Analysis on Appointment in Samarra

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In the fable Appointment in Samarra by W. Somerset Maugham, Death (the narrator) tells a sardonic story about a merchant’s servant who tries to avoid his appointment to meet Death by fleeing to Samarra.   Instead of fleeing from his grim meeting with Death he runs straight to Samarra where Death scheduled their meeting.   A fable is a brief story that sets forth some pointed statement of truth. (“Fable, Parable, and Tale” 4) This fable presents the statement of truth that Death’s appointments are inevitable. To reach this truth the reader must first analyze the narrator (Death); of which the writer represents Death as a human and a woman. ("Appointment in Samarra" 4)
At the very beginning of the passage the author states “Death Speaks.” ("Appointment in Samarra" 4) In these two words the author is showing the reader that Death is not just a force of nature but a human. This is a form of personification, or “a figure of speech where an animal, thing, or an abstract term is endowed with human characteristics.” ("Personification" G22) Death is portrayed as human to help create a tangible connection between mankind and the force of Death. Maugham suggests Death is human by placing her in a setting of the market place. In the market place the author sketches a setting where only the servant is being jostled by Death. The story even states that Death was “standing in the crowd” at the marketplace; this suggests that Death blends in with the other humans to the extent that no one else noticed she was there (as well as the servant) until she jostled him. Correspondingly, this fable states that Death can be approached, sought out, and conversable.   For example when the merchant seeks out Death to ask her why she gave a threatening gesture towards his servant and Death answers him. This shows that Death is willing to have a conversation and act like an average human. ("Appointment in Samarra" 4)  
Long before the 1930’s women have been viewed as the weaker sex. They have...

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