The Razor's Edge Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Maugham say he has changed about the real story?

At first, he says he hasn't invented or embellished anything, before retracting that and stating that he changed names and wrote the conversations in his own words. The conversations he was not privy to were based on how he thought the conversations would have gone.

2. What were the author's reservations about writing the book?

The author admits that part of his reservations about writing the novel were that he was writing about people from America, which is almost impossible because a foreigner can never fully understand the effects of growing up in another country.

3. Describe Elliott

Elliott is an American living in Paris, whose social skills enable him to become one of the most popular members of Paris high society. He is a snob but he is also a kind, witty, intelligent man. Elliott has converted from Episcopalian to Catholicism in order to ingratiate himself with additional social groups.

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