Professor Albert Ashforth
24 March 2014
One Thousand Dollars
by O. Henry
The theme of the story is very obvious in that it pertains to human decency and love. Young Gillian is characterized as spoiled young man that has always had no trouble getting what he wanted. Whether it was girls, money, etc. His uncle is the one with the money in which he was spoiled with. Therefore, wasting it on whatever he pleased. His recently deceased uncle has not liked this about him and only left him $1,000 according to the will. Gillian doesn't know this, but if he spends it well, he gets $50,000 more. He is to provide the lawyer of his uncle with receipts to determine this. After all the fuss, Gillian does spend the money well by giving it to Miss Hayden. Miss Hayden is the woman he loves, who unfortunately for him, doesn’t love him back. Not long after he finds out about the $50,000. He finds out that if he spent the money badly, the $50,000 goes to Miss Hayden. After Gillian has heard about this, he lies to his uncle’s lawyer and tells him that he wasted the money. This he knowingly does resulting in having to give all the money to Miss Hayden. This is where Gillian shows the best side of himself. Although, somewhat foolish. He knows that Miriam will not love him no matter how rich he is. So he sacrifices his happiness for hers. We see this not only in those times, but also in present times. People take stupid risks and give their all to someone they know they could never be with. Why? Because it’s human nature. We want what we can’t have, even if that means love and doing everything we can for that one person. Love brings out the softest side in the most hardened people. This short fictional novella is quite blunt in its plot and theme. There isn’t much foreshadowing, nor is there many context clues that would determine the outcome. In fact, I believe it really steers one in the opposite direction. This is because Gillian...
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