What is the feeling of the story "The Last Leaf" by O. Henry?
"The Last Leaf" by O. Henry is less funny and entertaining than other O. Henry stories, but it still carries a sarcastic tone that shadows much of it; it's like he is telling the story but not quite taking it seriously himself. He makes a bit of fun of the residents of the neighborhood that the story is set in, Greenwich Village. He writes:
"So, to quaint old Greenwich Village the art people soon came prowling, hunting for north windows and eighteenth-century gables and Dutch attics and low rents. Then they imported some pewter mugs and a chafing dish or two from Sixth avenue, and became a 'colony.'"
So, the story starts off with that rather bemused and sarcastic tone, which he keeps a thread of throughout the entire story. But, the mood turns a little bit more serious as he describes how Johnsy is hit by pneumonia. So, he has introduced a very serious illness into a story that started off as satirical; do we take the piece seriously, or with amusment? It's a rather odd combination that continues throughout the entire piece: he introduces characters through insults and sarcasm, then asks us to care about those characters when bad things happen to them.
I provided links below to further discussions of the style and characters, and that should help a bit too; good luck!