In this short novel the dramatic destiny of the young French woman– Annette, who was raped by German soldier – Hans, when he was drunk is told. The thing I’ve liked the most in this book is Annete’s character. During the whole story it’s shown that she has been strong enough to see every day the person who abused her, hear his excuses and declaration of love , receive the gifts but still remain adamant in her convictions. Even when her parents resigned themselves to that act, taking into the account circumstances under which that was produced him, Annette still wasn’t going to let him off. Till the end of the story she didn’t resign herself to the conquers and remained faithful both to her motherland, France, and to herself.
The plot was also developed very interestingly when I got to know that the man has really fell in love with this French woman and it has been so exciting to read about the ways he was going to make her believe in his true feelings. But, unfortunately, everything was in vain, as in the book’s finale we see that this hero has neither been apologized no given a chance to become a father( as Annette decided to kill their child).
As for the language of this story, Maugham uses short sentences that make the plot vivid and help a reader to get involved in the atmosphere and follow the development of the story.
All in all, this amazing story describes the life of people during theWW2. He shows that Europeans were suffering a lot and had to overcome a lot of difficulties and try to remain strong and act sensibly. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who desires a real life story and who prefers to read something that force one to think whether the problems he or she has are really serious or they are nothing in comparison with the problems this young French woman and her family had.
In this review I am going to talk about, I can say, one of the best novels I have ever read. The story is written by a wellknown writer of the twentieth century William Somerset Maugham. His father was lawyer of the British Embassy in France. In his childhood he spoke only in French. When his parents died he had moved to England in the age of 11 and he learned the English. It was difficult times for young Somerset, because his uncle (who took him for upbringing) was cruel man. He must also be study at the Royal School of Canterbury, where all children teased him for bad English and short stature. From everyday stresses Maugham began to stutter. So, he decided to go to German. He studied the literature and philosophy there. Later he returned to England.
The works by W.S. Maugham are endlessly amaze me. His language is remarkable and unequalled. I have read a few stories by Maugham but even now I can say that his works are delicate, sharp and psychological. For this moment, «The Unconquered» impressed me best of all.
The novel is based on real historical events of the 2nd World War. It was terrible period for many countries. The main character of the story is a woman called Annette. She is an educated and elegant Frenchwoman, who is faithful to her convictions and motherland. The second character is a German soldier named Hans. He embodies the image of invader both aggressive side of the War and human in general. He behaves disgraceful and blames confusing hard time and set of circumstances. Their paths crossed and left an indelible mark on their hearts. The title of the work reflects the character of the heroine and points out to her credo: "Others may despise me. I will never do anything that can make me despise myself”. A heartbreaking story by Maugham is realistic in its veracity and at the same time tragic in the final. The tragedy perfectly reveals the talent of the writer.
I think that there is no single opinion for the situation. It’s up to anyone whose side to choose. While I was reading the story, there were so many thoughts and feelings in my head and heart. And when I finished reading the book, It took me about two hours to regain consciousness. The story impressed me so much. Everyone has their own truth. As far as I’m concerned Annette should be understood and forgiven, because hatred destroys anyone. There was a difficult situation, a terrible act, horrible events that led to the irreparable effects. I very sympathize with Annette, because the War ruined her life. To my mind, we should not blame the woman, for her life is going to be too difficult and painful and she will carry this cross forever.
So, in my opinion the author wanted to teach us that women can be strong and brave despite the fact that they are considered weaker sex. As the main heroine said: “I am a woman and defenseless”. Unlike her parents, she couldn’t forgive Hans and Germans at all. She was not afraid of him, simply she hated him and all German people, so she hated and her baby too, because it was the part of Hans. He tried to revenge him, to get him feel that she felt. And she could do it when she killed the baby which Hans waited and loved. Her action showed that she didn’t obey Hans and German in generally. She left unconquered.
In conclusion I would like to say that in our society is the same problem. Many people think that if they have force, money, power, they can do all what they want. The hero of the novel – Hans thought so. But it isn’t so – all people receive what they deserve.
If you only start to get acquainted with W.S. Maugham I strongly recommend you to read this novel first. I believe that it will not leave you indifferent.
Sad. The story under the title “Unconquered” was written by a gifted English novelist –William Somerset Maugham. He was born on Jan.25, 1874 in Paris. Somerset Maugham has written 24 plays, 19 novels and a large number of short stories. The most mature period of his life began in 1915, when he published one of his most popular novels. Maugham wants the readers to draw their own conclusion about the characters and events described in his novels. The most prominent works by Somerset Maugham are: "Cakes and Ale", "Theatre", and "The Razor's Edge". One of the most Maugham's dramatic stories is "Unconquered"
This novel is about destiny of young French woman – Annette, who was raped by German soldier – Hans, when he was drunk. Also he beat her parents. Sometime later Hans came to home of Annett’s parents where she lived. He apologized and brought gift for hersilk stockings. Annette didn’t want to see him and said to Hans go away. He had gone. But through 10 days he came again and brought for Annette and her family packet with product. Sooner or later her parents loved Hans. But Annette hated him more and more. One time he came again and wanted to talk with Annette, she said that she pregnant by him. Hans was shocked from that news at that moment he understood that he really fall in love with Annette. He asked her to keep the baby, he said that he loved her, he wanted to marry Annette but she didn’t accept him, she didn’t trust him. In day when she had born the baby she ran away from home. When Hans and her parents found her, she said them that she took baby down in the brook and killed. Hans gave a great cry and went out but Annette felt satisfy and victory. From my point of view, the author wanted to show that women can be strong and brave. Annette wasn't afraid of Hans, she hated him and all Germans, so she hated this baby as well because he was the part of Hans. She tried to hurt him as he hurt her. And she could do it. She left unconquered. The plot of the story is very exciting. It was so interesting to read about development of relations between Hans and young French lady. Unfortunately, everything turned very unexpected. Hans wasn't given a chance to be happy, Annette was adamant. Maugham uses short sentences that makes plot vivid, he also uses lots of descriptions, it helps the reader to enter the spirit of story.
To crown it all, I would like to say that this story left mark on my soul. On the one hand, it shows us a lovestory without happy end. But on the other hand, it's about real life during the Second World War. About French people, who suffered alot but managed to stay strong and free. I believe that Annette is a generalized character of all her countrymen. I would recommend this book to anyone who is fond of historical and realistic novels. It will cut to everyone's hurt and will help to understand people's nature.