The Last Leaf by O. Henry

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Summarize the character of Johnsy in "The Last Leaf."

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Johnsy is a young woman from California who has come to New York to be an artist.  Physically, all we really know about her is that she is small -- she is described as a "mite of a little woman."

Emotionally, I would say that Johnsy is a little immature, at least in my opinion.  To me, a person who would convince herself that the span of her life is controlled by a leaf on a vine is not someone who thinks clearly.  It seem superstitious to me, and that seems immature.

I suppose you might say she's mentally strong because she can convince herself to live or die.  But I feel it's a bit of a negative quality because of what I've said above.

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windsinheaven | Student

She has surrendered to fate

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mkcapen1 | Student

In the short story by O'Henry "The Last Leaf" Johnsy is a slight young woman who is petite.  She is adventurous and daring or she would not have moved to the artistic community of Greenwich Village, New York.  She is living in a  community of artists and, she is an artist herself.

Johnsy is very weak and does not have a strong constitution initially to fight off the weakness that her body had created after becoming ill.  She essentially gives up; which does not seem to make her much of a fighter.  She is well cared about and has good friends or the people around her, her roommate and the artist below, would not have tried so hard to help her.

Once she sees the leaf lasting Johnsy begins to change.  She mentally becomes a stronger person as she tries to endure like the leaf had endured.

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