Rain Social Concerns

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The short story "Rain" illustrates Maugham's inclination to satirize middle- and upper-class Englishmen, especially when they find themselves in an exotic setting. In this story, two professionals, a doctor and a missionary clergyman, are stranded briefly in Samoa owing to a quarantine of their ship. The English sense of propriety, order, and social class are objects of gentle, minor satire in the story.

More significantly, the story represents an instance of character as destiny, with the life of the clergyman ending tragically. Of the professionals in Maugham's fiction, medical doctors come off rather well, perhaps because Maugham himself studied medicine and identifies with them. More probably, however, he concludes that the clinical detachment necessary to their occupation colors their overall thinking about life, endowing them with a generous measure of tolerance, and this Maugham finds appealing. Lawyers come off somewhat less well, although they are generally favorably depicted...

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This section contains 171 words
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Buy the Rain Study Guide
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