Mrs. Strickland’s Personality in William Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence—from the Perspective of Feminist Criticism

  •  Yanli Han    
  •  Malini N. G. Ganapathy    


The Moon and Sixpence is one of the representative works by the British writer Maugham. The novel vividly portrays several well-defined female characters, with particular attention given to Mrs. Strickland. The purpose of this article is to analyze the personality of Mrs. Strickland from a feminist perspective and explore the causes behind these traits. It aims to aid readers to understand women’s survival tactics in the patriarchal society of the 1920s, contemplate the challenges faced by women in their work and family lives in nowadays, and reflect upon the state of gender equality in society and personal life. The main findings may be summarized that: Mrs. Strickland is a capable, shrewd, and empathetic woman, yet patriarchal traditions and conservative beliefs simultaneously influenced her, resulting in her internal conflicts and ambivalent opinions, while the formation of her personality is caused not only by Maugham’s own belief and deliberate portrayal of women but also by the limitations of the era. In a traditional patriarchal society, not only were women’s living spaces constricted and dominated by males, but they also deliberately underestimated their own status and abilities. Although some women owned talent and capability, their development was restricted if society did not provide them with opportunities to highlight their strengths. Women in nowadays must change their mindset to believe in themselves and work hard to prove their capability and independence. Meanwhile the society need to supply females with better living space and more opportunities for them to display their talents.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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