The book review of The Moon and Sixpence
ColdenWhen I first read the book The Moon and Sixpence,the maxim “It was sixpence all over the floor, but he looked up and saw the moon” printed on the front page seems barely comprehensible to me.But when I read over,I truly understand why life and art,the metaphor of moon and sixpence,can never coexist at that time.The novel deeply discussed the contradiction and interaction of life and art which is still of guiding significance today and it seems exactly to be a kind of magic that fascinates me. The novel is created by W.S.Maugham,a renowned English novelist and dramatist.He was born in Paris on January 25, 1874 and had a pathetic childhood.Under the age of ten,his parents passed away successively so he had to live with uncle.Because of short stature and sever stuttering,he was frequently tortured and bullied by others,which cast a shadow of pain on his tender heart.The lonely childhood cultivated his withdrawn, sensitive and introverted character but made him sympathetic and undaunted in the same time. As he grew up,he wrote multiple novels all of which were significantly influenced by his experiences in youth for they revealed a profound analysis of life,art and belief.This novel is then one of those works. The hero of this novel,Strickland,takes the French impressionist painter Paul Gauguin as prototype and the whole story tells about how he ultimately succeeded in pursuit of art.But its plot is not so much fascinating to me as Strickland's unique traits.Strickland was a stockbroker working in London with a satisfactory marriage and affluent family.From a normal point of view,he should be satisfied with the happiness despite the tranquility and monotony of life.However,he ran away from home and headed for Paris without even a farewell in the seventeenth year after marriage.When all of the rumors guessed he abandoned his career and family because of an affair,people found out that it's just his fanaticism for drawing. He had no basis for painting and it was purely enthusiasm that drove him to do it.In fact,he could paint nothing but destroyed the things that should have been normal.So it was no surprise that he was reduced to poverty soon and almost died of hunger and disease.People all believed he must be insane except his friend,Stroeve.On the contrary,he saw through clearly the gift in him and regarded him as a genius.To tell the truth,this part of story has stuck in mind for a long time.On the one hand,I was moved by Stroeve's tolerance and cordiality and indignant about his subservience and cowardice.He was so considerate and warm-hearted that he gave his francs,studio and almost everything he had to help him.He even ridiculously gave away his wife!But unfortunately he lost everything at last.On the other hand,I was astound and outraged by Strickland's callousness,aloofness and effrontery.He was such a nuisance and bastard that he was not only ungrateful and uncouth to those who helped him out but took it for granted and despisesd them in his heart.So it's pleasant to see that he was as poor again as a church mouse. He kept leading a vagrae life and finally drifted to Tahiti where he married an Aboriginal girl,Ata,with whom he lived a tranquil life as he wished.He was isolated from the world without care but only fanatically pursued the art of painting.Unfortunately he soon became infected with leprosy and before his death he strained every nerve to finish his last work,a giant mural.With his room full of murals burnt according to the last words,his legendary life was ended.When I finish the book,my attitude towards Strickland has changed a lot.I now admire his frankness of speaking,his pretendiousness regardless of gossip and his dogged pursuit of art. To some extent,he is a abominable person whose words and behaviors run counter to social convention:he abandoned his wife and seduced his friend's wife,he was reprimanded by others but can always find proper excuses.Who can stop hating him when they primarily know about his ruthlessness and effrontery?But that's exactly what attracts me afterwards.He is such a person who would rather throw away dignity than dreams and he was not afraid to break the barriers single-handedly.However,in this fast-paced age,few people really follow their inner voices to strive for dreams but are keen to pursue fame and fortune.We all acknowledge that dreams weigh far more against changeless and monotonous life like the saying goes"Life is not just about survival, but poetry and distance" but we still can't break the shackles of social rituals and live for ourselves as Strickland did.From this point of view,he had set a good example for us. Some people may argue that the irresponsible pursuit of dream fly in the face of modern social value.We can't certainly follow his steps in the same way but we also shouldn't trade our dreams in for fortune and fame.Men who have dreams are rich.Once we set our mind on dreams,it's wise of us to earnestly pursue them and persistently strive for them.As long as we make every effort to achieve them,no matter what happens,leave the rest to time.