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Does "The Last Leaf" present a clear point of view?  How?

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malillin | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 17, 2009 at 7:10 PM via web

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Does "The Last Leaf" present a clear point of view?  How?

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted October 17, 2009 at 11:59 PM (Answer #1)

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The story, “The Last Leaf,” by O. Henry, is a prime example of the third person omniscient point of view. Through the use of this type of narrator, Henry clearly shows us each of the characters attitudes, thoughts, emotions, and etc. including “Mr. Pneumonia . . . with his icy fingers.” The quality and sweetness of this story would not be the same if Sue had simply told us how the tough acting Johnsy had suffered with fear and depression over her illness. Or if Sue had tried to relay to the reader the precious gift the gruff German artist had given them at his own expense. Or even if Sue had tried to convey to us her frustration and heartbreak at Johnsy attitude and condition. It was necessary for Henry to use an omniscient narrator in order for the reader to get a true sense of the complexity of thought and emotion that went into this story and the interaction of the characters.

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