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Analysis of "One thousand dollars" by O' Henry. help pleaseI need help with the...

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mosoliny | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2010 at 1:40 AM via web

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Analysis of "One thousand dollars" by O' Henry. help please

I need help with the analysis of this story. Any notes would help concerning many stuff such as plot, setting, characterization, style, figurative language, theme, symbols,......................etc.
hope anyone would help and thanx.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 7, 2010 at 1:54 AM (Answer #1)

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The theme of this story is, quite clearly, love and human decency.  It is a story (like many of O. Henry's) about what people do (and should do) for love.

Young Gillian is characterized as something of a playboy.  He clearly wastes money at clubs and on showgirls.  His uncle has not liked this about him and has left him $1,000.  Gillian doesn't know this, but if he spends it well, he gets $50,000 and if he doesn't he gets nothing more.

Gillian spends the money well -- gives it to the woman he loves (even though she doesn't love him).  Then he finds out about the $50,000.  He finds out that if he spent the money badly, the $50,000 goes to the woman he loves.  When he hears this, he lies and says he wasted the money.

Gillian shows the best side of love here.  He knows that Miriam will not love him no matter how rich he is.  So he sacrifices his happiness for hers.

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fatimashirkavand | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 7, 2011 at 7:21 AM (Answer #2)

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Yes, it is true that the theme of this story is pure love. He knows best that she is not going to love him back. Nevertheless, he wants to make her happy. He will double her happiness by a white lie at the end of the story, by telling that he had spent the money gambling. So, he simply kisses good-bye to that amount, just because of his love.

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myschools13 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:15 AM (Answer #3)

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the story speaks the magnificience of love over ordinary living of life. O. Henry has again shown that sacrifice makes love more sublime

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balboa | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 12, 2015 at 4:40 PM (Answer #4)

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Nonsense! Nothing about human decency! Just some shitty "human-unexpressed-human-goodness-cum-nonchalance" that characterizes o'henry 's stories!

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