Of Human Bondage

Title

Maugham had borrowed the title of his book from Spinoza. Part IV of his Ethics is titled "Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of the Emotions". In this part, Spinoza discusses people's inability to control their emotions which, thus, constitute bondage. He also defines good and bad categories basing on the people’s general beliefs, connecting it to their “emotions of pleasure or pain”. He defines perfectness/imperfectness starting out from the desire, in its meaning of particular aims and plans. Philip Carey, the main character of Of Human Bondage, was seeking this very useful end, and became satisfied only after realizing what his aim had been, and having found a person to share this aim with.


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