The outstation (1953)
William Somerset Maugham
My own story
Mr. Warburton was a very wealthy man , but he had a great problem. He was a great gambler. Sometimes he won and sometimes he lost a game. After some years he lost so many money that he had to go away. That was a rule: When somebody was broke he had to go to the colonies. So Mr. Warburton left the town and went to Borneo to the colonies. After a time he got a new assistant named Allen Cooper. For the first evening Mr. Warburton his cook a great dinner. But the whole dinner ended bad: Allen Cooper came in the dining-room in his normal clothes and that was a thing that Mr. Warburton hated. He always dressed himself very well and to be seen as a wealthy person. The second time they dinner also together and this time Allen Cooper came in an evening-dress, but it was shabby and dirty. Allen Cooper tries to do it well but also this time Mr. Warburton didn’t like the dress.
Mr. Warburton sees himself like a wealthy person and he wants to be a boss. He also walks with people of a high class. He loves titled people. So he thought he was one of them. Allen Cooper knew that Mr. Warburton was a poor person with no money. So he treats Mr. Warburton like anybody else and that is a thing that Mr. Warburton hated.
Also Allen Cooper had servants but he treats them very bad. Like dirt. So after a while the servants run away from there to look for an other place better than this. Allen Cooper became mad and also Mr. Warburton. Not alone at the servants but also at Allen Cooper. It was his fault that they ran away. So Mr. Warburton talked with the servants and so they came back. This time Mr. Warburton wins the game he had shown his power to Allen Cooper.
Every morning Mr. Warburton read a paper. This gave him a home-feeling because the papers were from his own place. They came six weeks later but Mr. Warburton read every morning one paper so it was a ritual. One day Mr. Warburton left home for some time and Allen Cooper was looking for an article about a murderer so he went to Mr. Warburton but he was not at home. So Allen Cooper looked around for the papers and finally he found them. He looked in every paper and so he mixed them up. Not on purpose. But this was not a good idea, because when Mr. Warburton came home he saw the papers mixed up he became furious. Now their relation (if there was) was completely destroyed.
From that time Mr. Warburton and Allen Cooper lived separated.
Allen Cooper went on treating his servants bad. One day it was six o’clock and the servants are normally free then, but this time Allen Cooper want that the servants to do overtime. He needed them for something. Mr. Warburton heard this and countermanded order. So everybody left Allen Cooper. This time was Allen Cooper very mad on Mr. Warburton. He went to him and shouted the most irritable things to him like: ‘You’re a snob’ and ‘You’re the laughing stock, they do not take you seriously’.(The nobility people knew he was a poor guy and they doesn’t like him) Mr. Warburton became violent and he want to hit Allen Cooper; he tries and missed him. This was a defeat for him.
Tuan came to Mr. Warburton and told him that Allen Copper pays bed and treats Abas very badly. If Allen Cooper went on with this it will end in a kill. Mr. Warburton had to do something about that and he wrote a letter to the headquarter. The reply was that he had to get on with Cooper.
Mr. Warburton feels it like a duty to tell Allen Cooper his life is in danger and, so he does. Allen does not matter. He is not afraid for it. After a short time Allen has been killed by Abas. Mr. Warburton was happy and took Abas as a boy in his house after Abas was going to jail.
There is more in this story then you will see on the first sight. That made that story difficult but also nice. So is the theme difficult to find and I can not say that in one word.
The them is like a relation between two people. Both have different characters and so they do not fit to each other. They have to live together and that went wrong. To show the difference, here are some characteristics of each people:
- Wealthy from the outside but he is poor.
- He is a snob but he hates to be called a snob.
- He is a selfish person.
- He is a gentleman.(in some way)
- He wants to be alone.
- He likes to be the boss.
- He loves titled people.(and so he loves himself)
- He respects the Malays.
- He hates snobs.(so he hates Mr. Warburton)
- He behaves himself normal at Mr. Warburton.
- He sees Mr. Warburton like an equal person.
- He treats other people bad.
- He does not respect the Malays.
- He is a little bit sensitive.
They both want to play the boss and that makes problems. The main thing they arguing about is the fact that Allen Cooper treats Mr. Warburton like a normal person and that is what Mr. Warburton does not like. They both are stupid to do such things. A simple example is a bout the newspapers. Allen Cooper mixed up the papers. He should not do that. But Mr. Warburton takes this very serious and became mad. Very mad.
Mr. Warburton, I said earlier, wants to be alone. So he sees Allen Cooper like an invader. I think that makes their relation also a little worse.
Here are some opposites between Mr. Warburton and Allen Cooper:
Mr. Warburton Allen Cooper Likes Malays Hates Malays Gentleman No gentleman He loves titled people He hates titled people Well dressed by dinner Shabby and dirty by dinner Wealthy(outside) Poor(outside) Treats servants well Treats servants badAll this makes it difficult.
The book was short but very difficult to read. They use difficult sentences and also difficult words. This was sometimes boring, because when I read a story I want to understand it immediately. The backgrounds of the book made it a real book. I like it when I have to think about it before I know what they mean.
Normally books have a bad person and a good person and the good one always wins from the bad one. But in this book it was not like that. They both were idiots and they both are bad. This made the story a little bit difficult but I like that. It is always the same in books but not in this book.
The ending was weird because Mr. Warburton stays alive and Allen Cooper died. It was unfair:
- Mr. Warburton treated Allen Cooper bad.
- Allen Cooper treated his servants bad.
- Mr. Warburton thought he was the boss.
- Allen Cooper thought he was a normal person.
You see they both are really stupid. So Mr. Warburton had to kill also, but that did not happen.
The story was also nice. Most of that because it was realistic. Everything in the story was real and it can happen. Some things are a bit strange. (like the newspapers) But that is normal for a book.
After all it was a difficult but a nice book!!!
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