Tag Archives: William Sidney Porter

The Skylight Room by O. Henry

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

220px-william_sydney_porterBorn William Sidney Porter, this master of short stories is much better known   under his pen name “O. Henry.” He was born September 11, 1862 in N. Carolina. He has become a symbol to represent a recognizable species of short story writing. He wrote nearly three hundred stories. Most of O. Henry` s were translated into foreign languages. His stories are very American in language. And one of the most popular and famous story is “The Skylight Room”

PLOT SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

Introduction of the rooms and Miss Leeson, without a choice, buys the “skylight room” with money she can afford.

RISING ACTION

Meets Billy Jackson the Star and fellow lodgers

CLIMAX

Job becomes scarce so Miss Leeson goes  to her room without food, and dying from starvation

FALLING ACTION

Fellow lodgers finds her in her room and call an ambulance.

RESOLUTION

In typical O. Henry fashion, we get the surprise ending – gets treatment from  a doctor named William Jackson.

SETTING

New York City  probably in early 1990s.

CHARACTERS

  • Ms. Leeson
  • Mrs. Parker
  • Mr. Hoover
  • Ms. Longnecker
  • Mr. Skidder
  • Clara
  • William Jackson

POINT of VIEW

Third person

CONFLICT

  • MAN Vs. CIRCUMSTANCES (Dominant)
  • MAN Vs. SOCIETY

SYMBOLISM

  • Billy Jackson – her hopes and dreams
  • The skylight room – a metaphor of her life

THEME

The reality of life and our hopes

“No matter what situation you are in, you should always have an optimistic heart”

 

VOCABULARY

  • Lambrequin- a short piece of decorative jewelry hanging above a door.
  • Smite – strike with a firm blow
  • Cicerone- a tour guide, esp. one who explains antiquities
  • Contemptuous- showing contempt
  • Roguish- characteristic of a dishonest and unprincipled person
  • Tocsin- an alarm bell or signal
  • Cabalistic- referring to meanings of esoteric and mythical interpretations
  • Whimsical- playfully quaint or fanciful
  • Implacable- unstopable
  • Corpulence- the state of being fat

 

 

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