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Download PDF by O. Henry: 41 Stories

By O. Henry

ISBN-10: 1101042567

ISBN-13: 9781101042564

The grasp of Irony

Readers internationally realize O. Henry because the top brief tale author of the early 20th century. well known as a grasp of irony, O. Henry additionally monitors right here outstanding wordplay and a wry blend of pathos and humor.

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Example text

The sequence of events reinforces the epic舗s narrative structure of repeated loops and circles. The Odyssey visits Athene and Zeus on Olympus in its first and last books, follows Odysseus onto the island of Scheria, circles back to his earlier travails on the return from Troy, then returns to Scheria, and so forth. Indeed, Telemachus returns almost to the days before the Trojan War began when he leaves Ithaca. He visits Nestor enthroned in Pylos, just as he had been before the conflict; Menelaus is eerily reunited with Helen, almost as if nothing had ever happened to separate them.

Not even such old, disloyal servants as Melantho and Melanthius show the slightest suspicion that the mysterious stranger they enjoy abusing is their dangerous master returned. Only those who submit themselves to the hierarchical system, who recognize their own places, can also recognize Odysseus. Indeed, Argos not only recognizes but directly mirrors his master, who also risks consignment to the dung heap in his disregarded age if he can no longer prove himself the man he used to be, bend the great bow he once wielded, and, in an image suggestive of continued sexual prowess, fire an arrow through a dozen axes.

When the son of AlcinouȨs goads Odysseus into showing his athletic prowess, he offers, in effect, to lick any man in the house. But his host gently reminds him of that house舗s different nature: 舠We are not faultless boxers, no, nor wrestlers; but in the foot-race we run swiftly, and in our ships excel. Dear to us ever is the feast, the harp, the dance, changes of clothes, warm baths, and bed舡 (p. 94). Rivalry without violence, bravery without warfare, peace without conquest: The paradise of Scheria may lie beyond human capacity, just as Poseidon finally removes the land itself from human access, but the achievements of the Grecian kings still diminish in its distant light.

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41 Stories by O. Henry


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