Stylistic Analysis of the Text "The Last Leaf"

1424 Words Apr 1st, 2012 6 Pages
The text under analysis is a story written by O'Henry. O'Henry is a pseudonym of William Sydney Porter. He was an American writer, noted for his numerous short stories. He worked in various jobs: as a rancher, bank teller, as a journalist. He founded a comic weekly magazine “The Rolling Stone” before being employed by “The Houston Post” to write a humorous daily coloumn. In 1898 he was convicted of embezzlement and served a three-year term in the federal penitentiary. After that he contributed short stories to the popular magazines of his days for the rest of his life. In all, Henry wrote 270 stories, and they consist of a rich mixture of semi-realism, sentiment and surprise endings. He is frequently thought of as a “funny” writer. O’Henry …show more content…
It is like the last chance it is very fragile and hangs by a thread. At the same time the author uses it as an antithesis and contrasts it with Johnsy. To intensify the feeling of struggle and survival a metaphor is used. “It is hanging bravely from the branch”. The leaf unlike Johnsy wants to live and to survive, it is lonely and it sticks to the ivy steam. But Johnsy thinks pessimistically. She has almost everything to get well: an experienced doctor giving precise instructions and a good, caring friend at hand, who is ready to do everything to help her.

The author uses both direct and indirect methods of characterization. He describes his characters and at the same time he makes them act and lets the reader draw his own conclusion. He describes hem through their actions, their dialogues and attitude to each other. There are two protagonists: Sue and Johnsy and two secondary characters: old Behrman and the doctor. The reader knows that the girls are young artists and good friends. They rent a joint studio and try to pave their way to Art by drawing to illustrate magazines. Their relationships are very warm and friendly and their deeds prove it. Sue treats Johnsy as a child; she calls her “dear, naughty girl, goosey”. She’s quite persevering and doesn’t let down under difficulties. The girl is loyal and devoted. She does her best to cure her friend, asking Behrman for help. The author uses inversion to underline
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