Decoding Human Behaviour in Relation to Capital: An Analysis of Maugham’s The Ant and The Grasshopper in Light of Huxley’s ‘Selected Snobberies’
This study aims to show the fictional and philosophical engagement of Aldous Huxley and Somerset Maugham in unveiling human behavior in relation to capital. Huxley in his sarcastic essay Selected Snobberies has described the nature, utility, types and sources of snobbish attitude in people. Most often snobbery stems out from an individual’s socio-economic situation and his consumerist nature. In the short story The Ant and the Grasshopper, Somerset Maugham has deconstructed the age old story of Aesop that is universally used worldwide to teach children the basic morality and work ethics. He reveals the peculiar desire of human beings to indulge in consumption in contrast with learned behavior of self-denial. This study focuses on the degenerative tendency that is outgrown in human nature through the analysis of George Ramsay from Maugham’s The Ant and the Grasshopper. In addition, this study analyses the changing nature of the idealistic tenets pertaining to the changing mode of time and situation. The binary existence of ethical tenets and the allurement of the consumerist world leads to question the value of its palpability, its effect on making people happy or snobbish. Now the fundamental question is how far a human being is capable of learning self-denial. Considering the reality of truth as not one and universal but multifaceted as Chakraborty (2020) claims, both Huxley and Maugham in these two literary pieces are interestingly inquisitive of the modernist ethics and redefine the means of success.
Copyright (c) 2021 Keya Chakraborty, Subrina Islam
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