What is an analysis of the short story "The Marionettes" by O. Henry?

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In O. Henry 's short story "The Marionettes," a character named Dr. James lives a double life. A doctor by day, he gains and betrays his patients' confidence to learn where they hide their valuables. By night, he uses his deft hands and tools to break into their houses. In...

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In O. Henry's short story "The Marionettes," a character named Dr. James lives a double life. A doctor by day, he gains and betrays his patients' confidence to learn where they hide their valuables. By night, he uses his deft hands and tools to break into their houses. In this story, however, he finally experiences a change of heart.

On his way home from robbing a dry goods store, where he finds much less money than he had expected, a maid summons Dr. James into the seemingly wealthy house of Mr. Chandler. The wife swoons after her husband is taken ill, and the husband mutters something about twenty-thousand dollars. The doctor administers a heart stimulant that he knows will kill his patient and asks him where the money has been hidden. The patient first directs him to a safe, but the doctor finds it empty. Dr. James later learns that the husband, who is about to die from the heart stimulant he has administered, has gambled away all the money, leaving his wife nothing. The doctor leaves the wife the money he has stolen from the dry goods store.

The story operates by presenting a series of doubles. The doctor has a double life as a physician and a thief. He is then paired with Mr. Chandler, who is also a rascal. Seeming the evil in Mr. Chandler, Dr. James has a change of heart and rescues Mrs. Chandler by leaving her the ill-gotten gains he received that night. The reader is left wondering if Dr. James can reform himself and recover the better side of his nature and if the doctor should be excused for administering the final blow to the evil Mr. Chandler. 

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