the ransom of Red Chief

Topics: Kidnapping, Money, Comedy Pages: 4 (780 words) Published: June 6, 2015


HANOI UNIVERSITY
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
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ENGLISH LITERATURE

MID-TERM ASSIGNMENT

Lecturer: Dr.Luu Thi Phuong Lan
Students: Le Thi Thu Ha
Class: 8A-12

Hanoi, April 24th, 2015

Name: Le Thi Thu Ha
Lecturer: Dr.Luu Thi Phuong Lan
Course: English Literature
Date: 24/04/2015

What would a child do when being kidnapped? Be frightened or beg to go home? Readers will surely find the different reaction of a ten-year-old boy in The ransom of Red Chief by O.Henry. Included many humorous elements, this work definitely brings the readers of all ages both laugh and precious lessons. The ransom of Red Chief is the story of Sam and Bill and their attempt to raise $2000 for the next illegal scheme in Illinois. At first, everything goes according to plan. They kidnap the only ten-year-old son of a prominent citizen named Ebenezer Dorset in Summit town then take him to their hideout. Unfortunately, the captive, who called himself as “Red Chief”, really enjoys this adventure with two men. He annoys his captors with chatter, questions, keeps them from sleep and terrifies them with his trick. Realizing the boy is a troublesome, Sam and Bill send a ransom note for lower price to $1500. Finally, they receive the father’s reply, not only refusing to pay but also offering $250 from them to take the boy off their hands. Suffering the worst damage from the Red Chief’s game, Bill begs Sam to agree the father’s demand. They ultimately pay for returning the boy and try to escape from their captive as fast as possible. It is clear that this story, from the beginning to the end, is filled with series of ironic elements, especially reversals which the expected event is replaced by its opposite. Obviously, this reversal is revealed upfront in the very first narrative of Sam: “It looked like a good thing, but wait till I tell you”, giving a prediction that the “good thing” is not what really...
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