The Razor's Edge by Sommerset Maugham

654 Words3 Pages
The author of this book wrote the story as if it were a true account of events. The author himself is not a main character in the story, but observes the lives of the main characters from his experiences with them with a vast and deep understanding of their lives. The first character introduced is Elliot Templeton. Elliot a wealthy European aristocrat, throws extravagant parties and entertains individuals of very high social class. Elliot brings the author into his social crowd and they become very close friends. In fact, Elliot had many acquaintances from his parties, but very few friends. On his deathbed, the author was the only friend that came to see him. It was through Elliot that the author journeyed to America with to meet the rest of the characters. Larry, the main character, was a carefree individual who was engaged to Elliot’s niece, Isabel. Larry refused to find work because he wanted to go on a quest to find out answers to questions he had about life and religion. Isabel refused to follow him on his journey and broke off the engagement. She married a man who ended up losing everything in the market crash. They moved to Europe and lived off of Elliot. It was there later down the road that she, Elliot, Larry, and the author met up and discussed all that had happened in their years apart. This book has many virtue ethics in it that define the decisions and opportunities of the characters. This is because the characters focused less on whether what they did was right or wrong, but what the outcome of their actions were. Larry represents several different ethical theories. His character has aspects of deontologicalism and consequentialism, existentialism, utilitarianism, and ethical relativism. Larry’s cha... ... middle of paper ... ...and caring person. Isabel represents Ethical Egoism. Isabel always did what was in her best interest. She broke off her engagement because it didn’t fit her, she married another man for security, and when Larry had become engaged to another woman, she managed to run his fiancé off because she was so jealous. This shows how false people can be, because when the author met her in America, he portrayed her as an innocent, fun loving woman, but she turned out to be manipulative and underserving of all that she had obtained. This book turned out to be a great read. It made me think and the messages portrayed in it stood out very clear to me as I read. I believe that this book promotes free thinking, following dreams, and that its more important for a single person to try and make themselves happy rather than trying to please many people leaving oneself miserable.

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