The Gilded Age (1845-1916)“A Retrieved Reformation” is set in the last quarter of the 19th century, otherwise known as “The Gilded Age.”Gilded= “Covered with Gold”This was a time of incredible industrial and economic growth, as well as intense political corruption.For many though, this was a time of great wealth.
The Gilded AGe conTinued…During this time, the railroad system opened up the country with transportation, and wealthy entrepreneurs made their fortunes in oil, steel, and banking. (Examples: Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan)Mark Twain and author Charles Dudley Warner satirized (or made fun of) the pell-mell mood and decadence of the time called The Gilded Age and that is how the era came to be known.
A few InventionsThomas Edison – the lightbulb, motion picture camera, radio,Alexander Graham Bell- the telephoneJoseph Glidden- barbed wireHenry Ford- model T Ford
A few interesting and Important EventsRace Riots against Chinese laborers in San FranciscoNational League Baseball plays its 1st game: Boston against PhiladelphiaThe Battle of Little Bighorn takes place, an event known as Custer’s Last StandFirst strict immigration laws passed by President Cleveland; Ellis Island officially opensThe Titanic sinks
Literature and History• O. Henry loved long and fancy words (after all, he read dictionaries for fun!)• “After Twenty Years” is plainer than most, but he still has some typical O. Henry word choices.• For example, he uses the phrase “pacific thoroughfare” to describe a peaceful street.• As we read, see if you can figure out some of his amazing language for yourself!
The Four Million• “After Twenty Years” is from his second story collection, The Four Million• The collection’s title refers to the population of New York City in O. Henry’s day.• O. Henry collected his plots from his experiences in life. He once even said when asked where he got his plots that he got them “Everywhere! There are stories in everything.” He then picked up the menu and said, “There’s a story in this.”• As he sat there, he outlined the story “Springtime a la Carte” about a young couple in a restaurant.