After Twenty Years Questions and Answers
by O. Henry

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What is the tone and mood of "After Twenty Years" by O. Henry?

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Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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 chronicles their departure and how their lives have ended up going very differently.

While they were once good friends, they haven’t seen each other in twenty years and they are now on the opposite ends of life and the law. Bob has become a wanted criminal, while Jimmy is now a police officer. Jimmy, realizing that their lives have so drastically diverged, can’t bring himself to reveal who he is to his friend, and he departs before letting Bob know that he did in fact show up for their scheduled rendezvous. Jimmy later sends another officer to apprehend Bob. Overall, the feel is very somber as the friends realize they’re no longer the same people, and the way their lives have turned out will keep them separated forever.

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The general mood is one of uncertainty. Who are these men? Just what they...

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vmoriarity eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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