Sunday, June 18, 2017

Confessions Of A Humorist by O. Henry Analysis

The story "Confessions Of A Humorist" by O. Henry gives to readers lots of positive emotions. It is also useful for enhancing vocabulary because it includes fun and memorable expressions.

The narrator told us a story how he had become a professional humorist when people "... called it humor instead of measles" and how he quitted this job. The plot line consists of several turns on this way so readers won't be bored. Here is the plot in chronicle order.


The narrator gave a little speech on the birthday of senior officer and it became very popular due to some jokes and pans included which narrator used there. "Old Marlowe himself actually grinned, and the employees took their cue and roared". Employees started to apply to the narrator for writing such things and he gained a reputation of a humorist.

2. Career:

The narrator received an invitation to write for local weekly magazine humor's column. He started working very productively but after some time he "burned", he wasn't able to find the source of jokes inside himself. Then he began hunting for ideas from other people and publishing results. "I was <...> like a hound springing upon a bone". His acquaintances started to avoid him. The narrator started catching ideas from his wife ("With devilish cunning I encouraged her to talk") and children so they started to hide from him. Eventually, the protagonist fell into depression.

3. Climax and Ending:

The narrator visited the undertaking establishment and found himself relaxing to speak with the owner who was absolutely indifferent to jokes. He became careless ("I dumbfounded my family by relaxing long enough to make a jocose remark in their presence"), the soul's piece came back to him.

The owner of undertaking business offered him to join this deal and the narrator invested all his money in this enterprise. Meanwhile, the magazine refused to prolong the contract. Initially, his wife was shocked, but later everything went well, he started making jokes again and his financial deals were ok too.

It delivers much pleasure to carefully read jokes which O'Henry put in this story.

My interpretations of the moral of this story.

In terms of humor itself:

Every joke or witticism or pun should be spontaneous. If they are created deliberately, under compulsion, they won't be funny, they lose sincerity.

In other respects:

Things go well if they are done with pleasure. Do as you like - this is good advice from O'Henry.

This story was discussed with the teacher Vitalii in online school

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