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The Writer O. Henry Essay

2651 words - 11 pages

( 2011届 )《美国文学》课程论文题 目: 从欧亨利短篇小说中分析人性学 院: 行知学院专 业: 英 语学生姓名: 黄鑫渊 学号: 09106129指导教师: 江玉娇 职称: 教授合作导师: 职称:完成时间: 2011 年 12 月成 ...view middle of the document...

Henry's Short stories2009(02)(English)Huang Xinyuan1.IntroductionWhile the world is composed of innumerable small potatoes, in which big shots are just a rarity of the rarities, the miserable lives of the small potatoes, unable to realize the current situation and change the fate of themselves, are helpless and full of frustration, just deeply reflecting the reality. O. Henry understood this principle, so that he wrote so many famous stories of peanuts. In addition, he created a special and unique ingredient--an unexpected ending, which is his most creative contribution, also brought him the great reputation in American and in the world history of literature. He is worthy of the title of "writer's writer" as one of the greatest American short story writer.1.1 O. Henry's LifeO. Henry (1862--1910) is a pen name, whose primitive name is Williams Sydney Port. He was born in 1862, and spent his early years in Greensboro, North Carolina. He had the experience working for newspapers and banks. Charged with embezzling funds from the bank in Texas, he fled to Honduras. When his wife was dying, he returned to Texas in 1897, which turned out his being arrested. Then he served three years in prison in Columbus, Ohio and it was while in prison that he seriously began to pursue the craft and art of writing of short stories.After released in 1901, however, his health was aggravated, when his writing creativity was at his peak, and died in 1910.1.2 His WorkReleased from prison in 1902, Porter went to New York City, his home and the setting of most of his fiction for the remainder of his life. He wrote, under the pen name O. Henry, at a prodigious rate - a story a week for a newspaper, plus still other stories for magazines. Books made up of his stories followed rapidly: The Four Million (1906); Heart of the West and The Trimmed Lamp (both 1907); The Gentle Grafter and The Voice of the City (both 1908); Options (1909); and Whirligigs and Strictly Business (both 1910).O. Henry's most representative collection was probably The Four Million. The title and the stories answered the snobbish claim of socialite Ward McAllister that only 400 people in New York "were really worth noticing" by detailing events in the lives of everyday Manhattanites. In his most famous story, "The Gift of the Magi," a poverty-stricken New York couple secretly sell valued possessions to buy one another Christmas gifts. Ironically, the wife sells her hair so that she can buy her husband a watch chain, while he sells his watch so that he can buy her a pair of combs.Incapable of integrating a book-length narrative, O. Henry was skilled in plotting short ones. He wrote in a dry, humorous style and, as in "The Gift of the Magi," frequently used coincidences and surprise endings to underline ironies. Even after O. Henry's death on June 5, 1910, stories continued to be collected: Sixes and Sevens (1911); Rolling Stones (1912); Waifs and Strays (1917); O. Henryana...

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