Essay on Irony, The Gift Of The Magi, And The Last Leaf

1462 Words 6 Pages
O. Henry 's three stories, “A Retrieved Reformation,” “The Gift of the Magi,” and “The Last Leaf” demonstrates the talent of this writer. In all three of these stories, unique literary techniques are used to create plot twists and unexpected turns. A common literary technique used in O. Henry 's three stories is irony, which is used to create a humorous and surprising effect. In addition, O. Henry uses foreshadowing in all three stories in order to build suspense as the reader anticipates the surprise ending.

The theme that is conveyed throughout “A Retrieved Reformation” is that people can change. Jimmy Valentine is sent to prison because he breaks into banks. Surprisingly, he is freed from prison before his sentence finishes. Jimmy continues to rob banks, and as the cops investigate they know Jimmy is behind all the crimes. He steals from three different safes until he reaches a town called Elmore. In Elmore he sees a girl named Annabel Adams. In order to pursue this girl, he changes his name to Ralph Spencer and decides to settle in Elmore. He starts a shoe business and becomes successful. He stays a year in Elmore, establishing himself as a nice, hard working man and becomes friends with everyone. Ralph is now going to marry Annabel Adams. Before the marriage, the Adams family, including Ralph, went to Anabel’s father’s bank to see the new safe he had just installed. Two of the children were playing around the safe and one got trapped inside. Ralph turns back into…

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