Notes on Short Story THE GIFT OF THE MAGI By O. Henry Date: 26 September 2012 Title: The Gift of the Magi Author: William Sydney Porter also known as O. Henry Background of the O. Henry: O. Henry was born on September 11, 1862, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Both his mother and father died before O. Henry turned 20. As a teenager, he worked as a pharmacist’s assistant in his uncle’s drugstore to help support his family. At age 19, he moved to Texas to take advantage of its warmth and dry climate. There he worked at a farm that belonged to a friend of his family’s. Vocabulary: * Instigates: To cause by incitement Subsiding: To sink to a low or lower level * Coax: To attempt to influence by gentle persuasion * Faltered: To hesitate or waver in action, purpose, intent, etc. * Ravages: To work havoc upon * Assertion: A positive statement or declaration, often without reason or support * Tresses: A plait or braid of hair * Ardent: Having, expressive of, or characterized by intense feeling * Dandy: A man who is excessively concerned about his clothes and appearance * Manger: A box or trough in a stable or barn from which horses or cattle eat Setting: Christmas Eve, New York City Characters: Delia Young * James Dillingham Young * Madame Sofronie Literary Devices: * Allusion: “The magi, as you know, were wise men—wonderfully wise men—who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. ” * Anadiplosis: “And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two………” * Polysyndeton: “…… a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher. ” * Personification: “The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent soul. ” * Repetition: “…… looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. * Simile: “…… about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. ” * Metaphor: “Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. ” * Situational Irony: Della receives combs for her hair that is no longer there. * Synecdoche: “White fingers and nimble tore the string and paper…” * Alliteration: “…… that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles. ” Symbolism: The symbolism in “The Gift of the Magi” is based upon the gifts given by Jim and Della. Both Jim and Della gave up a possession the forfeited the importance of the gift they would receive from their spouse.
The gifts showing the importance of giving everything of themselves. Theme: * Love * Sacrifice * Wealth * Women and Feminity Point of View: Third Person THE NECKLACE BY: GUY DE MAUPASSANT Date: 10 October 2012 Title: The Necklace Author: Henri Rene Albert Guy De Maupassant Background of the Author: Henri Rene Albert Guy De Maupassant was born on August 5th, 1850 and was declared deceased on July 6th, 1893. He was a French writer known for his short stories, which painted the life of people in the 19th Century of France.
He was prolific, published 300 short stories and 6 novels, but he died at a very young age due to physical and mental illness. Vocabulary: * Blundered: A gross, or stupid mistake * Wit: The keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure. * Antechambers: A chamber or room that serves as a waiting room and entrance to a larger room or an apartment * Peopling: Indefinitely or Collectively * Trifled: An article or thing of very little value Setting: Paris, 1880 Character: * Mathilde Loisel * Monsieur Loisel Madame Forestier Literary Devices: * Situational Irony * Authorial Intrusion * Anaphora * Alliteration Symbolism: The Necklace The necklace, beautiful but worthless, represents the power of perception and the split between appearances and reality. Mathilde wants to borrow the necklace from Madame Forestier, but she did not tell Mathilde that it was a fake. Mathilde never underestimated Madame Forestier due to her wealth. Themes: * Wealth * Women and Feminity * Pride * Suffering A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings By: Gabriel Garcia Marquez Date: 31 October 2012
Title: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez Background of the Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born on March 6th, 1928. He was a writer who grew up listening to family tales. His novels <<One Hundred Years of Solitude >> and << Love in Time of Cholera >> have drawn worldwide audiences. He won the Nobel Prize in 1982. After College, he became a journalist who introduced readers to magical realism. Vocabulary: * Stupor: Suspension or great diminution of sensibility; as in disease or as caused by narcotics, intoxicants, etc. Grandeur: The quality or state of being impressive * Dialect: A variety of language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially. * Bailiff: An officer, similar to a sheriff or a sheriff’s deputy, employed to execute writs and processes, make arrests, keep order in the court, etc. * Reverence: A feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe * Frivolous: Characterize by lack of seriousness or sense * Robust: Strong and Healthy Impertinences: Unmannerly intrusion or presumption Setting: Characters: * The Old Man * Pelayo * Elisenda * Father Gonzaga * The Neighbor Woman * The Spider Woman Literary Devices: * Verbal Irony * Synesthesia * Magical Realism * Onomatopoeia * Allusion Symbolism: * Wings: Wings represent power, speed and limitless freedom in motion. Ironically, the wings of the angel in the story convey only a sense of age and disease. When the village doctor examines the old man, he notices how naturally the wings fit in with the rest of his body.
The ultimate effect is to suggest that the old man is both natural and supernatural at once. * The Spider Woman: The spider woman represents the fickleness with which many self-interested people approach their own faith. Not surprisingly, the old man’s reputation wanes when he proves capable of performing only minor “consolation miracles”. Themes: * Family * Moral * Religion * Magical Realism The Pedestrian By: Ray Bradbury Date: 7 November 2012 Title: The Pedestrian Author: Ray Bradbury Background of the Author: Ray Bradbury was born on August 22nd, 1920, Waukegan, Illinois.
He was an American fantasy and horror author who rejected being categorized as a sci-fi author, claiming that his work was based on the fantastical and unreal. His best known novel is Fahrenheit 451. He is also remembered for other of his popular works including << The Martian Chronicles >> and << Something Wicked This Way Comes >>. He was declared deceased just recently, June 5th, 2012 at the age of 91. Vocabulary: * Seams: The line formed by sewing together pieces of cloth, leather, or the like. * Intermittent: Stopping or ceasing for a time * Wintry: Of or characteristic of winter * Doot: N/A
Setting: November, 2053 A. D. Characters: * Leonard Mead Literary Devices: * Personification * Imagery * Symbolism * Simile * Metaphor * Alliteration * Irony Symbolism: On their way to the psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies, they pass Mead’s house. It is ablaze with lights in contrast to the dark city. It is a symbol of hope of vibrant life – light is a universal symbol of hope, but the car is swallowed up once more into the darkness, literally and figuratively. Themes: * Technology * Society loses its humanity * Mankind cease to exist * Distrust and Ultimate Destruction * Propaganda * Pessimistic