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Question 1 

(a) Dicuss the theme of love and affection as depicted in the story ‘Salvatore’.{8}

In the short story ‘Salvatore,Maugham introduces to the readers a very ordinary fisherman
and his ordeals in life.The story itself is named after the fisherman,Salvatore-a simple man
who lives in a small island of Italy named-Ischia.Maugham hesitantly begins the story with
words”I wonder if I can do it.”Though convinced about the theme of his story,Somerset
seems to hesitate whether he will be able to retain the attention of his readers with such a
simple theme or concept.
The story of’Salvatore’is of the ordinary circumstances that every man faces in his life.
Salvatore is rooted from his humble daily routine of fishing and nursing after his younger
brothers to serve the army of the King.During his tenure in the army he falls prey to chronic
theumatism and is discharged from the army’s services.Upon his return from the army,he
loses his sweetheart who refuses to marry a man”who would never be strong enough to
work like a man.”His life topples completely and is wrought with misfortune.Despite the
unfortunate circumstances Salvatore remains steadfast to the goodness within him and does
not complain or blame anyone for his life’s mishappenings.Salvatore takes everything in his
stride and learns to cope up with the situation at hand.
Somerset,through the life of Salvatore tries to highlight that life is full of unhappy situations
and it seldom turns out to be what one expects.In times of such hardships man should carry
on to lead the right path of goodness and the right path to a good character is in the inherent
goodness and only the goodness of man.
The theme of goodness is very effectively played upon by the author throughout.Salvatore
is forced to join his army against his will and be”at the beck and call of others.”Salvatore’s
goodness come across when we find that he does not complain about the high handedness
of the King’s decision to have every young man serve in the army.He leaves his free will to
travel to Spezzia,Venice,and Bari following orders and finds himself mysteriously ill for
months.Despite the doctors’constant words that he”would never be again quite well,”
Salvatore sees the good in this situation and refuses to complaint or sob on his ill-fortune.
His goodness allows him to see the brighter of the same incident-his exultation from the
army and his reunion with his family and sweetheart in his fairytale island.
We find Salvatore heartbroken when his sweetheart rejects him because of his permanent
illness but he does not utter a word against the girl or the army,the King,the illness that
brought him to this situation in life.He accepts everything,understanding everyone’s
situation and respecting everyone’s decision.Maugham clearly says,”He did not complain
and he never said a hard word.”
Salvatore accepts the marriage proposal of a woman,named,Asunta who is as ugly as the
devil.He is informed that she has fallen in love with him and seems to respect her feelings.
They lived a hard life with rheumatism preventing him from doing anything.Yet Salvatore
makes the most out of his life with his cheerful acceptance of any situation that life throws
on his face.His integrity and his innate goodness shone in him with a radiance.Somerset,through the tale of Salvatore dictates the importance of goodness in each man’s life.The goodness of characters allows man to rise from humble beginnings,face the trial and tribulations of life to lead a life of satisfaction.

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 (b) According to the author of the story which one quality shone with the radiance in salvatore ? give reasons to support your answers.{6}

W. Somerset Maugham is an incredible author known for the parables he creates in his short stories. His parables have always been a way of dictating moral lessons of life or life’s greater good that every man possesses. Salvatore, written by Maugham, is in similar fashion highlighting that goodness is a remarkable character trait that allows man to surpass his ordinary troubles to live a life of meaning and satisfaction. Maugham though hesitant of being able to hold the attention of his readers on a concept that is about “goodness, just goodness,” that too a quality in an ordinary young man, nonetheless is convinced by the end that the world is sure to accept a man with the rarest quality, the most precious and the loveliest one that is the inherent goodness in the man’s character. Somerset’s Salvatore is an ordinary fisherman living on a small island of Italy named Ischia. His childhood is spent in freedom lying on the beach every morning doing next to nothing. His carefree childhood was definitely laced with responsibility as Salvatore was the nursemaid of his two younger brothers. This same responsibility of nursing is seen when he is bathing his children with “delicate care.” Salvatore was not only responsible in meeting out his duties but was also aware of the responsibility that came in life with tough decisions. His ordeals though are ordinary, his sense of responsibility is way too extraordinary. This we came across in his decision of marrying Assunta, an ugly woman whom he despised. But remaining true to his decision, he upholds the decision of his marriage with the most beautiful manners. Salvatore is different from the rest and this is distinctively brought out in all the trials of his life. In all situations he remains committed to his goodness, remaining stoic throughout. Whether it is the first blow of joining the army, leaving his world behind or the acceptance of his chronic disease that would never allow him to be fit again. In all of these situations, Salvatore refuses to bow down and goes on to conquer and live a life that he could have never imagined. Though it was a hard life for him, nonetheless he faces it with complete grit and determination and the most beautiful manners that he possessed. Salvatore’s sensitivity touches the heart of the readers and this comes across when he, as a dejected lover, cries his heart out on his mother’s bosom. He is gentle, sweet and a man of feelings, yet he never allows his sensitivity to overpower him. Wrought in the worst situations of life he rises up to all occasions because he had the strength and endurance of a fisherman. His eyes spoke about his sadness and heavy heart yet he never complained or bad mouthed in any situation letting down his character. He always had a pleasant word to say about everyone. Never ever does Salvatore wallow in self-pity. Though life never works according to his plans and imagination, he lives a life for himself with his brave decisions and goodwill. He does not sit over the rejection of his lover and moves on in life to marry Assunta an ugly lady but with love and devotion for her that could keep her happy. By adjusting to situations and moulding his goodness every time, he is able to enjoy life and make the most out of it. He enjoys his job as a fisherman, has a devoting wife and two children who spells out the perfect life for him. And at the end all of this is possible for Salvatore due to his most precious and loveliest quality–goodness. Salvatore, isn’t dynamic but even in his stoicism he faces life with cheerful acceptance and integrity. Maugham holds Salvatore up to the reader as an example of pure radiance and goodness and as someone who should be emulated in dealing with the trials and tribulations of life. His goodness just goodness inspires the author to draw the portrait of the man and present it to his readers. Salvatore isn’t afraid of the hard life and this is seen in his actions. Despite fighting a chronic illness like rheumatism, he never shied away from working hard to support his family. He worked on the vineyards as well as went for fishing in the season, he worked from “dawn till the heat drove him to rest and then again. Salvatore though a very ordinary man rises due to his good manners and that alone is the moral lesson that the writer aims to provide and admires about the character of the story.

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(C) How apt is the title of the story ‘Salvatore’ ?{6}

 The title of the story Salvatore by William Somerset Maugham is direct and apt.
The title tells us that the narrative to follow would be about Salvatore,the main
character around whom the story revolves.In fact,Salvatore is a popular Italian
name which means”saviour”。Literally”saviour”is someone who is kind,generous
and filled with goodness.The protagonist of the story,a humble fisherman,had
all these qualities to be called’Salvatore’.
We,as readers,are presented with Salvatore’s life’s story.We are given a
glimpse of his childhood,his acting as a nursemaid to his two younger brothers,
his passion for the girl he loved,his military service where he feels homesick and
falls ill due to rheumatism,his being dejected in love because of his illness,his
marriage to another girl Assunta,his hardwork and his childlike moments with
his children.
The author has skillfully highlighted the character trait of Salvatore’s inate
goodness.Despite being heartbroken,Salvatore never bamed the girl who left him.
He never uttered harsh words for her or for anyone.He was gentle and sweet to
his wife Assunta and behaved childlike with his children.Maugham thus seems
to admire the good,kind and gentle protagonist and his naming the story after
him is evidence of this sincere admiration.



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