Writing Techniques in The Razor's Edge

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The Razor's Edge advances Maugham's art of fiction in two significant ways. He continues to rely heavily on natural dialogue and dramatic encounters, but as he was living in the United States while writing the novel, he makes use of Americans for characters.

Stylistically, this means American speech, just as in Liza of Lambeth (1897) his characters spoke Cockney dialect.

Maugham's most ambitious attempt to record American speech is especially apparent in the colloquial expressions of Gray Maturin.

A further development concerns the method of narration. From the early 1920s, Maugham used in his fiction either a character as his spokesman or a character-narrator who closely resembles the author. The third person omniscient thus becomes a first person narrator and at times a participant. In The Razor's Edge, this character is "Mr. Maugham," a world-famous writer.

While he does not shape the events, this Maugham persona does involve himself in...

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This section contains 192 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Razor's Edge Study Guide
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