“Salvatore” is a very short story by English writer W. Somerset Maugham that was first published in Cosmopolitan literary magazine in 1924 with the title "Salvatore the Fisherman." An unnamed narrator tells the life story of a simple fisherman named Salvatore. The defining trait of the titular character is his extraordinary goodness, which the narrator demonstrates through descriptions of how Salvatore handles different challenges throughout his life. Maugham's story explores the meaning of goodness, its value, and why most people look for it in the wrong places.


Read our full plot summary of “Salvatore.”


See a complete list of the characters in “Salvatore” and in-depth analyses of Salvatore and Assunta.

Literary Devices

Here's where you will find analysis of the key literary devices in “Salvatore.”


Find the quotes from “Salvatore” you need to support your essay or refresh your memory.

Deeper Study

Enhance your understanding of “Salvatore” by learning more about W. Somerset Maugham and historical context for the story.