UNIT 14After Twenty Years By O.Henry (William Sydney Porter) Henry
Author 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 write short 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), appeared. Henry House at former location on grounds of old Lone Star Hall of Horns
"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
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 him.
DiscussionSection 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?
DiscussionSection 2:1. Do you agree with Jimmy's actions? Why or why not?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 policemanb.your friendship with Bobc.your own conscienced.the law7. 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 UnderstandingThis 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 early.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 Studybeat 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 hours. 24 The earth revolves around the sun. spin a top The leaves whirled in the wind. turnrotaterevolvespinwhirl
sharp (adj.)1.a sharp morninga. ; 2. a short and sharp lifeb. 3. a sharp boyc. 4. be sharp at figuresd. 5. sharp practicee. 6. sharp tonguef. 7. sharp wordsg.
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, doomThey ascribed their disaster to an unkind ______. It was her _________ to become famous.
The Battle of Stalingrad sealed Hitler's _______.fatedestinydoom
releaseHe was released from the prison.The news was released in yesterdays newspaper.She seemed to do something to release her tension.We could release you from your duties for two days. Meanwhile, you take a good rest.a. get rid ofb. let freec. make knownd. allownot to do
fortunemake a fortunecome into a fortunehave fortune on one's sideHe dances well to whom fortune pipes.
clubThe workers in the office clubbed together to buy her a present for her birthday.club ideas and exertions SpadeHeartClubDiamond
Perform their role-plays for the class :
the roles of the two characters and narrator in the story