Sunday, July 1, 2018

My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock --- Analysis

The short story “My Financial Career” by Stephen Leacock is written in a humorous style, in the style of O'Henry - I would say.

The story was written from the first site the narrator told about his unsuccessful experiment of visiting a bank office. The narrator thought that after his salary had been increased to fifty-six dollars a month he needed something to do with it.

The first person which the narrator saw in the bank was a clerk whose table was marked as “Accountant”'. The narrator asked him, “Can I see the manager” and added solemnly “alone”. The narrator made a remark about this question; “I don't know why I said 'alone.''

When the manager came the narrator asked him if he is really the manager (though there were no reasons to doubt ) and added, “Can I see you alone?” The narrator didn't want to say alone again; however, it happened unintentionally.

The manager led the narrator to a private room and turned the key in the lock. The author wrote,

"We both sat down and looked at each other. I found no voice to speak.”
“You are one of Pinkerton's me I suppose
,” he said.

The narrator answered that he is not from the police. He came to the bank because he intended to keep all of his money in this bank. The manager concluded that the narrator was probably a son of a billionaire and asked about the sum of money.

When it became clear that it was a conversation about fifty-six dollars, the manager called another clerk and said unkindly loud that “this gentleman is opening an account. He will deposit fifty-six dollars.”

When it was deposited, the narrator asked in a hollow, and vibrating voice that he wanted to draw a cheque. His idea was to draw out six dollars of it for present use. But when he gave the check to the clerk the narrator realized that he had written fifty-six instead of six. The next dialog between the very surprised clerk and narrator occurred

You withdraw your money from the bank?”
“Every cent of it.”
“Are you not going to deposit anymore?” said the clerk; astonished.

The author wrote in the last paragraph,
As the big door swung behind me I caught the echo of a roar of laughter that went up to the ceiling of the bank. Since then I bank no more.

The author described how a person could feel and behave in an awkward situation. It would so happen that after one unintentional phrase is spoken, the next phrase makes the situation even more embarrassing. The way it was written by the author was very impressive and funny.

Here is the link to the text of the story: