After Twenty Years Questions and Answers
by O. Henry

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Compare and contrast Bob and Jimmy's characters in "After Twenty Years."

In "After Twenty Years," Bob and Jimmy both have long memories and a strong sense of loyalty. However, Jimmy is a less daring and more strictly moral character, whose personal feelings are overridden by his sense of public duty.

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It is clear that both Jimmy and Bob in “After Twenty Years” have long memories and a deep attachment to one another. They both recall and honor the pact they made twenty years earlier, and Bob, as he waits, has no doubt that if Jimmy is still alive, he will be there, “for he always was the truest, staunchest old chap in the world.”

Bob later describes Jimmy as “kind of a plodder,” not the type of person who would be likely to make a spectacular success in any field, as Bob has clearly done in the arena of organized crime. Jimmy is therefore characterized as less daring and more moral than Bob. He does not appear ambitious and has not been particularly successful, but he has remained honest. He is more observant than Bob, however, since he recognizes his old friend immediately, while the passage of years and the patrolman’s uniform combine to deceive Bob.

Bob and Jimmy also display different ethical priorities. Although Bob has embarked on a criminal career, he still has...

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