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compare and contrast essay

Page history last edited by sparrow124 11 years, 1 month ago

Compare and Contrast Essay on “A Retrieved Reformation” and “After Twenty Years”

                                                                                    By: Jack Sparrow,  Hour:4,  4/28/2013

When you hear the name O. Henry, what do you think of? For me it’s stories that have twists and turns down their plot road. Two of the stories I’m talking about are called “A Retrieved Reformation”, and “After Twenty Years”. These stories are very similar and different. Two similarities are, both the main characters are criminals and they have a twist at the end. Two differences are how long the stories are and where these stories take place. I’ll elaborate on this now…


Inside the two different stories, Jimmy Valentine and Bob, are wanted men. Jimmy Valentine is a safecracker and Bob, well we don’t know what Bob did, but he gets put in jail because of it. Also the stories have a twist ending, Jimmy just leaves after saving someone’s life and Bob is taken under arrest after walking with a cop he thought was his friend for ten minutes. As I hope you can see, these stories are similar.


Now a difference between these stories are that “A Retrieved Reformation”, and “After Twenty Years” are in different places, and that is a big important difference because if Jimmy went to cool down in New York I don’t think he would have been able to. And if Bob was going to meet his friend in a small little town he most likely would have never realized the dude next to him wasn’t his friend, until he was in jail! Also, “A Retrieved Reformation” goes on for about eight months, and “After Twenty Years” takes place in time for about thirty minutes or so. In “After Twenty Years” you know the characters less, because it’s a shorter story. And why a character a does something might remain a mystery to you. Another thing is that a shorter story's plot usually is more complex, for the reader because he/she doesn't understand a motive because the story doesn't have the length to explain it, like in “After Twenty Years”. On the other hand, “A Retrieved Reformation” has a long time for it to explain everything. Like when Jimmy decides to lay low, and not be a safecracker anymore, you understand why that is. As you can see, these stories are very different.


I have told you about how "A Retrieved Reformation”, and “After Twenty Years” are similar, and different. For example, "A Retrieved Reformation” has a longer story, and a setting in a smaller sort of town. And “After Twenty Years”  has a shortish story and a setting in New York. But both these stories have a criminal as a main character and a twist ending. Well, I hope this essay has helped you, the reader, into showing you how  A Retrieved Reformation”, and “After Twenty Years” are both similar and different.

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