Appointment In Samarra Somerset Maugham Analysis Essay

Of course not; according to the White House press secretary, President Bush said only that he was concerned that this not harm German-American relations. The deceptive Bonn propagandist, desperate for support, twisted that innocuous hope into an official regret that would have been both improper and craven. Fortunately for the Federal Republic, the official Kohl-Genscher Government reaction was not West Germany's reaction. After the initial shock, a free national press got to work. The magazine Stern led the way and dug up facts that forced a prosecutor in Offenburg to launch an investigation; he has raided the files of a dozen firms and appears to be on the ball.

Even Der Spiegel, whose publisher at first adopted the Kohl-Genscher line and castigated those who dared remind the world of past German poison gas guilt, has come around. The magazine forthrightly denounced those German businessmen who ''export at all costs to greater prosperity'' when ''tens of thousands of people pay for the exporters' prosperity with their lives.''

What is happening is a realistic re-direction of anger. No longer are messengers of truth damned as troublemakers; millions of free West German citizens see the source of the nation's new shame to be at home, its predations compounded by a see-no-evil officialdom. Many Germans still resent hectoring from abroad -that's understandable - but that no longer paralyzes a probe.

This sober second thought could be the best thing to happen in Central Europe since the end of World War II. National attention is not fixed on absolution from past sins, but on solution to present sins. If Germans take the lead in choking off death-dealing exports (especially involving missile technology, next in need of investigation) they will gain self-respect and win world respect.

The point is not to tempt Fate by running from responsibility. Germans are not inexorably fated to be villains; they can take a moral stand and wind up as heroes.

The title of John O'Hara's book was taken from an ancient tale recounted by Somerset Maugham and shortened here:

A young servant saw Death, dressed in a shroud, gesture toward him in the marketplace in Baghdad. The servant raced home, told his master of the frightening encounter, and pleaded ''Give me your fastest horse and I will flee to Samarra, where Death will not find me.''

The master, after letting the boy race to Samarra on his horse, went to the marketplace, saw Death in the corner and accosted him. ''My servant is young and healthy - why did you beckon to him?''

''I did not beckon,'' said Death. ''Mine was a gesture of surprise. I did not expect to see him this afternoon in Baghdad - because tonight, he and I have an appointment in Samarra.''

Continue reading the main story

In the fable Appointment in Samarra by W. Somerset Maugham, Death (the narrator) tells a sardonic story about a merchant’s servant who tries to avoid his appointment to meet Death by fleeing to Samarra.   Instead of fleeing from his grim meeting with Death he runs straight to Samarra where Death scheduled their meeting.   A fable is a brief story that sets forth some pointed statement of truth. (“Fable, Parable, and Tale” 4) This fable presents the statement of truth that Death’s appointments are inevitable. To reach this truth the reader must first analyze the narrator (Death); of which the writer represents Death as a human and a woman. ("Appointment in Samarra" 4)
At the very beginning of the passage the author states “Death Speaks.” ("Appointment in Samarra" 4) In these two words the author is showing the reader that Death is not just a force of nature but a human. This is a form of personification, or “a figure of speech where an animal, thing, or an abstract term is endowed with human characteristics.” ("Personification" G22) Death is portrayed as human to help create a tangible connection between mankind and the force of Death. Maugham suggests Death is human by placing her in a setting of the market place. In the market place the author sketches a setting where only the servant is being jostled by Death. The story even states that Death was “standing in the crowd” at the marketplace; this suggests that Death blends in with the other humans to the extent that no one else noticed she was there (as well as the servant) until she jostled him. Correspondingly, this fable states that Death can be approached, sought out, and conversable.   For example when the merchant seeks out Death to ask her why she gave a threatening gesture towards his servant and Death answers him. This shows that Death is willing to have a conversation and act like an average human. ("Appointment in Samarra" 4)  
Long before the 1930’s women have been viewed as the weaker sex. They have...

Show More

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *