The Cactus

Topics: Meaning of life, Short story, Protagonist Pages: 3 (1147 words) Published: May 16, 2013
“The Cactus”
Who would have thought that such a small and thorny cactus could have so much meaning. It’s not surprising that O. Henry’s short story, “The Cactus” revolves around a tiny cactus. Throughout the story, Trysdale, the main character and also the supposed to be groom, ends up losing his bride to another mister. Simply because of actions he chose to take. “The Cactus” shows great symbolism, character description, and allows for different points of view.

When Trysdale proposed, his bride said she’d give him an answer the following day. Indeed she did, she sent him a cactus, one that originates from Spanish land. Previously, to impress his lady Trysdale had lied and told her that he spoke Spanish language. She did not attach a note nor send a message for him, just a cactus with a tag stating a foreign name. Upon receiving the cactus, Trysdale continued to wait around for her response. Later in the evening the two met up for dinner. Expecting an explained answer, Trysdale sat with a heavy heart. The bride on the other hand, was expecting excitement from him. Both feeling opposite things, they eventually faded apart over time. Trysdale later on ended up attending a friend’s wedding, one that would stick with him for a long time. He watched his bride give herself to another man and for time to come that image haunted him. Time passed and another man approached Trysdale, concerned about him, he offed him a drink to ease his conscience. The man noticed the cactus and was highly interested in where he received such a wonderful gift. Trysdale told him that it was given to him as a gift. He asked the man if he was familiar with the species. The man replied, “Yes. The natives imagine the leaves are reaching out and beckoning to you. They call it by this name--Ventomarme. Name means in English, 'Come and take me.'"

At this point in the story symbolism becomes clear, the cactus sent wasn’t meant to be a lousy response from the bride. Most people typically...
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