The Painted Veil

858 Words4 Pages
------------------------------------------------- Painted veil. Plot summary Somerset Maugham uses a third-person - limited, point-of-view in this story, where Kitty is the Focal character. Kitty Garstin, a very pretty upper-middle class debutante, squanders her early youth amusing herself at cotillions and social events - during which her domineering mother attempts to arrange a “brilliant match” for her. By age 25, Kitty has flirted with – and declined the marriage proposals of – dozens of suitors. Her mother, convinced that her eldest daughter has “missed her market”, urges Kitty to settle for the rather “odd” Walter Fane, a bacteriologist and M.D., who is madly in love with Kitty. In a panic that her much younger – and less…show more content…
Kitty goes to see Townsend who reveals his perfidy and refuses to leave his wife. Their conversation, when she realizes he doesn 't wish to make a sacrifice for the relationship, unfolds gradually, as Kitty grasps Charlie 's true nature. She is surprised to find when she returns home that Walter has already had her clothes packed—he knew Townsend would let her down. Heartbroken and disillusioned, Kitty decides she has no option but to accompany Walter to the cholera-infested mainland of China. At first suspicious and bitter, Kitty finds herself embarked on a journey of self-appraisal. She meets Waddington, a British deputy commissioner, who provides Kitty with insights as to the unbecoming character of Charles. He further introduces her to the French nuns who are nursing, at great personal risk, the sick and orphaned children of the cholera epidemic. Her husband Walter, has immersed himself in the difficulties of managing the cholera crisis. His character is held in high esteem by the nuns and the native officials, due to his self-sacrifice and tenderness towards the suffering children. Kitty, however, remains unable to feel attraction towards him as man and husband. Kitty meets with the Mother Superior, an individual of great
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