Cakes and Ale, Chapter Twenty

It’s a short chapter basically summarizing young man Ashenden’s visit to his hometown to get the dirt on the fellow Rosie ran away with. There’s no personality to it, just exposition. What’s strange about Maugham’s setup is the promise of something, but then it’s just red herring and then exposition. Ashenden himself, with the exception of a hurt feeling or two—each getting either half a sentence or a short one—has no reaction to anything. Rosie has ceased to be a character, if she ever was one, and just because a phantom. She’s not even a caricature. She’s something less than a caricature and more than a sketch. Sadly, so’s Ashenden at this point.

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