The Last Leaf O. Henry
Pre-reading Task True Friends
True Friends (1) People today, in all this new world technology and thinking, have lost sight of what a true friendship is. So, in sprit of my best friend Tellie, I thought I would help the world out a little and explain what real, true friends are.
True Friends (2) 1. Friends don't have to be exactly the same. Friends have similarities but they also have their differences. They key to opening up the world of friendship is not only to expand on similarities but to accept each other's faults. Because you can't ever judge your friend.
True Friends (3) 2. Friends have to argue! No one likes to but it is necessary to be healthy. Cause if you agree on everything, either the government has expanded cloning subjects or someone isn't being true and is trying a little too hard.
True Friends (4) 3. You have to be comfortable together or else you just aren't going to click. If you feel edgy around the person then something isn't quite right.
True Friends (5) 4. Friends love unconditionally. They have there little angry moments but what's done is done and all is forgive and forget. Why let something that happened in the past ruin what happiness you could have in the future?
True Friends (6) 5. Believe in love at first sight because there is the equivalent in friendship. Some people think that you have to know someone really well to become good friends. Trust me, it's not true. If the first time you really spend time together you talk for 25 hours straight until 4:30 in the morning about some topic you thought no one else in the world understood, hun, that's real love at first sight.
True Friends (7) These are only a few of the basics. Just remember, friends are forever. But only if you keep it that way. Don't diss your buds, love them instead. And when they drive you nuts, love them that much more for being just a little bit different and maybe just a little bit quirky! Once more
Questions for discussion 1. What is your definition of friendship? 2. Faith, hope and charity are traditionally grouped together as three important virtues. What do you think of it? 3. Some say that charity begins at home, that we should take care of those closest to us rather than worrying about strangers. What do you think of that? 4. Can you figure out what the stories of this unit are going to be about?
Cultural Notes Who is him? O. Henry (1862-1910)
O. Henry (1862-1910): pseudonym of William Sydney Porter(1862-1910), American writer of short stories, best known for his ironic plot twists and surprise endings. Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, O. Henry attended school only only until age 15, when he dropped out to work in his uncle’s drugstore.
During his 20s he moved to Texas, where he worked for more than ten years as a clerk and a bank teller. O. Henry did not write professionally until he reached his mid-30s, when he sold several pieces to the Detroit Free Press and the Houston Daily Post. In 1894 he founded a short-lived weekly humor magazine, The Rolling Stone.
In 1896 O. Henry was charged with embezzling funds from the First National Bank of Austin, Texas, where he had worked from 1891 to 1894. The amount of money was small and might have been an accounting error; however, he chose to flee to Honduras rather than stand trial.
Learning that his wife was dying, he returned to Texas in 1897 and, after her death, turned himself in to the authorities. He served three years of a five-year sentence a the federal penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio, where he first began to write short stories and use the pseudonym O. Henry.
Released from prison, O. Henry moved to New York City in 1901 and began writing full time. In his storieds he made substantial use of his knowledge of Texas, Central America, and life in prison.He also became fascinated by New York street life, which provided a setting for many of his later stories.
During the last ten years of his life, O. Henry became one of the most popular writers in America, publishing over 500 short stories in dozens of widely read periodicals.
O. Henry’s most famous stories, such as “The Gift of the Magi,”“The Furnished Room,” and “The Ransom of Red Chief,” make simple yet effective use of paradoxical coincidences to produce ironic endings.
For example, in “The Gift of the Magi” a husband sells his watch to buy his wife a Christmas present of a pair of hair combs; but, she cuts and sells her long hair to buy him a Christmas present of a new chain for his watch. His style of storytelling became a model not only for short fiction, but also for American motion pictures and television programs.
Writing at the rate of more than one story per week, O. Henry published ten collections of stories during a career that barely spanned a decade. They are Cabbages and Kings (1904), The Four Million (1906), Heart of the West (1907), The trimmed Lamp (1907), The Gentle Grafte r(1908), The Voice of the City(1908), Options(1909), Roads of Destiny(1909), Whirligigs(1910), and Strictly Business(1910).
The collections Sixes and Sevens (1911), RollingStones (1912), and for the best American short stories published each year were founded by the Society of Arts and Sciences. The Complete Works of O. Henry was published in 1953.
Pre-questions (1) Q1: What was, at first, Johnsy determined to do if the last ivy leaf should fall? A1: She made up her mind to die when the last leaf fell. Q2: What did she decide to do when she saw the last leaf still cling to the vine after two nights’ rain and wind? A2: She decided not to give up her life.
Pre-questions (2) Q3: How was it that the cold fierce wind did not blow away the last leaf? A3: Behrman, a kind neighbor, who was aware of Johnsy’s state of mind, risked death to paint the last leaf and save her. Q4: Why did Sue call the painted leaf Behrman’s masterpiece? A4: Because it was so perfect the girls both mistook it for the real thing.
Language Study: in tune in tune: harmonious(ly (often followed by with; the opposite: out of tune)) Examples: • His ideas are in tune with the times. • The price of gold coins fluctuates in tune with that of commodities. • Her character is quite out of tune with her beauty.
Language Study: joint joint: held or done by two or more persons together Examples: • She had taken he money out of the joint account she had with her husband. • There are a number of different forms of business ownership, such as partnerships corporations and joint ventures. • To attract foreign capital, China issued new economic regulations giving more preferential treatment to joint ventures.
Language Study: stalk stalk: (of and evil force) move through (a place) in a threatening way, move quietly and cautiously in order to get near Example: • When night falls, danger stalks the streets of the city.
Language Study: here and there here and there: in various places Example: • During the summer vacation he will do a bit of teaching here and there.
Language Study: victim victim: person, animal, etc. suffering death, injury or loss Example: • Police and hospital records indicate that the majority of victims of domestic violence are women.
Language Study: scarcely scarcely: not quite; almost not Example: • I can scarcely remember when I last ate home-baked bread.
Language Study: merry merry: happy; cheerful; bright and gay Example: • From the other room, we could hear the merry sound of laughter and glasses clinking.
Language Study: backward backward: with the back or end first Example: • The helicopter can travel forward, backward, or sideways.
Language Study: bare bare: without covering, clothing, or decoration Example: • Soil held in place by plant roots is less likely to blow or wash away than bare soil.
Language Study: dreary dreary: dull; gloomy; causing low spirits Example: • By the time they had waited five hours for their delayed flight, everyone looked dreary.
Language Study: in a whisper in a whisper: in a low voice Example: • He bent down and addressed her in a whisper.
Language Study: hear of hear of : be old about or have knowledge of Examples: • Three weeks passed, and nothing was heard of the missing boy.
Language Study: nonsense nonsense: foolish talk, ideas, behavior Example: • I think the report is nonsense and nothing but a waste of paper.
Language Study: turn loose turn loose: allow ( sth.) to be free of control Example: • The sick whale will be taken care of by the scientists before being turned loose.
Language Study: look the part look the part: have an appearance for a particular job, role, or position Example: • I think he must be a captain---- he certainly looks the part.
Language Study: masterpiece masterpiece: a piece of work, esp. art, which is the best of its type or the best a person has done Example: • The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn is considered Mark Twain’s masterpiece.
Language Study: to excess to excess: to an extreme degree Example: • His father never smoked or drank to excess.
Language Study: for the rest for the rest: as regards other matters Example: • The book contains some interesting passages about the author’s childhood. For the rest, it is rather dull
Language Study: fierce fierce: 1) violent and angry Example: • A fierce police dog was chained to a wall. 2) intense; strong Example: • The world is becoming a global market, and the competition is fierce.
Language Study: mock mock: ridicule; make fun of (used in the pattern: mock at sb./sth.) Example: • They mocked at him and called him a coward.
Language Study: fancy fancy: sth. Imagined; unfounded opinion or belief Example: • The river streamed past my house.
Language Study: stream stream: move in a continuous flow, pour out Example: • The river streamed past my house.
Language Study: persistent persistent: continuing; occurring again and again Example: • Neither high prices nor high wages could explain persistent depression and mass unemployment.
Language Study: mingle mingle: mix (followed by with) Example: • The singer’s style mingles jazz and country music.