The Mythological Connotation of The Moon and Sixpence毕业论文_英语毕业论文

The Mythological Connotation of The Moon and Sixpence毕业论文


摘 要

《月亮与六便士》是英国小说家威廉·萨默赛特·毛姆的创作的长篇小说, 作品以法国印象派画家保罗·高更的生平为素材,描述了思特里克兰德绝弃了旁人看来优裕美满的生活,奔赴南太平洋的塔希提岛,把生命的价值全部注入绚烂的画布的故事。作品表现了天才、个性与物质文明以及现代婚姻、家庭生活之间的矛盾,对人性进行了犀利地解剖,混合着看客讪笑的幽默和残忍的目光。本文将运用罗兰巴特的神话学理论,对小说《月亮和六便士》进行分析。通过探讨罗兰·巴特对 “神话”的解构,同时创造性地指出言谈是具有阶级意识形态的工具,具体分析了毛姆是如何运用隐喻等手法丰富了作品的层次和美学价值,从而表达了他对现实主义的坚持是其对现实世界的反驳。



The Moon and Sixpence is a novel written by the British novelist William Somerset Maugham. Based on the life of the French impressionist painter Paul Gauguin, it describes the story of Strickland, who abandoned the rich life in other people’s eyes, went to Tahiti, and devoted all of his life value into the gorgeous canvas. The Moon and Sixpence expresses the contradiction between genius, personality, material civilization, and family life, dissecting human nature sharply with the ridiculous humor and cruel glances of the spectators. This paper will adopt Roland Barthes’s mythological theory to analyze the novel The Moon and Sixpence. By discussing Roland Barthes’s deconstruction of “myth” and creatively pointing out that speech is a tool with class ideology, this thesis specifically analyzes how Maugham enriched the level and aesthetic values of his works by using metaphor and other means, thus expressing that his insistence on realism is actually his refutation of the real world.

Key Words: William Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, Roland Barthes, Mythological Theory


  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 4
    1. The Definition of Myth 4
      1. As a Semiotic System 4
      2. Development of Mythology 6
    2. Myth as Means of Presenting Inner Voice 7
      1. Caution and Restraint 8
      2. Dream and Reality 10
    3. The Reflection of Myth in life 11
      1. For Moral Education 12
      2. For the Realism 14
  3. Conclusion 16

Works Cited 18

Bibliography 19

The Mythological Connotation of The Moon and Sixpence

  1. Introduction

William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), one of the 20th century’s greatest British writers, was known as one of the best storytellers of his era. He was also reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s. After his parents’ death in his childhood, Maugham was sent to the UK, where he was raised by an emotionally distant-paternal uncle.

Although Maugham’s childhood was difficult, his early challenges strengthened his resolve. During the First World War, he volunteered for the Red Cross as an ambulance driver, and also worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service in Switzerland and Russia. He visited places such as India and Southeast Asia during the war, which provided material for his later literary works. His novel The Moon and Sixpence was published in 1919 and is narrated in first person in a series of episodes. It depicts the mentality and outlook of the main character Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker who suddenly abandons his wife and children so he can become an artist. The novel repeatedly uses metaphors to express his dissatisfaction and sarcasm regarding the general mood of the society.

Maugham’s works are absent from Western contemporary literary criticism, and the evolution from modern to postmodern novels is subjective to the instability of his text. In addition, the famous American literary critic Joseph Epstein asked in the mid-1980s if it was worthwhile to read Maugham’s work and believed that Maugham’s

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