O’HENRY (WILLIAM SYDNEY PORTER) 1862 - 1910 BY: Vargas, Alcira
- Born September 11, 1862 as
- Dropped out of school at 15
- Worked many jobs (on a Texas ranch, in a drug store, as a bank clerk) to make money
- Started a humorous weekly called The Rolling Stonein 1894
- Drank heavily when the weekly failed Worked as a bank teller and accused of embezzling money from the First National Bank of Austin
- Fled to Honduras to avoid trial
- Returned after hearing of wife dying
- He was convicted of embezzling $4,000 in 1894.
- While in prison, he began writing short stories.
- After he spent three years in jail, he changed his name to O. Henry.
- He was released two years early for good behavior.
- William Porter was married to Athol Estes in 1887.
- They had one daughter, Margaret Worth Porter.
Porter Family in the 1890’s.
- His wife died of tuberculosis in 1897.
- Whistling Dick’s Christmas was his first story, written in 1899.
- He wrote a story each week for about three years, that was published in the New York World magazine.
- His stories were also published in other magazines.
- O’Henry wrote over 600 short stories in his life. These inlcude:.
- He also published ten collections, of his hundreds of short stories. These include:
- O. Henry died on June 5th, 1910, of cirrhosis of the liver.
- In the last years of his life he had many problems, including an unhappy marriage, financial problems, poor health, and alcoholism.
- He had married Sarah Lindsay Coleman just three years earlier and they had separated after 1 year.
- It is a classic tale of sacrifice, irony, and wisdom gained.
- It is about a couple who long to buy the perfect holiday gifts for one another.
- They are very much in love with each other.
- Unfortunately, they have very little money, but they are determined.
- Della Young: Pretty, slender young woman who cuts off her beautiful long hair and sells it to buy a Christmas gift for her husband.
- James Dillingham Young: Husband of Della. He is a thin, serious young man, twenty-two years old. He sells his gold watch to buy a gift for Della.
- Madame Sofronie: The only character in the story other than the Youngs. The local hair-goods shop owner who buys Della's hair.
- Introduction: The background information about Jim and Della, description of setting, and circumstances
- Rising Action: Della’s difficult decision.
- Climax: Exchange of gifts
- Falling Action: The realization of generosity and that actions are more priceless than the possessions.
- Denouement: Jim and Della remain in love. They already possess the greatest gift of all, love for each other.
- Internal Conflict (Man vs. Man/Man vs. Himself)
- External Conflict (Man vs. Society)
- Comments on his own words