After Twenty Years Questions and Answers

After Twenty Years

Jimmy has to have his old friend arrested because it is Jimmy's sworn duty to enforce the law. It should be noted, however, that O. Henry deliberately softens Jimmy's betrayal by making Bob's...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2013 12:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

At the end of the story, Jimmy sends Silky Bob a note that says, Somehow I couldn't do it myself, so I went around and got a plain clothes man to do the job. We can surmise, from everything that...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2020 10:40 am UTC

4 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Here is a plot outline that you can alter to the diagram that you need: 1. Exposition - The beat policeman moves impressively and has a "watchful eye" as he moves up and down his street. He slows...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2011 4:05 pm UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Bob and Jimmy both grew up in New York City, but when Bob was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty, Bob decided to leave the city and head out West to try to get rich. Jimmy was dedicated to New York and...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2019 4:54 am UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

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...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2020 4:02 am UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Jimmy had to make a difficult choice between two painful alternatives. On the one hand, he could have gone on his way and let Silky Bob escape from the law. In that case, Jimmy would have felt...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2014 11:21 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Another possible moral lesson intended by O. Henry in "After Twenty Years" is that once a man becomes an habitual criminal he can never trust anybody, not even his own best friend. This is the...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2014 12:08 am UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

It seems to me that by using the word "should" in your question you are asking, not what would you do, but what should you do if you were in Jimmy's position. It seems to me that, as much as I feel...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2013 11:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

Set at the turn of the twentieth century in New York City, O. Henry's narrative begins with a policeman walking his regular beat. Twirling his police stick, he checks the locked doors and doorways....

Latest answer posted July 8, 2013 10:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The fact that "Silky" Bob traveled a thousand miles to meet his old friend Jimmy Wells suggests many things about him. For one thing, it suggests that he doesn't have many friends, if any. Bob has...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2014 5:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

The story is told by an anonymous narrator and features two points of view, those of Jimmy and Bob. Although Jimmy is not identified, the fact that it is this cop's point of view is shown from the...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2016 12:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

O. Henry's description of Bob's face by the light of his match has a double purpose. First, it is necessary to enable Jimmy to recognize Bob as the man who is wanted by the Chicago police. Second,...

Latest answer posted July 6, 2014 11:41 pm UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

O. Henry's ironic story of the twenty year reunion of two old friends, one of whom went West to make his fortune, depicts Bob's having come a thousand miles to meet Jimmy Wells back in New York. As...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2013 4:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

A serial criminal called "Silky Bob" has come to New York to meet up with his old friend Jimmy Wells. Twenty years earlier, the two men had agreed to meet outside a hardware store. Amazingly, Bob...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2021 10:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Jimmy Wells was once the best friend ("chum") of Bob, now a noted criminal. They grew up as if they were brothers, but went their separate ways twenty years before. Bob headed out west when he was...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2019 8:19 pm UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

The predominant conflict in "After Twenty Years" is an internal one that is not apparent to the reader until the surprise ending of the story. This internal conflict arises between friendship and...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2017 2:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

As the student deliberates on how he or she would act in the dilemma in which Officer Wells finds himself, consideration should also be given to the personality traits of 'Silky Bob.' As Jimmy's...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2017 4:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The main situational irony in "After Twenty Years" involves the fact that Bob is waiting for Jimmy and doesn't realize he is actually talking to him. Then when Jimmy leaves, Bob thinks Jimmy didn't...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2015 11:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

O. Henry's "After Twenty Years" may be interpreted as a tale of friendship since the two old friends both return to their favorite restaurant after twenty years as they have promised each other...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2016 10:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

One valuable takeaway from O'Henry's "After Twenty Years" is that the past always catches up to you. Bob lives a life of crime, and he thinks all his "hustling around" will never catch up to him....

Latest answer posted June 6, 2019 11:56 pm UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

One symbol in the story is the restaurant, Big Joe Brady's Restaurant, where the old friends in the story are supposed to reunite after twenty years. Before Bob left for the west twenty years...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2018 11:57 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Jimmy recognizes his old friend Bob while he talks to him in the doorway of what once was Brady's restaurant. As Bob lights his cigar, Jimmy recognizes the "pale, square-jawed face with keen eyes...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2016 12:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

Other examples of foreshadowing in "After Twenty Years" include one very significant one: When the man in the doorway lights a match and the policeman sees him, there is a scar on his face and...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2010 12:27 am UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Although Jimmy is a cop and Bob is a thief, when all is said and done they're still old friends. Jimmy has done his professional duty as a police officer, but he can't bring himself to confront his...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2018 11:04 am UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

I understood the term "guardian of the peace" to be synonymous with the term "police officer." "Guardian of the peace" or "guardians of the peace" may have been used frequently in newspapers and...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2016 3:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The significance of the title of O’Henry’s “After Twenty Years” is great. Taken literally, the title reflects that the action of the story takes place after twenty years of time have elapsed....

Latest answer posted July 18, 2020 11:53 am UTC

4 educator answers

After Twenty Years

O. Henry's tale of the fated reunion of two old friends after twenty years involves some surprising contradictions. The most prevalent type of irony is that of situational irony, in which there is...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2012 8:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The climax in a story is the peak of emotional intensity. In "After Twenty Years" this peak is reached when Bob and the arresting officver arrive at the corner drug store which is brilliantly...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2013 10:26 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The short story "After Twenty Years" by O. Henry does have a tragic ending as two close friends who have vowed to reunite after twenty years, find themselves too changed to remain friends. Both...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2018 4:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

The two friends, Jimmy Wells and Bob, have disparate lifestyles, reflecting their contrasting values. These contrasting values are represented by their chosen locales. Jimmy chose to stay in New...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2016 1:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

Darkness is important to this story because it hinges on the fact that "Silky Bob," who is waiting in the darkened doorway of a hardware store for his old friend Jimmy Wells, does not realize that...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2013 11:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

In “After Twenty Years,” by O. Henry, Bob is waiting for Jimmy to arrive at the reunion spot they agreed upon twenty years prior. As he waits on a cold, deserted, New York City street outside where...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2018 1:24 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

O. Henry does a remarkable job of introducing a major character without actually revealing who he is. The reader is deliberately misled into taking the cop for just one of many uniformed cops...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2016 4:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The overall tone and feeling of O. Henry’s “After Twenty Years” is somewhat somber and reminiscent. It follows the two men, Jim and Bob, whose lives have vastly diverged over time, and it...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2019 1:02 pm UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Bob realizes that the man with whom he talks is not Jimmy Wells after they walk under the brilliant electric lights of a drug store. He is startled that this man is a stranger, and he exclaims,...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2016 10:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

This is a good question, but a difficult one. Obviously the main conflict has to involve either one or both of the main characters, Jimmy and Bob. Bob does not seem to be experiencing any conflict....

Latest answer posted October 14, 2015 11:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

Literally speaking, the policeman is commenting that Bob apparently has done well, at least financially, out West. Twenty years previously, Bob had left New York to make his fortune, heading to the...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2010 8:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

Policeman Jimmy Wells has to make a decision in this 1906 story by O. Henry. The choice is between loyalty to an old friend he hasn't seen in twenty years or to the law, the profession to which he...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2018 5:03 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

The only obvious simile in the story occurs when Bob is telling the policeman, whom he doesn't recognize as his old friend Jimmy Wells, about the strong friendship that had existed between the two...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2016 6:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The title of “After Twenty Years” is ironic because two old friends are reuniting after a long time, but they are now on opposite sides of the law. When Bob sees Jimmy, he does not recognize him....

Latest answer posted November 6, 2012 7:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

O. Henry wanted to show a contrast between the two principal characters, "Silky Bob" and Jimmy Wells, most of which had evolved over the twenty years since they had last seen each other at "Big...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2013 11:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

"Silky" Bob is described as a pale man who has "square-jawed face with keen eyes." His most notable features are a white scar by his eyebrow and the diamond scarf pin he wears, which is large and...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2019 12:56 pm UTC

3 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Bob has only been superficially more successful than Jimmy. Bob has some flashy clothes and accessories, but he has no home, no family, no friends (except Jimmy), no roots, and he is continually on...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2016 7:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The fact that Jimmy and Bob were friends twenty years ago does not necessarily mean that they are still friends. The main theme of O. Henry's story is that people change. These two men have grown...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2015 6:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The quote you mentioned—especially the words "his egotism enlarged by success"—tells us much about Bob's personality and character. Those words highlight Bob's materialistic predilections....

Latest answer posted August 14, 2018 2:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

In the short story "After Twenty Years," the author O. Henry creates an atmosphere of mystery and uncertainty to set up the surprise ending. He does this by describing the weather, the time, and...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2018 5:27 pm UTC

2 educator answers

After Twenty Years

Bob speaks to the policeman because he doesn’t want his behavior to raise suspicion. Jimmy and Bob have been friends for a long time. They made a date twenty years before to meet on a certain spot...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2016 1:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

Jimmy and Bob have known each other all their lives. They grew up in the same neighborhood in Manhattan. That means they probably played together in the streets like all the other kids. They went...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2016 12:26 pm UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

The policeman, whom we later learn is Jimmy Wells, asks Bob, the man in the doorway, a pointed question. “I'll be on my way. Hope your friend comes around all right. Going to call time on him...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2015 7:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

After Twenty Years

'Silky' Bob and Jimmy Wells, longtime friends who have parted ways, agreed to meet again in their favorite restaurant in New York City twenty years later. O. Henry's story begins on the appointed...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2016 5:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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