Stylistic Analysis of the Text "The Last Leaf"

Topics: A Story, O. Henry Pages: 4 (1440 words) Published: April 16, 2012
The text under analysis is a story written by O'Henry. O'Henry is a pseudonym of William Sydney Porter. He was an American writer, noted for his numerous short stories. He worked in various jobs: as a rancher, bank teller, as a journalist. He founded a comic weekly magazine “The Rolling Stone” before being employed by “The Houston Post” to write a humorous daily coloumn. In 1898 he was convicted of embezzlement and served a three-year term in the federal penitentiary. After that he contributed short stories to the popular magazines of his days for the rest of his life. In all, Henry wrote 270 stories, and they consist of a rich mixture of semi-realism, sentiment and surprise endings. He is frequently thought of as a “funny” writer. O’Henry was interested in social problems and revealed his negative attitude to the bourgeois society. O’Henry’s heroes are various: cowboys, writers, artists, milliners, clerks, politicians. His stories are characterized by colorful detail, keen wit, and great narrative skill and they still hold the attention of the present audience. So, the general slant of the text is a 3rd person narration. It contains different elements: an account of events, portraiture. The description is intercepted with a dialogue. The general key of the text is sentimental and pessimistic. The scene is laid in Greenwich Village in a joint studio. It touches upon an important event in the life of the main characters: Sue and Johnsy. The title is highly symbolic and it agrees with the contents of the text.

In my opinion the text can be split into three logically connected parts. At the beginning of the story the author introduces the two main characters. They get acquainted n a café, find out that that they are quite congenial and begin renting a joint studio. Then we learn that Johnsy is ill with pneumonia. She is very weak; she lays in her bad, scarcely moving, and looks out of the window counting the falling leaves on the old ivy vine. The girl thinks...
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