The Last Leaf

Topics: Short story, O. Henry, Guy de Maupassant Pages: 6 (1949 words) Published: July 16, 2013
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FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
Alliteration
Johnsy’s eyes were open wide
Johnsy with wide-open eyes

THE MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHOR
The message that comes through the most powerfully for me is that you should not judge people by their outward appearances or social persona.

SETTINGS
The setting of the story takes place in a place called Greenwich Village, which is in New York. The last leaf takes place in New York City. The largest city in America, the location of the story is a small part of New York known as “Greenwich Village” and it is pronounced as “Grennitch” it depicts New York in the light of struggling artist. And it is winter season and it is cold, windy night. It is really in only one place in this short story, and it is inside Sue and Johnsy's house. In a small part of the city west of washington square.

POSITIVE ASPECTS OF THIS STORY FOR YOUNG READERS:
• The will to live is a powerful force. Adults may have seen this in their own experience, but children may not have an understanding of this truth.

• We observe the self-sacrifice of one girl for her friend. And, in the surprise ending, the old man (an alcoholic) makes the ultimate sacrifice for the girl. Like all the artists in the building, he had planned and hoped to someday paint a masterpiece - and he did.

• We may have some dream or aspiration; we plan to be famous and remembered for the ages. In reality, our "masterpiece" may have its good effect for only a few people.

CHARACTERS
The characters in this story are Sue, Johnsy and Mr. Behrman. Living in early 20th century in Greenwich Village are two young women artists, Sue and Johnsy. They met in May, six months previously, and decided to share a studio apartment. The story begins as Johnsy, near death from pneumonia, lies in bed waiting for the last leaf of an ivy vine on the brick wall she spies through her window to fall. Mr. Behrman, an old man who lives in the apartment below Sue and Johnsy, who enjoys drinking, works sometimes as an artist’s model, and as yet has made no progress over the past 40 years on painting his own masterpiece, becomes in typical authors fashion the hero. The evidence of his heroics is found the day before he dies from pneumonia.

JOHNSY
• She suffers from pneumonia in this story. Her wish for death and her dialogues reflect her disparity for life. • Her word has no direct relation with Sue’s question, which shows her state of mind, the blank mind. It’s a vivid description of a dying Johnsy. • With her actions and condition we were able to realize that we have hope and we must believe and have a faith. SUE

• Sue who is caring nursing, tolerating, through perseverance and gentleness. • Shows her fondness for her weak friend.
• She does her duty as a concerned friend.

MR. BEHRMAN
• Though the hero appears only once and speaks twice in the whole story but he, successfully reveals his affection to two young artists and his noble spirit. • Though he was hard in the outside, he was full of gentle feelings in heart. • His love towards Johnsy and Sue was fraternal or fatherly affections.

THEME OF THIS STORY
• Self-sacrifice (Mr. Behrman sacrificed his own health for Johnsy.) • never jugde someone by what they appear to be, but by their actions (. Behrman acts fierce and aggressive, but his actions show how much he cares about Johnsy.) • Life follows Art, and Mind over Matter

SUMMARY
The story begins in a leisurely manner with the sketchy background. The old Greenwich village in which painters come to set up their art studio has curious maze streets criss-crossing one another. A traveler loses the directions of the streets. This description of the streets has relevance to the story in which a strong and strange psychological morbidity is focused. The plot revolves around two artist girls - Sue and Johnsy - who have their own 'studio' in quaint old Greenwich Village. What they have was a...
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