Essay D 2014

Topics: Short story, Protagonist, Morality Pages: 4 (1635 words) Published: December 21, 2014
Essay D
“The Roads We Take” by O. Henry
(The analysis of the text)

The American short-story writer William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), who wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry, pioneered in picturing the lives of lower-class and middle-class New Yorkers. He is best known for his short stories which are always witty, containing wordplay and clever twist endings. In a short story “The Roads We Take” O. Henry dwells on a subject of greediness, moral choice of a man, hypocrisy and betrayal which the man is capable of in order to achieve the aim. The author provokes the reader to think of one important question. What is more important in a crucial moment: to rescue your friend or to make profit on something and leave your friend in trouble? The biggest part of the narration is formed of the main character’s dream. So the dream begins with the description of an armed attack and a robbery of the train called “Sunset Express”. The author depicts three members of a robbery, their names are Bob Tidball, “Shark” Dodson, who are friends and at the same time the key characters, and John Big Dog. After portraying the characters the author describes the robbery of the safe in the express-car and the murder of John Big Dog. Then Bob Tidball and “Shark” Dodson get successfully away with money. On their way Bob Tidball’s horse breaks its foreleg, which turns out to be a fateful accident. Then Bob Tidball and Shark Dodson make a halt and discuss whether they can move ahead together on one horse. Tidball is sure that the horse can carry them both, but regardless Bob’s opinion Dodson ruthlessly kills him and leaves alone with the full amount of money. Then the dream finishes and Dodson, the Wall Street broker, finds himself sitting in a chair while his clerk is waiting to tell him some news. The clerk tells him that the old friend of Dodson has come to settle the deal. We see that Dodson treats him as mercilessly as he treated his imaginary friend in his dream. This time he...
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