A Retrieved Reformation Questions and Answers

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine is a hardened criminal who immediately returns to safecracking when he is released from prison; however, after he unexpectedly falls in love, Jimmy changes his behavior and...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2016 7:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

The advice the warden gives Jimmy Valentine is brief. “Now, Valentine,” said the warden, “you'll go out in the morning. Brace up, and make a man of yourself. You're not a bad fellow at heart. Stop...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2015 12:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

The title "A Retrieved Reformation" is probably not a very good one because the word "retrieved" does not quite explain what happens. Perhaps "salvaged" or "saved" or "preserved" would be better....

Latest answer posted October 9, 2013 11:02 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine is the protagonist of the short story "A Retrieved Reformation." He is an ex-convict safecracker who got out of his four-year prison sentence early due to criminal connections. He...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2018 12:38 am UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy had been sentenced to four years in prison for a "bank job" he had committed in Springfield. O. Henry does not provide much specific information about the crime. There are several cities...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2015 12:00 am UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

Immediately after he is released from prison, Jimmy continues committing burglaries. He doesn't appear to have changed, and he certainly demonstrates no guilt regarding his actions. The text tells...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2016 7:42 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

It would seem that the first important change in Jimmy Valentine occurred instantaneously when he fell in love at first sight with a small-town girl named Annabel Adams. A young lady crossed the...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2015 3:35 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

When "A Retrieved Reformation" begins, Jimmy Valentine is a career criminal. After receiving a pardon and being released from prison, he proceeds to return to his criminal ways. This all changes...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2019 11:27 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

O. Henry was noted for the surprise endings of many of his stories. In fact, short stories in which the effect depends upon a surprise ending are often referred to as "O. Henry stories." They have...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2013 12:10 am UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine moves to Elmore, Arkansas to establish a new identity and to start a store as a "front" from which to continue to operate as a safecracker but look like a respectable businessman....

Latest answer posted April 9, 2016 11:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

The theme of "A Retrieved Reformation" can probably be best expressed with the old adage "Honesty is the best policy." When Jimmy Valentine goes to Elmore, Arkansas, he is only planning to set up a...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2015 4:55 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Retrieved Reformation

When Jimmy Valentine was a criminal he had to hide from the world. He couldn't have any friends, and he had no prospects of marrying, even though he is described as exceptionally smart,...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

A number of O. Henry's stories are based on several interrelated morals. These are: Crime does not pay. Honesty is the best policy. It is difficult for criminals to reform. Jimmy Valentine decides...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2014 11:38 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

The story “A Retrieved Reformation” is a classic redemption narrative, and its protagonist, Jimmy Valentine, is an archetype of a classic American fictional character. Jimmy is a goodhearted...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2020 9:11 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Retrieved Reformation

There are two good examples of irony involving Jimmy Valentine's reformation. One is that his past catches up with him just when he has decided to reform. The three safecracking jobs he pulls after...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2015 2:06 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

This is a complex question. Jimmy wanted to go straight and to marry Annabel Adams. He no longer needs his custom-made safecracking tools, but he probably should have dumped them in some river...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2015 12:00 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy has his suitcase full of specialized safecracking tools with him right inside the room containing the brand-new bank vault where Agatha gets accidentally locked inside. It would be hard for...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2016 5:57 am UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine decided to give up his life of crime because he falls in love with a beautiful, small-town girl named Annabel Adams. He knows such a perfect girl will not return his love if she...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy’s safe-cracking tools are stored in a room in the café. After Jimmy Valentine gets out of prison, he goes to the café of Jimmy Dolan, where he has a room “at the back of the house.” Here the...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2016 3:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy is getting to be too well known as a master safe-cracker. This is one of the reasons why he moves to a different territory of operations in Elmore, Arkansas and also one of the reasons he...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2015 1:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine has a reputation for being the best safe cracker in the profession. He has a lot of connections on the outside, and some of them can get him out of "stir" (also knows as "the big...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2013 7:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

I just want to add to my answer above that this act of Jimmy's when he "tossed a quarter into the hat of a blind man sitting by the door" also foreshadows the decision he will make at the end of...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2012 12:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy wants to settle down and give up his life of crime. But ever since he was released from prison, he's been up to his old tricks, cracking open numerous safes across the Midwest. So if Jimmy's...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2018 7:05 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Retrieved Reformation

Before he falls in love, it is a hardened criminal named Jimmy Valentine who ignores the warden's advice to "stop cracking safes and live straight. He pulls several "jobs"; then, he travels to...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2013 6:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

The moral of "A Retrieved Reformation" is fairly simple. It can be stated as "Crime does not pay" or as "Honesty is the best policy." When Jimmy falls in love with Annabelle Adams and decides to go...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2015 7:32 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

To Jimmy Valentine, the presence of Ben Price at the bank indicates that he has again been on Jimmy's trail and is there to arrest him. Recalling that it was the acumen and persistence of...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2016 9:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine, a known criminal who breaks into bank safes, is being tracked down by Ben Price: Ben Price knew how Jimmy worked. Jimmy would go from one city to another far away. He always...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2018 5:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

In a letter to his old friend, Jimmy expresses a few concerns. First, he no longer wants or needs the tools of his old trade. His chief concern is that the tools go to someone he can trust. This is...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2018 5:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

In O. Henry's "A Retrieved Reformation," the detective who waits in the bank for Valentine, impressed with his good deed of opening the safe and saving the little girl, realizes that the criminal...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2015 8:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

In "A Retrieved Reformation," Jimmy Valentine, the talented young safecracker, appears to have genuinely changed his criminal ways when he falls in love with Annabel Adams, the daughter of a...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2018 3:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Ben Price knows full well that the man standing in front of him is Jimmy Valentine, the expert safe-breaker he's been tailing ever since he got out of prison. But he chooses to let him go,...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2019 5:46 am UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

When Jimmy fell in love with Annabel Adams at first sight, that was the beginning of his reformation. When he opened his suitcase in the bank and used his specialized safecracking tools to free the...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2016 11:47 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

In the story, five-year-old Agatha has been locked in the vault by May, her nine-year-old sister. Accordingly, everyone can hear the child 'wildly shrieking in the dark vault in a panic of...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2016 3:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine's reformation is retrieved three times. When Jimmy Valentine receives his pardon from the governor of the state after serving only ten months of a four-year sentence, the warden...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2016 11:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

This story also has the irony that is fairly typical in some of O. Henry's other stories. As in "The Gift of the Magi," the hero, Valentine, ends up giving up the one thing that makes him happy...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2012 10:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Retrieved Reformation

"A Retrieved Reformation" is written from the perspective of a third-person omniscient narrator who is telling about an event that occurred in the past and who confines himself almost entirely to a...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2015 5:27 pm UTC

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A Retrieved Reformation

Mike Dolan owns a building in an unspecified small town. The building is not described in detail, but since it is a "small town," the building itself must be small. It is probably a wooden building...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2015 2:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

"A Retrieved Reformation" has a fairly standard plot structure in which there is a protagonist and an antagonist with a showdown between the two. Jimmy Valentine is obviously the protagonist. He...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2015 2:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Retrieved Reformation

When Jimmy Valentine descends from the "mail-hack" in Elmore, Arkansas, he soon becomes "another man": He successfully opens a shoe store and gains the love of Annabel Adams, the approval of her...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2015 11:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy responds to all the warden's advice with straight denial. This is the pertinent dialogue with regard to the warden's advice to live straight. “Now, Valentine,” said the warden, “you'll go...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2016 7:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy's change was triggered by his falling in love at first sight with the beautiful and highly respectable Annabel Adams. It should be noted, however, that he was already beginning to realize...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2016 4:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

At the beginning of "A Retrieved Reformation," Jimmy Valentine is in prison. He was arrested for committing a bank burglary in Springfield. We do not learn the name of the arresting detective until...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2016 3:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

When Jimmy is released from prison in the opening part of "A Retrieved Reformation," he goes to the rented room that has been kept for him by Mike Dolan to get his suitcase full of specialized...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2016 3:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

The point of view of the story is third-person omniscient. Point of view is the perspective a story is told from, or which character is telling the story. The third-person omniscient point of view...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2016 3:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Ben Price is the detective who successfully has arrested Jimmy Valentine and secured his conviction and prison sentence. As the primary investigator of the Jimmy Valentine case, Ben Price has come...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2015 10:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Ben Price is described as a big man who is strong and tough. This is noted at the end of the story to show that Jimmy Valentine would have no way of escaping from Ben if he were inclined to try to...

Latest answer posted July 6, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine assumed the name of Ralph Spencer when he became a businessman and fell in love with Annabel Adams. He intended to leave his old name behind him along with his criminal past. When...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2015 11:26 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy Valentine is pardoned because he has many important friends and connections on the outside. The last sentence of the first paragraph of the story indicates this important fact. When a man...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2016 2:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

O. Henry portrays Jimmy Valentine as an essentially good man who has just gone down the wrong path in life. The warden takes an interest in him because he can see that Jimmy is not like the...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2016 3:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Retrieved Reformation

Jimmy's suitcase is so heavy because it is full of all his safecracking tools, which are made of tempered steel. O. Henry makes frequent references to this suitcase throughout the story. In his...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2015 9:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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