The extracted words from Somerset Maugham’s short story The Lotus Eater were spoken by Wilson, the lotus eater of the story, to the author. He explained to him, in these words, what had prompted him to leave his life of activity and financial security in England to live in leisure and ease at Capri.
After his regular cautious life in a commercial house (the branch of a bank), Wilson suddenly resolved to abandon his normal life of work and wages and to settle down in the romantic natural environment of Capri in absolute indolence. He could make arrangements for the annuity for twenty-five years only from all his available financial resources. His plan was to enjoy life fully for twenty-five years in peace and pleasure, free from work and worries. He was only keen to have the sweet taste of life in the ideal natural setting of Capri, without the boredom of his commercial occupation. Of course, he was well aware of risk and uncertainty after twenty-five years. But he did not mind that apprehension seriously and had the choice for the exceptional privilege of a life of absolute happiness and leisure for twenty-five years.
Wilson’s choice was dangerous. But he did that deliberately. He knew his mind and knew too wherein his mind could find happiness. The author particularly emphasizes here the queerness of his hero’s character in his peculiar choice and view of life.