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W. Somerset Maugham Writing Styles in The Fall of Edward Barnard

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Fall of Edward Barnard.
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Style

Irony

The title of the story "The Fall of Edward Barnard," is ironic. A statement is ironic if its real meaning is different from the one that is asserted on the surface. In this story, the irony unfolds gradually. When the name of Edward Barnard is first mentioned on Bateman's return to Chicago, Bateman's face darkens, and he says to his father, "I'd sooner not speak about him, Dad." At this point the reader has every reason to suppose that something bad has indeed befallen Edward Barnard. But as the hints unfold in Edward's letters, the reader begins to question whether something else may be the case.

At the same time, Maugham sets up another thread of irony in the story, with the introduction of Arnold Jackson. Jackson is another man who has supposedly fallen. Formerly a respected figure in Chicago society, he served time in prison for financial...

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This section contains 758 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Fall of Edward Barnard Study Guide
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The Fall of Edward Barnard from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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