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"Two Thanksgiving Day Men" Character Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 09/07/2015 01:06 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.1 
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Character Analysis – Stuffy Pete
In O. Henry’s “Two Thanksgiving day gentlemen”, the character Stuffy Pete is presented as a happy-go-lucky man. When posed with a challenge, he responds with chivalry and empathy.
The narrator tells us in paragraph four that “Every Thanksgiving Day for nine years he had taken his seat there promptly at 1 o’clock. For every time he had done so things had happened to him- Charles Dickensy things that swelled his waistcoat above his heart, and equally on the other side.”   This suggests that Stuffy Pete puts himself in the right place at the right time and “Charles Dickensy” things occur to him purely out of good luck. Paragraph six also states that “Buttons that had been sewed upon his clothes by kind salvation fingers a week before flew like popcorn.” The reader can assume from this that Stuffy is poor or disadvantaged. However, due to his good fortune, Stuffy Pete is a relaxed guy who doesn’t have to worry much about where his clothing comes from. He doesn’t seem to really plan anything out or worry too much, which deems him happy-go-lucky.
Although Stuffy Pete is poor and in need of charity, he is quite capable of understanding the old gentlemen’s feelings and motives. Paragraph twenty four states that Stuffy “Saw the look of beneficent happiness on the Old Gentlemen’s face – a happier look than even the fuchsias and the ornithoptera amphirius ever brought to it- and he had not the heart to see it wane.” Stuffy saw the amount of joy that the Old Gentleman experienced as he carried out a tradition, and Stuffy could not see this end. Also, the narrator tells the reader that Stuffy   realized “His Thanksgiving appetite was not his own; it belonged by all the sacred rights of established custom, if not, by the actual Statue of Limitations, to his kind old gentleman who had preempted it.” Here, Stuffy Pete recognizes that this tradition is merely his own but mostly belongs to the Old Gentleman. He understands this and has the ability...

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