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Lupita Herrera

on 3 December 2013

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Biography of the Author
Setting and Atmosphere
Conflicts (Internal and External)
Analysis of the Plot
Point of View
In the story, the point of view is third person. The reader can tell because the narrator is subjective towards each character. In my opinion, this is the best point-of-view for the story to be in because it allows the reader to be surprised at the end. If it was omniscient,the reader would know Mr. Easton's thoughts. For example,"Oh man, I hope she is going to believe that I'm a marshal!" If it were omniscient, then the surprise would be ruined.
Significance of the Title
The title, Of Hearts and Hands, is significant because it refers to the conclusion of the story where the true identities of Mr. Easton and the marshal with the knowledge that a marshal always cuff's prisoners to their left hand. It may also refer to the marshal's good heart and the helping hand he offered Mr. Easton in relation to Miss Fairchild. It may also have something to do with the flirtatious relationship between Miss Fairchild and Mr. Easton.
Analysis of Characters
Miss Fairchild
Writer's Style/Identification of Literary Elements
Analysis of Themes
Rising Action
The story continues with the entrance of two companions, one young and handsome, the other "heavy built and roughly dressed", handcuffed together.
Conflicts & Complications
O. Henry,s real name is William Sydney Porter and he was born on September 11, 1862 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
When he was three, his mother died of tuberculosis. When he and his father moved in with his grandmother, he attended school and read anything he could find.
At age twenty he moved to Texas and worked as a bank teller.He married in 1887 and began to write sketches.
In 1896 he was wrongly accused of embezzlement and fled to New Orleans and later Honduras.
When he received news of his wife's illness, he returned to Texas, and after her death he was arrested.
During this time period he wrote stories that later became Cabbage and Kings.
When he was released in 1902, he moved to New York where he lived until his passing on June 5, 1910.
Even after his death, his stories continued to be collected and published until 1939.
The setting of this story occurs on the B&M express also known as a train. It takes place during the time in American history known as the wild west, or the early colonization of the west coast. The majority of the story takes place in one of the coaches. The story feels engaging and busy with a casual, unassuming atmosphere. The passengers have a light conversation and then go their separate ways.
Miss Fairchild is gullible, pretty, and fair skinned. She is possibly uneducated. She is a flat character who is directly characterized. She is the protagonist.
Mr. Easton is a handsome young man with a "bold, frank countenance and manner." He is a good liar, possibly likes Miss Fairchild, and cares about his reputation. He is a flat character who is directly characterized.
The Marshal is a "ruffled glum-faced person, heavily built and roughly dressed." He is compassionate, and is willing to help others. He is a flat character who is directly characterized.
Mr. Easton
Other Passengers
The other passengers are flat characters who are indirectly characterized.
The conflict in "Of Hearts and Hands" is Mr. Easton's encounter with Miss Fairchild and his attempt to successfully mislead her and keep her from knowing that he is going to jail which would ruin his reputation and her opinion of him.
Reviews/ Recommendations
I personally enjoyed the story and would recommend it to anyone who is just looking for a quick one page story that is still interesting and will leave you thinking. The first reason I liked it is because of it's surprise ending where you find out that the prisoner is actually the marshal and the marshal is actually the prisoner. I also enjoyed the feeling that the story left once I finished reading the last line. To me it made me smile and think that there are still good people out there who are willing to sacrifice their own reputation to save some one else from embarassment .
The story opens in Denver, with the boarding of passengers on the eastbound B.M. Express into one of the coaches where, "a very pretty young woman," sits.
Miss Fairchild (the young woman) recognizes Mr. Easton (the young man) and strikes up a conversation with him. The handcuffs, however, worry Miss Fairchild, but the "prisoner" soothes her worries, explaining that Mr. Easton is a marshal taking him to prison. The two converse until the men depart to the smoke room at the prisoner's request.
The story cuts to another set of passengers who had been listening in on the conversation. One comments on the marshal's good character. His companion comments on the young age of the marshal. The other seems confused before replying, "did you ever know an officer to handcuff a prisoner to his right hand.
Falling Action/ Denouement
The conclusion is ambiguous because the story leaves the reader to connect the dots without telling what happened after the other passenger's comment.
Mr. Easton told Miss Fairchild that he needed to go to Leavenworth, but he didn't say whether he would be going as a marshal or a prisoner. He also said, " My butterfly says are over," hinting at his future imprisonment. Miss Fairchild, however, thought he was referring to his social days. Mr. Easton uneasiness and shyness a the beginning of the story also foreshadow the conclusion.
The author descries the setting and characters. For example, " Among the newcomers were two young men, one of handsome presence with a bold, frank countenance and manner, the other ruffled, glum faced person, heavily built and roughly dressed. The two were handcuffed together." paints a near perfect picture of the appearances of these characters.
A theme in the story is the idea that people are not always as they appear. For example, the reader realizes at the end of the story that they have been misled to believe that Mr. Easton is the marshal when in reality he is the prisoner and a criminal. The reader is shocked by the information since it is a complete surprise. Another theme is that kindness can be applied in any situation and to anyone, criminal or not. Th marshal is compassionate toward Mr. Easton and helps him out of an embarrassing situation even though he does not have to.
by; Lupita Herrera and Landon Plechner
Throughout the story, Miss Fairchild speaks to Mr. Easton as if he is a hero because he is marshal. "And so now you are one of thee dashing Western heroes, and you ride and shoot and go into kinds of dangers." However, at the end, the reader finds out that he is not a hero at all. He uses dramatic irony with the misleading descriptions of t he marshal and Mr. Easton which cause the reader to believe that the marshal is the prisoner and the prisoner is the marshal.
The handcuffs symbolize a lower standard of living, especially compared to Miss Fairchilds standard of living. When Mr. Easton points them out, Miss Fairchild is horrified and quick to judge the situation.
The tone of the story is casual and unassuming, with the majority of the story consisting of lighthearted conversation between the passengers There is nothing extremely suspicious to prematurely lead the reader to the conclusion of the story until the surprise is revealed.
Works Cited
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