After Twenty Years
The story “After Twenty Years” by O. Henry’s revolves around the themes of love, trust, expectation, sympathy and sacrifice. It portrays the story of two old friends who made an appointment twenty years ago to see each other again in New York City. They have lived altogether different lives since their days together. What occurs and how they meet will greatly surprise you.
SETTING: Most of O. Henry’s short stories happen in New York City, the West or Southwest, or Central America. However, he doesn’t regularly make explicit references to locations. His settings mirror the way of life, social and financial and state of mind of his characters.
At this point in history, numerous Americans had moved west looking for a superior life. Single individuals and families moved to purchase land to cultivate, to scan for gold, or to work building railways. Obviously, there were also individuals who moved west for less genuine reasons, such as betting or plundering trains and banks.
THE USAGE OF FORESHADOWING IN THE STORY
Have you at any point of time reading a book in which you knew how the book was going to end way before you reached the summation? Great literature accomplishes more than just narrate a decent story. In probably the best works of literature, the writer utilizes foreshadowing to drop clues or clues.
Foreshadowing is an author’s use of hints or clues to suggest events to come in the story. Foreshadowing usually takes the form of incidents that seem to be unimportant at first but take on added significance later. They contribute to the overall effect and meaning of the work.
Not all foreshadowing is self-evident. Now and then future occasions are implied at through the characters’ discourse, depictions, the setting, or the frames of mind or responses of the characters.
In O. Henry’s short story “After Twenty Years,” a policeman on watch sees a man inclining in the doorway of a shut store. The man discloses to the policeman that he is waiting for his old friend Jimmy Wells. Twenty years back, the two men consented to meet at this spot. The man is certain that his friend will meet him. The policeman leaves, and after twenty minutes, a tall man approaches the store and welcomes the waiting man. Extraordinarily cheerful to see his old friend once more, the man takes his friend’s arm and strolls up to the road with him. Before long he understands that the tall man isn’t his friend Jimmy. He is then arrested by the tall man. The tall man gives him a note from Jimmy.
The note said that Jimmy had been at the appointment put on time, however, recognised his friend’s face from a wanted poster from the Chicago police. Since Jimmy had not thought it good to arrest his old friend, he found another policeman to do it for him.
Foreshadowing frequently fills two needs. It fabricates tension by bringing up issues that urge the reader to go on and discover more about the event that is being foreshadowed. Foreshadowing is also a tool for making a story progressively authentic by partially preparing the reader for occasions that are to follow.
The setting is utilized to set the tone of the story and once in a while to hint the ending. In the story “After Twenty Years,” it’s dim, cold, and to some degree late during the evening. The story says, “The time was scarcely 10 o’clock around evening time, yet nippy whirlwinds with a mix of rain in them had well near depeopled the boulevards. The region was one that kept early hours.” Only two men were in the city around then that night. When the policeman “with his stalwart shape” approaches the man prowling in obscurity, the man talks rapidly. The light from his match shows a pale face with sharp eyes, a scar close to the eyebrow, and a scarf pin with a large jewel, “oddly set.” He additionally carries a costly watch, also set with diamonds. The pale face, sharp eyes, and the scar are generally signed with regards to the man’s past.
The differences between the two men hint at evident contrasts in character. The policeman in uniform carries just his club and moves astonishingly and not “for the show.” He is “a fine picture of the guardian of the peace.” The stranger is covered up in darkness, keeping an unusual “appointment.” He has diamonds-one that is oddly set.
The exchange likewise gives indications of the two men’s characters. We discover that Jimmy is “the truest, staunchest old chap in the world.” The stranger says that he and Jimmy “were raised like brothers” and that Jimmy is his “best chum,” but he, the stranger, moved around a lot out West to stay in contact. The stranger says that Jimmy could always remember their meeting and truth be told, Jimmy is there-he is the policeman on the beat.
Without every one of the clues all through the story, the consummation may be troublesome for a reader to acknowledge that an old friend would have his best friend captured. In any case, we are given insights into Jimmy’s character all through. Jimmy was a “good fellow, but a kind of a plodder.” Jimmy was somebody who would always do the best thing.
O. Henry was famous for the unexpected twists of his stories. The irony here is that the two old friends turn out to be an alternate extreme a policeman and a convict. The stranger confided in Jimmy to appear for the appointment, and Jimmy sold out that trust by having him arrested. Jimmy sold out his buddy’s trust since he was actually, “the trust, staunchest old chap in the world, ” as his friend portrayed him. The story’s title is likewise unexpected “After Twenty Years” the great friends was sold out by Jimmy’s genuineness and great character. In the event that you were foreshadowing, the consummation wasn’t absolutely unexpected.
After Twenty Years Summary
The short story “After Twenty Years” is a masterpiece written by O. Henry. The story is about the two characters that were the best friends. They lived in New York their childhood until they parted. One of them left the place and went to live in the West for profit, so he grew up as a criminal in Chicago, while the other man felt his place was his local city, where he grew up better and ended up as a police officer. The two friends promised that they would meet again in a similar restaurant after twenty years to know every achievement they have made after those years. The story began at their place and time of appointment. It’s nearly 10 o’clock in the evening and it’s very dull. A policeman makes his rounds, rattling door handles to ensure his beat is safe. He runs over a man who has an unlit cigar in his mouth in the doorway of a shut hardware shop. The man guarantees him that he’s not a robber he’s just waiting for his friend before the officer can start addressing him. He goes on to light his cigar and explains to the officer why he meets with his friend in such a dull place and desolate spot. The man, who is Bob, told him he was waiting for a long time for an old friend. A long time before he and his friend had consented to meet at the very spot to talk about how their lives had turned out.
The man continues advising the policeman how his life turned out great that he really ended up rich and fruitful. Discussing his closest friend, he told the policeman that Jimmy will never neglect his promise for he has been a steady decent friend. Subsequent to stating all this to the policeman, the latter expel himself. Twenty minutes after the policeman left, another man went to welcome his friend, Bob. Both the two people cheered and make themselves comfortable with one another as they attempted to overcome the gap in their familiarity. Without further ado, as they approach the front door of the medication store, Bob understands that this man isn’t his old friend Jimmy as his nose looks totally changed. After this situation, we come to know, the man has recently pretended to be Jimmy and that Bob has been nabbed for ten minutes. The man then gives a note to Bob clarifying that the first patron had been Jimmy and that he went on the grounds that he didn’t have the nerve to arrest his old friend, so he had left before he could be recognised and found a casually dressed officer to capture him. Friendship is at the core of “After Twenty Years.” The character who does the most talking, Bob, is by all accounts undeniably eager about observing his old friend, Jimmy.
He talks glowingly about what an extraordinary friend Jimmy was and relates that he has traversed the country, over a thousand miles, to see him once more. However, the story is in fact very remarkable particularly at the end where it extraordinarily indicates how Jimmy Wells depicted an honourable demonstration to the law and to his buddy. I found him faithful in going to the masterminded meeting with his friend and in catching into the law where he promised to serve in a just and empathetic way.
The contention, in reality, is among Jimmy and his internal being where he was loaded in a sensitive circumstance. It is possible that he will release Bob away and overlook the wrongdoing he has done or arrest him and remain loyal with his people under his obligation. It appears entirely unimaginable yet the situation has illuminated well on a smart choice of Jimmy. In addition, the scene where Jimmy sends another man to nab Bob is my most loved part. In spite of the fact that it was troublesome for him, I see this as a demonstration of cordiality to Bob. It basically indicates how solid their nostalgic bond is. Jimmy likewise indicates incredible compassion and respect to his friend notwithstanding the conditions. Life is without a doubt eccentric. You can’t profoundly comprehend how things truly chip away at its remarkable way. Some of the time individuals turn terrible and some of the time others were normally made great.
Thus, life is by and by a matter of choice. The end result for Bob’s career and future was principally his decision and Jimmy couldn’t do about it. Then again, Jimmy Wells made a decent catch in himself as he stayed in the place where he grew up, found an honourable line of work and performed well in understanding his obligation. In this way, he never bargains the manufactured friendship between him and Bob. After every one of the decision can be great or a different way. One may pursue a decent way by following the law and the other may pursue a terrible way by infringing upon the law. The most critical thing is you did the very thing that God needs you to do and I felt it in the story. Jimmy completed a correct thing and he explained the predicament well. The last piece of the story which is a note for Bob truly moved me. His note is laconic and offers no expression of remorse for having Bob captured, however that is the best Jimmy can be expected to do when he and a man who was at one time his closest friend are on opposite sides of the law.
After Twenty Years
Questions of After Twenty Years
Q. Do You approve Jimmy wells action and you maintain that he was a true friend?
Ans. Jimmy Wells was a police officer. He was very true to his duty. He had love and affection for his old friend, Silky Bob. Jimmy Wells had a promise to meet his friend, Silky Bob after twenty years. So, he came to meet him at the place fixed. He reached at the proper time.
But when he found that his friend was the same criminal wanted by Chicago police he gave preference to his duty neglecting his friendship. Rather, he maintained a balance between his duty and friendship. He sent another policeman to arrest Bob.
He proved a loyal and honest police officer. He did not let a criminal escape, who was his true friend. Thus, we approve of his action.
Q. Give a brief account of the arrest of Bob?
Ans. Silky bob, the most wanted criminal by Chicago police was waiting at a hardware store where there had been big Joe Brady’s restaurant twenty years ago. He had a promise to meet his friend Jimmy wells there. Bob waited for half an hour.
A tall man came there and introduced himself as Jimmy wells. They were very glad to meet each other and started talking about each other’s achievements. After some time they reached a lighted drug store.
As soon as, Bob saw the man in the light he was shocked to see that the man he was talking to was not his friend Jimmy. He was a policeman sent by Jimmy wells to arrest him.
A note, Which was handed over to Bob by the policeman explained everything. Bob was under arrest.
Q. Describe the story as explained by Bob to the policeman?
Ans. Jimmy and I were born in New York. He was my best friend. We lived just like two brothers. I was 18years Whereas Jimmy was twenty. We separated with a promise to meet at the same time and place after twenty years.
I was ambitious so west side of America to try my luck there. Jimmy remained in New York. I am sure if my friend is alive on earth, he will surely come to meet me. I shall wait for him even half an hour more than the fixed time.
Q. How would you categories the story after twenty years comic or tragic. Give a reasoned answer?
Ans. ‘After Twenty Years’ is purely a tragic story, especially, in the ending. Silky Bob has covered a long distance to meet his best friend Jimmy wells after twenty years. Bob waited for half an hour more than the fixed time.
The story becomes tragic when the readers come to know that silky Bob is a criminal and is wanted by the Chicago police. Jimmy wells being a policeman could not muster the courage to arrest his friend so he sent another policeman in plain clothes to arrest Bob.
Bob has the sympathy of readers. So, the story ends with a tragic end. The friend, Who was so enthusiastic to meet his friend is arrested by his friend.
Q. What categories of people, according to Robert Lynd, are the most absent-minded?
How does Robert Lynd describe forgetfulness among sportsmen, anglers and poets?
Ans. Robert Lynd gives a list of people, who are generally absent-minded. He says that sportsmen while returning from playfields have imaginations filled with dreams. So, they forget to carry small things like bats and balls.
Anglers are lost in the dreams of their imaginary achievement. So, they forget their fishing rods. Poets have more responsibility for writing good poetry. So, they forget small things like posting letters.
Stockbrokers and statesmen have a very bad memory. The reason behind it might be that they are lost in thought higher-value things, so they forget small matter things.