?The Cop and the Anthem by O. Henry While reading the following story, note its plot structure 1. All the events in the following story are arranged chronologically. Due to its humorous nature and big attention to details, they catch attention. As events change each other rather quickly the reader’s interest can be held easily. 2. The role of exposition is to introduce the main character of the story and describe the conditions of his life, surrounding. Also exposition creates the general atmosphere of the story. Soapy’s life is compared with all of a sudden leaf blown by cold wind. It helps the author to evoke the readers’ mildness on Soapy. . The climax is moment when Soapy came to an old church and began to reflect himself. His ideas and opinion change drastically, as realizes possibilities of changes. Soapy stands on the street and considers this plan for his future; however, a policeman taps him on the shoulder and asks him what he is doing. When Soapy answers “Nothing,” his fate is sealed: he has been arrested for loitering. In the magistrate’s court on the following day, he is convicted of a misdemeanor (in the courtroom, he is pronounced guilty of "vagrancy, no visible means of support"), and is sentenced to three months to the island. . No, there is not. 5. Plot structure: a straight line narrative presentation, when the events are arranged as they occur, in chronological order; This short story has a flashback “… for he had known it well in the days when his life contained such things as mothers and roses and ambitions and friends and immaculate thoughts and collars…” Questions for Further Analysis 1. There are two types of conflict in the story. The first is external, when the character is pitted against some object or force outside himself.
The second one is internal in which case the issue to be resolved is one within the character’s own self. The conflict of this story: the struggle between Soapy and Cop and between man and society. 2. Yes, the plot comprises a variety of events. That makes the story vivid and not boring. But all the actions are united with one aim and idea. 3. Events involve both of these movements. The character wants to be caught by The Cop, so he takes a number of actions for achieving this goal. But as he fails in his attempts we can observe psychological movement, changes of mood, ideas and intentions. . All the events are logically related; even some digressions help to support general idea and atmosphere. 5. I think that it is setting, because in short story it’s very important to create an appropriate atmosphere in the very beginning. Author has managed to do it very successfully. 6. The author wanted to create realistic background to the events in the story. The setting evokes the mood of the society of that time. Such realistic background helps the author to emphasize a gap between poor and rich people. As a result, an unequal society is revealed.
The description of dying nature and wintry weather (…A dead leaf fell in Soapy's lap… At the corners of four streets he hands his pasteboard to the North Wind) is used to portray the inner state of protagonist, his solitude. Soapy’s life is compared with dead leaf blown by cold wind. It helps the author to evoke the reader’s compassion on Soapy. 7. Yes it is, as it was said above it exposes the problem of inequality and unfairness. 8. In fact it tells the story of one evening, but there are some flashbacks which describe past life of the character, so we can say that the story covers almost all his life.
LITERARY TECHNIQUES 1. The skill is revealed as the end of the story is absolutely unpredictable. I was expecting that after reflecting himself near the church, Soupy either will change his life and dreams or will return to his usual retinue in the park, but it was wrong assumption. 2. - At a corner of Sixth Avenue electric lights and cunningly displayed wares behind plate-glass made a shop window conspicuous. Soapy took a cobblestone and dashed it through the glass. People came running around the corner, a policeman in the lead. Soapy stood still, with his hands in his pockets, and smiled at the sight of brass buttons. Where's the man that done that? " inquired the officer excitedly. "Don't you figure out that I might have had something to do with it? " said Soapy, not without sarcasm, but friendly, as one greets good fortune. The policeman's mind refused to accept Soapy even as a clue. Men who smash windows do not remain to parley with the law's minions. They take to their heels. The policeman saw a man half way down the block running to catch a car. With drawn club he joined in the pursuit. Soapy, with disgust in his heart, loafed along, twice unsuccessful; "Ah there, Bedelia! Don't you want to come and play in my yard? The policeman was still looking. The persecuted young woman had but to beckon a finger and Soapy would be practically en route for his insular haven. Already he imagined he could feel the cozy warmth of the station-house. The young woman faced him and, stretching out a hand, caught Soapy's coat sleeve. Sure, Mike," she said joyfully, "if you'll blow me to a pail of suds. I'd have spoken to you sooner, but the cop was watching. " With the young woman playing the clinging ivy to his oak Soapy walked past the policeman overcome with gloom. He seemed doomed to liberty. At the next corner he shook off his companion and ran.
He halted in the district where by night are found the lightest streets, hearts, vows and librettos. 3. As the scene and atmosphere of story change, we can observe changes in character, his thoughts, intentions and dreams. So it is a kind of parallel between outside world and inside world of personality. 4. Soapy had confidence in himself from the lowest button of his vest upward. He was shaven, and his coat was decent and his neat black, ready-tied four-in-hand had been presented to him by a lady missionary on Thanksgiving Day. He halted in the district where by night are found the lightest streets, hearts, vows and librettos.
Women in furs and men in greatcoats moved gaily in the wintry air. Digressions in the story are not interruptive r unnecessary, on the contrary, they help to create special atmosphere and explain character. 5. To create the effect of surprise, unpredictability and confusion. 6. I think that author first of all wanted to make the story more ironic, and secondly to leave a chance for reader to interpret such an end at his own discretion. 7. Firstly it helped to catch and hold readers’ interest and secondly the absence of denouement gives an opportunity think about many things.