Kleinian Psychological Light on W. S. Maugham’s Liza of Lambeth


  • Hoda Shabrang Khatam University, Iran
  • Mahsa Razh Ershad Damavand Institute, Iran




William Somerset Maugham, Melanie Klein, Object Relations Theory, Projective Identification, Depressive Position


This paper explores a psychological reading of W. Somerset Maugham’s first novel Liza of Lambeth based on Melanie Klein’s notions of object relations theory. Maugham’s works illustrate the simple life of people who are woven to their destructive ways of living and depict their symptomatic relationships. These sorts of self-damaging and wrong objects selections are the consequences of incomplete childhood prototypes with parents which are influential throughout these people’s lifespan. In Klein’s term these may be the result of projective identification and depressive position. Although Maugham attempts to show his protagonists as successful people, they always choose the wrong partners for their relationships. On the surface this is not a problem for them, but in the deeper layers it shows itself as the main issue for characters to prevent them from gaining the love-life they deserve. This study analyses the effect of object relations in Maugham’s main character’s relationships that are caused by her infancy and childhood defective experiences with her mother, father or caretakers. These sorts of destructive relationship and connections are interrelated and deprived them to have healthy relationship in their adulthood.


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How to Cite

Shabrang, H., & Razh, M. (2020). Kleinian Psychological Light on W. S. Maugham’s Liza of Lambeth. AJELP: Asian Journal of English Language and Pedagogy, 8(2), 55–68. https://doi.org/10.37134/ajelp.vol8.2.5.2020