Stylistic Analysis of “The Last Leaf” by O. Henry
The story under analysis is written by an American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name O. Henry. His short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. None of his stories can leave the reader cold blooded. All the stories have deep sense, make you debate a matter in your mind and have a lot of humorous affects at the same time. But “The Last Leaf ” can`t make you burst of laughing. This story is about two young ladies, Johnsy and Sue, who were fond of art and lived together in a studio. Johnsy had fallen ill and was dying of pneumonia. She watched the leaves fall from a vine outside the window of her room, and decided that when the last leaf would drop, she would die too. But an old, frustrated artist named Behrman, who lived below Johnsy and Sue, risked his own health in order to give her hope in order to survive. To my mind, there are two major themes of the story the power of hope and self-sacrifice which show that a diseased mind is even more harmful than the disease itself. This is clearly evident in Behrman, an artist who lives on Johnsy and Sue´s house first floor. He always said: "Some day I shall paint my masterpiece." Knowing that the girl was badly ill, he decided to sacrifice himself painting an ivy leaf in the window when the real one fell to lift his friend's spirit. And the last leaf on the wall is hope and life which he left to not only Johnsy but also readers. The main idea of this story lie in the doctor`s words: I will do all that science, so far as it may filter through my efforts, can accomplish. But whenever my patient begins to count the carriages in her funeral procession I subtract 50 per cent from the curative power of medicines. And it touches not only this the very situation but it touches upon any other problems in the world. We all make our...
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