Born William Sidney Porter, this master of short stories is much better known under his pen name "O. Henry." He was born September 11, 1862 in North Carolina, where he spent his childhood. O. Henry's stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred to as an "O. Henry ending." He was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. Both authors wrote twist endings, but O. Henry stories were much more playful and optimistic. His stories are also well known for witty narration. Most of O. Henry's stories are set in his own time, the early years of the 20th century. Many take place in New York City and deal for the most part with ordinary people: clerks, policemen, waitresses. Among his most famous stories are: Gift of the Magi, The Cop and the Anthem, The Ransom of Red Chief.
Gift of the Magi
O. Henry´s short story Gift of the Magi presents a beautiful Christmas love story. It´s about a young couple who sacrifices the most valuable things they got in their home. Della the “mistress of the house” decides to buy Jim a chain for his prized pocket watch given to him by his father's father. To raise the funds, she has her long, beautiful hair “cascade of brown waters” cut off and sold to make a wig. Meanwhile, Jim decides to sell his watch to buy Della a beautiful set of combs made out of tortoiseshell and jewels for her lovely, knee-length brown hair. Although each is disappointed to find the gift they chose rendered useless, each is pleased with the gift that they received, because it represents their love for one another. “As it said, of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”
One dollar and eighty-seven cents nominative sentence. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies anadiplosis saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and polysyndeton the butcher enumeration until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents repetition…Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles enumeration, with sniffles predominating. detachment … A furnished flat at $8 per week.nominative sentence It did not exactly beggar description personification, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad…Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name personification "Mr. James Dillingham Young." The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20 parenthesis, the letters of "Dillingham" looked blurred, as though they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D… She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey ordinary repetition backyard…She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result detachment... Many a happy hour unassociated epithet she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and polysyndeton sterlingenumaration—somethinganaphora just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim. A very thin and very ordinary repetition agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips parenthesis, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender parenthesis, had mastered the art. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride eptihet…Had the Queen of Sheba allusion lived in the flat across the airshaft... Had King Solomon allusion been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement parenthesis, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck...