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After Twenty Years


Henry's best known work is perhaps the much anthologized – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: After Twenty Years

  • After Twenty Years
  • By O.Henry
  • (William Sydney Porter)
  • Henry

  • O.Henry (????) He was a famous American
    short-story writer noted for the surprise
    ending. He wrote a large number of short stories
    in which he described amusing incidents of
    everyday life.

O. Henry (1862-1910) was a prolific American
short-story writer, a master of surprise endings,
who wrote about the life of ordinary people in
New York City. A twist of plot, which turns on an
ironic or coincidental circumstance, is typical
of O. Henry's stories.William Sydney Porter (O.
Henry) was born in North Carolina. His father,
Algernon Sidney Porter, was a physician. When
William was three, his mother died, and he was
raised by his paternal grandmother and aunt.
William was an avid reader, but at the age of
fifteen he left school, and then worked in a drug
store and on a Texas farm. He moved to Houston,
where he had a number of jobs, including that of
bank clerk. After moving to Austin, Texas, in
1882, he married.
In 1884 he started a humorous weekly The Rolling
Stone. When the weekly failed, he joined the
Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. In 1897
he was convicted of embezzling money, although
there has been much debate over his actual guilt.
In 1898, unfortunately, he was kept in prison at
Columbus, Ohio for three years in his thirties,
though he had done nothing wrong. It was there
that he began to writeshort stories to earn
money to support his daughter Margaret. His first
work, "Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking"
(1899), appeared in McClure's Magazine. After
doing three years of the five years sentence,
Porter emerged from the prison in 1901 and
changed his name to O. Henry.
O. Henry moved to New York City in 1902 and from
December 1903 to January 1906 he wrote a story a
week for the New York World, also publishing in
other magazines. Henry's first collection,
Cabbages And Kings appeared in 1904. The second,
The Four Million, was published two years later
and included his well-known stories "The Gift of
the Magi" and "The Furnished Room". The Trimmed
Lamp (1907) included "The Last Leaf". Henry's
best known work is perhaps the much anthologized
"The Ransom of Red Chief", included in the
collection Whirligigs (1910). The Heart Of The
West (1907) presented tales of the Texas range.
O. Henry published 10 collections and over 600
short stories during his lifetime, some of which
have been translated into Chinese. His books are
very popular in China
O. Henry's last years were shadowed by
alcoholism, ill health, and financial problems.
He married Sara Lindsay Coleman in 1907, but the
marriage was not happy, and they separated a year
later. O. Henry died of cirrhosis of the liver on
June 5, 1910, in New York. Three more
collections, Sixes And Sevens (1911), Rolling
Stones (1912) and Waifs And Strays (1917),
Henry House at former location on grounds of old
Lone Star Hall of Horns
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(No Transcript)
  • "Life is made of sobs, sniffles, and smiles,
    with sniffles predominating."
  • "A good story is like a bitter pill, with the
    sugar coating inside of it
  • ---O. Henry

Story synopsis
  • A policeman on the beat sees a man leaning in the
    doorway of a hardware store. The man explains
    that he is waiting for his friend Jimmy Wells, an
    appointment they had made twenty years ago. They
    were best friends, and the man waiting is sure
    his friend will show up.

The policeman walks away, and shortly after a
tall man walks up to the hardware store and
greets the man waiting. Incredibly happy to see
his old friend again, the man begins walking
along the street with him. Soon he realizes that
the tall man does not look like his friend Jimmy.
He is then arrested by the tall man, and given a
note from the policeman. The note said that he
had been at the appointment place on time, but
had recognized his friend's face as wanted by the
police. Since he did not want to arrest his
friend, he found someone else to do the job for
  • Section 1
  • 1. What are the characters' feelings in this
    section? How do you know?
  • 2. What do you think will happen next?
  • 3. Will the friend show up? If so, how will the
    encounter be?

  • Section 2
  • 1. Do you agree with Jimmy's actions? Why or why
  • 2. How do you imagine Jimmy twenty years ago?
  • 3. How do you imagine Bob twenty years ago?
  • 4. How do you think Jimmy felt when he saw Bob?
  • 5. Are Jimmy's actions justified?

6. If you were in Jimmy's shoes, what would have
been the best thing to do from the following
points of view? a. your career as a
policeman b. your friendship with Bob c. your
own conscience d. the law 7. How do you think
Jimmy felt when he wrote the letter? 8. What do
you think Bob's reaction was when he read the
letter? 9. Had you been Bob how would you have
reacted to the letter?
Sentence Understanding
  • This policeman was impressive in a natural way.
    He was not trying to look important, because it
    didnt make scene----there were few people in the
    street to see him.
  • His clever swinging of the club showed his
    confidence and competence as a cop. His air of
    superiority showed his pride and sense of dignity
    as a law-enforcing officer.
  • People in that area closed their stores pretty
  • Why?
  • Because he saw a man standing in the doorway and
    he became suspicious, or he was excited that it
    might be the friend he had expected to see.

5. It had to be a darkened store and Bobs cigar
had to be unlighted, otherwise Jim would see that
it was the man wanted by the police in
Chicago. 6. It is strange that they did not
recognize each other. It could be the darkness
and long separation. It could also be that on
Jims part, he was cautious. 7. The match light
showed a face which must have fitted the
description of the wanted man, especially the
square jaw and the white scar. 8. We guessed
that by that time we should have already decided
what to do with our lives, or should have already
found our places in society.
9. I have been running around the West with vigor
and energy. 10. A man is unable to go very far or
to be very successful in New York. He cant
escape the boring life. He has to go to the West
to become an eager and exciting person. 11. You
are going quietly, will you? Or You are not
going to resist , are you? Thats wise.
12. Why? Jim had mixed feelings. He knew what
his duty was. But the memories of their
friendship, the expressions of Bobs undying
respect and admiration for him and the fact that
Bon had come all the way from a thousand miles
away just to keep the appointment made 20 years
ago must have deeply touched him.
Word Study
  • beat
  • a policemans beat ???????
  • ??????????, ???????????
  • We played the top class at football but we
    couldn't beat them.
  • ??????????
  • That problem has beaten me.

  • empty,vain,hollow (adj.)
  • ??????,?????????????
  • Let's stop the empty talk and do some useful and
    practical work.
  • ??,????????????????
  • Then he found himself in a hollow vally.
  • ???????????????,???????
  • The principal made another vain appeal for better
    equipment in the school laboratory.

  • keen
  • ??????
  • He has a keen brain.
  • ????????
  • A keen north wind was blowing.
  • ??????,???????,???????
  • My roommates are very keen on bridge cards among
    other things.
  • ?????
  • Please quote keen prices.

  • The wheel turns.
  • ?????
  • The earth rotates on its axis once every 24
  • ???24???????????
  • The earth revolves around the sun.
  • ?????????
  • spin a top
  • ????
  • The leaves whirled in the wind.
  • ????????

turn rotate revolve spin whirl
sharp (adj.) 1.a sharp morning a. ??? ?? 2. a
short and sharp life b. ????? 3. a sharp
boy c. ??? 4. be sharp at figures d. ?? 5.
sharp practice e. ?? 6. sharp tongue f.
???????? 7. sharp words g. ?????
  • fine
  • ??????????????????????
  • There's a only very fine line between punishment
    and cruelty.
  • ????,????????????
  • I missed some of the fine points in the argument.
  • ???????,????
  • Your shoes are in a fine muddy state.
  • Fine feathers make fine birds.
  • ?????, ????

destiny, fate, doom ?????????????? They ascribed
their disaster to an unkind ______. ???????? It
was her _________ to become famous. The Battle
of Stalingrad sealed Hitler's _______. ???????????
  • release
  • He was released from the prison.
  • The news was released in yesterdays newspaper.
  • She seemed to do something to release her
  • We could release you from your duties for two
    days. Meanwhile, you take a good rest.

a. get rid of b. let free c. make known d.
allownot to do
fortune make a fortune ???? come into a
fortune ??????? have fortune on one's side ??? He
dances well to whom fortune pipes. ???????
club The workers in the office clubbed together
to buy her a present for her birthday. ???????????
?????????? club ideas and exertions ????
Perform their role-plays for the class the
roles of the two characters and narrator in the