What is the theme of "After Twenty Years," by O. Henry? State the theme and explain why it's a valid theme of the story.
In my opinion, there are two possible themes to the story.
The first is that two people who are from the same place and who are good friends can still grow apart. This implies that some people are just born to be good and others to end up badly. Jimmy Wells stayed honest, but Bob didn't.
The other theme is that morality and duty are more important than friendship. Jimmy clearly still feels something for Bob -- he can't bring himself to actually arrest Bob. But he knows that doing what's right is more important than friendship.
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