Of Human Bondage

In other media

Books

  • In J. M. Coetzee's novel Youth, one of the narrator's landlords makes an oblique reference to Of Human Bondage, prompting a connection between the two texts.
  • In Philip K. Dick's science fiction novel Dr. Bloodmoney, the character Walt Dangerfield reads Of Human Bondage to humanity from his spaceship orbiting the Earth.
  • In Sadie Jones' novel The Outcast, the character Kit spends the first two weeks of the summer holidays reading Of Human Bondage while her older sister spends all her time arranging her hair and talking about frocks with her mother.
  • A similarly subtle connection to Of Human Bondage is made in V. S. Naipaul's novel Half a Life, when the narrator's father encounters Maugham at a temple in India.
  • The book was mentioned in J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye; the protagonist Holden Caulfield states that he read Of Human Bondage last summer.
  • The novel is contrasted with Sex in the Married Life in Gwendolyn Brooks' Maud Martha

Films

  • Of Human Bondage is mentioned in the film Seven. The character William Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman, is named after W. Somerset Maugham as he was screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker's favourite author.[4]
  • Of Human Bondage was mentioned as the book that brought Lieutenant Blandford and Hollis Meynell together in S. I. Kishor's Appointment with Love.

Plays

  • The book is mentioned in Willy Russell's stage comedy Educating Rita by the eponymous protagonist, who assumes it is pornographic.
  • An adaptation by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen premiered at Soulpepper Theatre Company in 2014. The production won 7 Dora Awards, including Best New Play. The play was remounted in 2015.

Short stories

  • In a short story written by Gloria Sawai, Of Human Bondage is the example the narrator gives of "a great book" that "unsettles you and startles you into thought", immediately before beginning the narrative of her encounter with Jesus.
  • Also in S.I. Kishor's Appointment with Love, the protagonist corresponds from the war with a woman whose copy of the book he has found and read; he was touched by her notes in the margin and is about to meet her at Grand Central Station.

Television

  • Of Human Bondage was mentioned in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Freshman". A new friend mentions the title to Buffy, who, unfamiliar with the book, believes he is referring to pornography.
  • Of Human Bondage was mentioned as the book Boyd Crowder was reading in the TV series Justified (season 2, episode 4: "For Blood or Money").
  • Holden recommends the book to fellow Death Row inmate Kerwin in season 1, episode 1 of Rectify ("Always There"). Kerwin, who is unfamiliar with the book, initially thinks it is pornographic.

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