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A Literary Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:21 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.3 
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After Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe, William Sydney Porter (known as O Henry) is the most read author in the world and bears the title of « master of the short story ». He has been called many things. Some people have called him the twentieth-century Balzak. Some have called him the American Maupassant because of his so well made surprising endings.

The short story is the one fundamental and self-contained genre in American prose fiction, and the stories of O. Henry certainly made their appearance in consequence of the prolonged and incessant cultivation of the genre

The real O. Henry is found in an irony pervading all his stories, in a keen feeling for form and traditions. Americans cannot help wanting to prove a resemblance in outlook between Him and Shakespeare--it is their way of expressing "national pride."

So, who is that William Sydney Porter?

William Sydney Porter was born on September 11, 1862, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He grew up in the post-Civil War depression that gripped the southern states for years following the close of that epic and tragic internecine struggle.

His Grandmother was given the task of raising him and a younger sibling after the death of his mother when three-years old child and his father’s addiction to alcohol. By age nineteen, he had been an avid reader as she was also responsable for their education. He had read a wide variety of books and articles that would later have a direct impact on his literary work.

He moved to Texas in 1984 where he got married and obtained a job as a teller at one of the local banks. When faced with charges of bank embezzelement he fled to New Orleans and then To Honduras. Little is known of his activities there, even though his experiences in Honduras would later be incorporated into some of his stories.

He returned to the states when word came that his wife was losing her battle with tuberculosis. On his return, he was convicted...


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