The entire plot of The Force of Circumstance by W. Somerset Maghaum can be taken as a metaphor for British imperialism and colonialism. The protagonist, Guy, represents Western culture. He unofficially married himself to a native Malay woman and had three children by her simply because he was lonely. This represents England’s relationship with its colonies: a marriage based on its own needs instead of mutual needs. Then, Guy leaves his Malay family and marries Dorris, a clean and cultured British lady. This translates into England westernizing its colonies so that they are more like home. However, Guy’s marriage with Dorris fails, implying that England’s attempt at westernizing the world failed because its past caught up with it. The entire story can be taken as a metaphor for the actions and consequences of British imperialism.
The Force of Circumstance itself symbolizes British imperialism. The protagonist, Guy, represents presence of British power in Malaysia. As Malaysia is greatly being influenced by western customs, it clashes with the old custom. These two cultures cannot coexist as equals, therefore they cause conflicts and complications. When the imperialists feel overwhelmed by the trouble and mess they have caused, they leave selfishly. Doris represents the selfish British going in and out of countries exploiting resources. In contrast, the Malay woman symbolizes the native opposition to imperialism.
I think that the metaphorical value of Force of Circumstance is that it is symbolic of what happens when you have to much power. Guy gets too much power and it goes to his head, leaving him with a clinging Malaysian woman and three young children. Because of his power (in his mind only most likely) he thinks that he can just let them go and get rid of them whenever he so desires. When he gets bored with them he moves on to find someone who shares similar blood, an English woman. He thinks that just because he has power that he doesn’t have to tell her about his previous life because he figured that he got rid of it. When he realizes that he didn’t his wife finds out and leaves him. When she does that he proves that he didn’t really care about her and gets back with the Malaysian woman the same night his wife left.
The Guy symbolizes the British country’s desire to colonize the developing countries. His three children represents his irresponsibility of being a father, and his desire to get out of his loneliness. Imperialism is almost always only for the good of the colonist. He married a woman and born three children only for his good. It was not to make a happy family, he just wanted children to get out of loneliness. He only thinks for himself, which sounds very much like imperialism because usually, imperialism is only the colonist’s goods.
The short story “The Force of Circumstance” by Maugham symbolizes imperialism using people (Doris, Guy, and the Malays) and events (Doris comes, stays, and leaves). Imperialism, according to Maugham’s writing, is a negative act, where people suffer, whether they are the oppressors or the oppressed. This can be interpreted by the Maylay people’s reactions to Guy–the Maylay girl gives him company because he is rich and the oppressor. Later, she is upset by the fact that she is non-existant in Doris’s mind. This can be interpreted as the oppressed are unhappy, but are forced to act happy. The oppressor (Guy and Doris) do not benefit from this unjust act, and this can be seen when Guy tells Doris of his affairs with the Maylay girl in the past (a.k.a. Guy supported imperialism). Doris is struck with horror and eventually decides to leave. Basically, Maugham is trying to show imperialism through Guy and Doris’s relationship, and guides us toward his insight that Imperialism benefits no one.
I think that “The Force of Circumstance” can be considered as metaphors. It is because how the author wrote this story that is about the British who colonizes Malaysia. It is true that the British army had colonizes Malaysia and treat them so badly and mean during that period of time. This shows how bad attitude are the British army that treated and exploit the native people. For example, Guy shows that how he being a father of three children. It symbolizes that he is a really irresponsible father who doesn’t love and neglect his kids.
“The Force of Circumstance” represents imperialism and colonization that the British were engaged in that time period. I thought that the author generally wrote in this story in a disapproving way, which comes to show that he did not really like what the British were doing to the colonized countries, in this case Malaysia.
What I felt in this story through the author’s tone was that, when people get involved and interact with each other (esp. people that are different races) MANY complications arise. Guy’s affair with the pretty Malay girl and later the marriage with Doris led to his ruin. There was some racism involved in the story, as some of you would note when Guy said so himself that he WOULD have felt more for his children if they were white.
Sorry, there’s no time to write more, but in conclusion, I’d just like to say that this story was a good metaphor of what was happening in between British and its colonized countries.
The author used the the story ” The Force of Circumstances” as a metaphor of british imperialism. The British man, ” Guy” is metaphoric of the western perspective towards the british imperialism. Guy was representing the general attitude of the British towards the countries that had been colonized by the British. The Malaysian family was not treated as well as Guys British family just like how the majority of the colonized countries were treated.
“The Force of Circumstance” is used to reflect the time during the imperialism. This story portrait the conflict between different costume. Guy, the main character in the story, was born on foreign land but still is accustom by the British culture. Guy is the colonizer of Malaysia, therefore, her represent the live of a colonizer. The situation that Guy is in can also be one of the cause of Imperialism. Within the colonization there will always contain certain racism. Guy, although grew up on foreign land, choice to married a white woman and abandon he’s Malay family.
Racism is something unavoidable during the time period of the Imperialism.
The story “The Force of Circumstance” symbolizes imperialism by showing how whites in this case, British were taking advantage of the natives.
In the story, Guy used to live with the Malay girl. The Malay girl knew that she was living for him so that he can get out of his loneliness. This shows how Guy was “using” the Malay girl for his own purpose and not to make her happy.
Guy should have realize that what he was doing was wrong at the point when he had a child with her. But he didn’t stop until he decided to marry someone else.
At the end he faces the consequences and end up not being able to get out of the situation be recalling the Malay girl to his house.
This short story can be considered as a metaphor of imperialism and colonization of Malaysia by British. Because British is colonizing Malaysia, it can be said that British is more superior than Malaysia. Therefore, Guy is superior, and the “Malaysian wife” is inferior. So Guy could live with the Malaysian wife even though he did not love her, and abandon his wife and children. This story is also a metaphor of humanity. This can be tell from how Guy treats the Malaysian wife.
“The Force of Circumstance” is a metaphor for British Imperialism/Colonization since in the story, the author used Guy and Doris as representatives of Britain who are taking advantage of the Malays. I think that Guy just took advantage of the Malay woman because when Doris came to his life, he just left the Malay woman without even thinking about his responsibilities as a father to their children. Also, Guy is considering Sembulu as his “home”, and not Britain(his own country) so I think that this is another idea of the story that shows how he wants to “make” Malaysia as his own property.
I thought the whole story was a metaphor that described the author’s views of colonization and imperialism.
The attitude towards the natives in the island was very bad and mean, and seemed as though they saw the natives as subhuman. Guy didn’t seem to have any feelings towards his x-girlfriend and children. He didn’t even think that what he did was bad. In the cause of Doris, she found that she could forgive Guy for what he did,but she couldn’t take him back because she couldn’t bare the fact that he had been so close to people she didn’t accept as a human being like her self.
“The Force of Circumstance” can be a metaphor for British imperialism because it depicts how a life of a native person changed while interacting with an English person. In this story, Guy’s life changes when he meets Doris. This event itself is like England entering the Malaysian customs and affecting the future of the country being imperialized.
While Doris (England) may have given positive results for Guy (Malaysia, or the country being imperialized) during her stay, once she left, Guy was left all alone with his past, not the bright future that he expected to have with Doris.
I think that the “The Force Of Circumstance” is metaphor of British Imperialism in the way that the story deals with what the situation/relationships were like between the native people and the british. Although it is not really clear if the author is against or agrees with the idea, the characters in the story are very open about their feelings about the people of malaysia. They look down on the people and discriminate them. Also, compared to Guy, Dorris has a feeling of strong dislike towards them and is shocked when she becomes aware of the situation between Guy and the native girl. Therefore, it could be stated that the british were taking advantage of their situation and treating the people as they like. Although this may be wrong, in this way I think that this whole story is a metaphor of the British Imperialism since it is an example that’s about the invisible borders people made between the classes/people.
It can be said that this short story, “The Force of Circumstance” can be considered as a metaphor for British Imperialism. Firstly, it shows life for both the English people and the indigenous people in the colonies. Secondly, it shows the cultural diffusion and the influence of both cultures on each other. And thirdly, it shows the presence of racism in the colonies and in people’s minds and attitudes. It especially portrays the Western people’s life in the colonies, the presence of Western culture and influence of the colonial culture. But it also shows the new culture of the English people in the colonies and perhaps the bad effect of the colonial culture and being in charge of a colony.
I think that also “Shooting an Elephant” could be seen as a metaphor for British Imperialism. On the one hand you can consider the elephant as violent because he broke free and destroyed the little town. This is comparable to the British Empire, which expanded ruthlessly and which destroyed many cultures and peacefully living people. On the other hand the elephant is described as harmless and he’s compared to a peaceful cow. Here you can draw the comparison to the Imperialism again: it brings progress and wealth and at least often a government system to developing countries.
But at the end the elephant got shot down and dies – like the British Empire…
Can I just say,The Force of Circumstance is not a bloody metaphor. Its exactly as it says. Guy is torn between being a white man whose home land is Malaya, in a time when he is still expected to comply with societal norms and marry a white woman. Doris, mimics peoples thoughts at the time, and what many white women thought, that dark people are inferior and that it is socially embarrasing for them and repulsive to her that her husband would be with a dark woman. There is secondary conflict with Guys lying, his indifference to his Malay family and the conflict expat children in Malaya on outposts felt as Guy is torn between his loneliness and inability to have english social interaction and his normal desires for company.