A Review Of Short Story

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A Review Of Short Story ‘The Luncheon’ By W S Maugham Essay, Research Paper LUNCHEON- A REVIEW W S Maugham was young and na?ve, and was living in Paris, some twenty years from the time of writing this striking short story with a twist of irony. His first literary works were just published. Like any young writer, he craved for admiration. And that’s what he got when he received a fan mail from a lady, lavishly praising one of his just published works. He was elated and wrote back thanking her. Then he receives a letter from the same admirer stating that she was passing through Paris and was interested to have a chat with the author. As she had a busy schedule and suggested that author might consider treating her with a little luncheon at Foyot’s on the following

Thursday when she would be free. Fyot’s is plush and expensive up scale restaurant in Paris where the French senators eat – meaning it was a place for the elite’s and a struggling writer like Maugham can never dream of eating at such place. He had only eighty francs to sustain him through the month and a modest luncheon, he thought, would not cost more than fifteen francs. This deficit of fifteen francs could be adjusted by refraining from taking daily coffee for two weeks. Being flattered by the attention being showered on him by the lady and green in judgement about the worldly affairs, he could not decline the request and agreed to see her at Fyot’s. The author answered his friend, known to him through letter, that he would meet her on Thursday at half past twelve, at

Fyot’s. He meets his friend at foyots – she was not a young lady as he had imagined rather was an imposing woman of forty. She was having large and white teeth- and an excess of what was required for practical purpose. She was talkative and Maugham only tolerated this trait because she seemed to be talking about him-we see that human being like to be praised is reflected in this statement. The bill of fare was brought and Maugham was surprised to find the prices were much higher than he had anticipated. But she reassured him by saying ” I never eat anything for luncheon”. The author thought that the statement was earnest and out of mere courtesy insisted her to have some thing. She said she never had more than one thing and suggested a little fish – and categorically

Salmon. Since it was off-season for Salmon so it was not in the menu. Waiter was asked and he said that a salmon had indeed come in and it was the first of the year. Here we can understand the price of the off season salmon. As is custom in upscale restaurant, the waiter asked the guest if she would prefer any thing else to eat while the salmon was being cooked. Standard reply of not having more than one thing for luncheon was repeated but opted to have some caviare. Reluctantly the author ordered caviare for her and a mutton chop for himself, that being the cheapest dish on the menu. She takes total control of the situation by rebuking him for overloading his stomach by eating meat and subsequent inability to work that would follow. The lady uses the standard reply of not

drinking any thing for luncheon and quickly adds that French white wines, being light, were excellent for digestion. And still the young writer falls for her well-laid trap and inquires about her preference. Referring her doctor, she opts for champagne. And with a depressed feeling, he ordered for a half bottle of champagne. And also adds casually that his doctor had forbidden him to drink champagne. She consumed caviare, salmon and talked in an exalted mood about art and literature and music. But when the mutton chop ordered earlier arrive for the author, then the supreme irony of this story unfolds. She rebukes him and instructs him to follow her – take one item at luncheon. Well, she then ventured to try some giant asparagus, which was highly expensive and sumptuous. His