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In "After Twenty Years," how does the author prepare for the ending of his story?
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In order to prepare readers for the ending of a story, authors often use foreshadowing. However, as one who often employs the surprise ending, O. Henry does not often give his readers too many hints of things to come in his short story "After Twenty Years." So, the foreshadowing that O. Henry writes is rather subtle; usually the reader only finds it on review.
For instance, in this narrative, there are the two references of diamonds that the man in the doorway owns: a scarfpin and a handsome watch. He has a "little white scar near his right eyebrow, as well. These details suggest the possibility of some one who has an ill-gotten wealth, and it seems a little odd that the policeman does not ask the man for identification. It also seems odd that the policeman chats with the visitor as long as he does.
Less subtle than these details is Bob's reaction to Jimmy when he remarks,
"You've changed lots, Jimmy. I never thought you were so tall by two or three inches."
Of course, he realizes the man is not Jimmy when they stand under the light, and then the reader is fully prepared for the ending
Posted by mwestwood on August 6, 2013 at 4:46 AM (Answer #2)
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