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Kitty marries Walter only to escape her mother Walter admits knowing this later in the film. Walter doesn't 'love' Kitty He desires her. Kitty has an affair with Charles because he understands her. At the Chinese play he is witty and profound and it strikes her chord Sitting beside her in the theatre he describes the actors gestures and Kitty recognises herself. Look at her face Then as a roguish charmer he admits he is a sham and the tension is gone. They laugh. She falls in love with that.
There is a reference to this later when at their neighbours having a drink whilst the Chinese girl dances. He becomes less petty though still very critical. She tells him that she never liked his his virtuous trips round Venice etc He should never expected her to be up to him. She however is big enough to ignore this.
She just carries on telling him her preferences for life. This paves the way for a big breakthrough. When they are sitting together in the evening on more amicable terms Kitty is making windmills for the nunnery. She says that she is useless at the nunnery and he says he is useless shutting off the towns water. Walter looks at her windmill turn. At last they have found something in common. The next scene in the film is of the giant bamboo waterwheel inspired by his wife.
He can see at last past his thwarted desire. I repeat Kitty still doesn't love him at all. Then Walter hears her play the Satie piano piece at the convent. She chose to play this as further seduction and he hears it as a reminder of his warm feeling for her. Kitty asks why Walter didn't break the door down on Charles and her It was his bravery not his virtue that she was starved of. Then comes his chance to show it when he rescues just in time from the nationals who have cornered her.
PART2 'Too proud', or something he replies. Now her love begins. Walters love only begins when she tells him she is pregnant and doesn't know who the father is. He is forced to be less self obsessed. Slowly he says to her, 'Well it doesn't matter now', and its not cholera he's talking about. Slowly he puts his arms around her. He does love her now. Kitty doesn't finally love him until her last meeting with the Mother Superior.
The mother shuns duty. Says that she herself fell for god naively in a state of passion This echoes Kitty and Charles. The Mother Superior says they are out of love now She sits with god on the sofa in silence now. She tell Kitty that it is only when you combine duty with love that you find a state of grace Kitty recognises this. She has done her duty to Walter and she has also enjoyed his show of bravery in the alley.
She is ready to love him now, and she does. Proves it to them both. Happy ever after? No He is buried quickly as he would have wanted and he is gone. She goes back to the she in the hill and tries to stop the maid putting his things away.
She doesn't want him gone. But finally she gives in. She realises that we come and then we go. In the florist she has moved on Just as we all do. This is a quote from her hated mother being repeated by Kitty Kitty and Walter both learned how to love and loose. Of course she told Townsend to piss off. And then when he dies. Post a Comment. The Home-coming Author : W. Somerset Maugham Pages : What do you do when you can't get over a lover who is clearly not worth it, has let you down and has behaved callously?
Alternatively, can virtue alone in a husband compensate for passion? Is it duty towards others rather than a self-serving desire that lends our lives dignity and strength? Set in the late 19th century, the novel's action takes place in both England and primarily China -which the British had invaded at the time.
Kitty, as a beautiful, young girl is used to a lot of attention since childhood. Along with her pushy mother, everyone imagines that Kitty would get herself a great match in marriage. However, things don't go as expected, and she doesn't find any of her suitors good enough. She gets desperate when her younger sister -- never considered a looker -- gets married to a prosperous Duke!
Panic-stricken, Kitty hastily agrees to marry Walter - a staid and simple bacteriologist who falls madly in love with her. She accompanies him to China and tries to adjust to her new role as his wife. Kitty - frivolous and a bit shallow - quickly starts to feel bored with Walter. Yearning for romance, she's exasperated with his silences and general indifference to everything around him. This is when she meets Charles Townshend, a charming, high-ranking government officer.
Charles is everything that Walter is not, and Kitty finds him completely irresistible. Both quickly get into an extra-martial affair. When Walter finds out, he is overcome with anger. Kitty - though disturbed by the discovery - considers it a blessing as she might now be able to divorce her husband and marry Charles. Walter announces his decision to go to cholera affected town, Mei-Tan Fu to control the epidemic and he wants Kitty to come along.
The latter is shocked. It's monstrous to even ask," she says. But Walter's mind is made. He won't let her divorce him and will instead press charges of adultery on her and Charles. He gives her a chance though. If Charles can divorce his wife Dorothy and marry her, then he will let her go. The book is about Kitty's journey — from being a flighty girl fed on fantasy to someone who comes face to face with the real world. Her unbridled passion for Charles and her wistful state seem trivial when compared to the deaths she sees around her.
She's already started to see herself as worthless when compared to the people around her —all of whom take pride in their duty towards others. She is exasperated thinking of how Walter continues to punish her when there are so many graver things before them. So finally when Walter succumbs to cholera and dies, she feels a tinge of sadness but is also relieved. Kitty by now has had her spiritual awakening. Her revelation comes about in the last scene of the novel during her conversation with her father.
Her mother has just died and the father takes this as an opportunity to announce that he is moving to another city on account of a promotion. For long, the father was neglected by the mother and daughters and Kitty comes to realize that he actually hated them. But when Kitty pleads with him to take her, he can't refuse. This is where she realizes how people constantly put their duty above their own feelings and this was what she was never able to do.
Maugham portrays Kitty's character with a rare sensitivity. She's weak-willed and naive but she knows it. She desperately holds on to her romantic notions and when they are all shattered, her recovery from it is rather painful. But in the end, the hurt cleanses and makes her look at life with mature, empathetic eyes.
Somerset Maugham's writing is simple, elegant with several deeply moving and profound passages. When Kitty in her distressed state converses with the Mother Supreme at the convent, the latter calmly tells her, "You know, my dear child, that one cannot find peace in work or in pleasure, in the world or in a convent, but only in one's soul'.
Fortunately, Kitty gets close to finding her peace by the end of story. PS: It's wonderful how one discovers certain gems in literature through movies. I happened to see the literary adaptation by John Curran - made in - over the weekend and was deeply moved by the experience.
Obviously then, I wasted no time in buying Somerset Maugham's The Painted Veil to see how differently the filmmakers had interpreted the story. There are many changes, but both the book and the film are exquisite works in themselves. And I'm glad I saw the film first because the book offered me a kind of back story to all the characters and made it a much more fulfilling experience.
Movie verses the book There are several changes that have been introduced in the film. While Maugham's book is mainly about Kitty and her journey towards self-discovery, the film is about both Walter and Kitty and how these two people with nothing in common live together. In the book, Walter's character is an important one but not as much as it is in the film. In the movie, Walter - played brilliantly by Edward Norton - has a definite and smoldering presence.
The film essentially focusses on these two people - their hurried marriage, betrayal and then a vengeful revenge that Walter unleashes on Kitty. The very first scene makes it clear that Walter - who we know was very much in love with his wife - is in an unforgiving, determined mode. Kitty, on her part, is too depressed to have parted on a sour note with her lover Charles.
The dreary life she sees ahead fills her heart with horror. It seems impossible that these two people should ever make a connection with each other again, but they do. Unlike the book, where Kitty - even though she starts understanding her husband better - never really accepts Walter, the film gives more screen -time and space to the relationship to develop. One of the best portions of the film is when Kitty goes to meet Charles Townsend in his office.
The book describes this scene with splendid irony. Charles is reintroduced in the book when Kitty reluctantly agrees to stay at his place after Walter's death for a few days. This is done at the behest of Charles's wife, Dorothy. He once again tries to seduce her with gentle, loving words. Her physical desire for Charles gets the better of her, and they make love. But Kitty quickly recovers.
She sees him for what he is. Vain, manipulative and self-seeking. She realizes how hollow his words are. She takes a stand, decides to move out of the city and start life afresh. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. What did Kitty learn about the nuns and their work?
Find proof that the nuns had sacrificed their lives for other people. What was the difference between the Protestant missionaries and the nuns? Speak about the people and the things that struck Kitty at the convent. Why did she make up her mind to offer her help to the nuns? What work was she set to do there? How did she take its repulsive sides?
What did she learn about her husband? Did it make her form another opinion of him? What was their in their conversation that exasperated Walter most? Find proof that Kitty treated her adultery much lighter than Walter did. Speak about Sister St. What made her different from nuns? What did Kitty and Sister St. Joseph mostly talk about? What did Kitty learn from her about the Mother Superior? Why did she feel a wall between herself and the nuns? Compare what Sister St.
How does it characterize him? What helped her to regain her heart? Why did she think that Walter would never forgive her? What made Kitty realize that she was with child? What was her reaction? Compare it with what the nuns felt about it. How did Walter take the news?
What did Walter tell Kitty about his aim in having brought her to Mei-tan-fu? Do you think him vindictive? Prove your point. One day, firmly convinced that a heretic could know nothing of such matters, she told Kitty of the Annunciation. There is one way to win hearts and that is to make oneself like unto those of whom one would be loved.
Why was Kitty interested in meeting the Manchu woman? Why did the Manchu woman and the place seem unreal to her? What observations did Kitty make during this visit? What did Kitty seek in their company? What was the only thing that counted in life according to the philosophy of the Mother Superior? How did she regard her infidelity now? Speak about the change in her attitude to Townsend and Walter.
How did Kitty take the news that Walter had been taken ill? In what state did she find Walter when she came to see the last of him? To all of them nuns this world is really and truly a place of exile. She wanted to see whether there was left in the Superior any of the weakness of humanity. Why did Mother Superior find it necessary that Kitty should leave Mei-tan-fu? Why was Kitty reluctant to do so?
How did the nuns express their gratitude to Kitty? How did Kitty treat the nuns, their work and their way of life? What weak point did she find in their philosophy? What did she appreciate most of all in her newly-acquired freedom? Who was Kitty met by in Hong Kong? What motives prompted Dorothy to offer Kitty hospitality? How did the community of the Colony treat Kitty on her arrival? What feelings did Kitty experience when she met Charlie? What did he look like? What made her recall Mei-tan-fu every now and then?
We were dashed uncomfortable in the frying-pan, but we should have been a damned worse off in the fire. Why did Charlie need that talk? How did she regard her fall? What arrangements did Kitty make before leaving Hong Kong? How did Mrs. Garstin take the news that her daughter was coming home? What did Kitty learn from the letter she received from Doris?
Speak about the changes in the Garstin family. What did Mrs. Why did she decide to go to the Bahamas together with her father? Active Vocabulary.