Comparing The Washwoman And The Last Leaf

885 Words 4 Pages
Loss of life, something that everyone must face, many short stories have dug into this topic such as Gwilan’s Harp by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Washwoman by Isaac Bashevis Singer, and The Last Leaf by O. Henry. The climax of each story comes when an important character dies, forever impacting the surrounding characters. In Gwilan’s Harp, Gwilan endures the loss of her husband Torm and of her beloved harp, but finds fulfilment in her god given talents. The Death of the washwoman in the aptly named Washwoman explains a difficult yet important lesion regarding the importance of a strong work ethic. In the last leaf we see death in a more heroic light when Mr. Behrman uses his last ounce of life to save his dear neighbor Johnsy. Throughout these stories we see three unique perspectives on death and each of them covey a moralistic approach to the loss of life.

In Gwilan’s Harp by LeGuin, Gwilan endures a life of sorrow and emptiness, she feels an unimaginable loss of joy and fulfilment after the loss of her harp. In the wagon accident that takes her harp she also injures her wrist. This permanently affects her ability to
…show more content…
In Gwilan’s Harp a somber and detached tone rises up though LeGuin’s style, pulling the reader down into the depressed mental state of Gwilan. In The Washwoman, a tone of gratefulness for work can be seen in every word, even after she loses respect and contact with her dear son. The Last Leaf portrays death as a noble sacrifice, showing how one man can utilize the last of his strength to do something that would change Johnsy’s life forever. Through all three of these works, those who sacrifice themselves, such as Torm, the Washwoman, and Mr. Behrman, ultimately provide the ability to carry on for the surrounding characters. After each death, their seemingly low class life reflects the joy of God, and the importance of continuing on, even after a great

Related Documents