O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study


O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study


O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study

O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study

O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study

‘The Romance of a Busy Broker’ is an American English short story written by O’Henry (William Sidney Porter/ 1862-1910). Business is the main theme of the story. The author has shown, through the story, how humdrum business makes one absent-mindedness.

The story is about a busy New York broker, Harvey Maxwell. One day he came to his office with his personal secretary Miss Leslie. Coming straight he said, “Good Morning” to his personal clerk, Pitcher and sat on his seat almost jumping and began to open the mails in heaps on his crowded desk. His personal clerk noticed a difference in the attitude of Miss Leslie as she went to the outer room where she seemed to observe things anew. After some time the clerk came in, with a beautiful lady. He turned half round and asked Pitcher, his clerk about his coming. The clerk said that the lady had come for the job of a secretary as you told him yesterday.  Maxwell said, “You are losing your mind, Pitcher. Why should I have given you such an order? Miss Leslie has given perfect satisfaction. The place is hers as long as she likes.” The young lady left the office a little angrily. Pitcher said to the bookkeeper, “the old man seemed to get more absentminded and forgetful with every day that passed.” The rush and speed of business grew fiercer and faster. Orders to buy and sell were coming and going as rapidly as the flight of birds. The man was working like some high-powered, delicate strong machine. When the lunch hour drew near Maxwell stood by his desk with his hands full of telegrams and letters, with a fountain pen over his right ear and his hair hanging over his forehead. He suddenly felt a delicate smell of lilac. He thought it might come from Leslie. It was her only. He approached Leslie. He leaned one elbow on her desk and said to Leslie, “I have only a moment to spare. I want to say something in a moment. Will you be my wife? I have not had time to show my love to you in an ordinary way. Talk, please. I am very busy.” Leslie being perplexed said, “Oh what are you talking about? ……Don’t you remember Harvey? We were married last evening at eight o’clock in the Little Church around the Corner.”

Thus the author has portrayed, very reliably, the mind of a busy man. 

There are three Characters – Harvey Maxwell, Leslie and Pitcher in the story. Harvey is a type of busy man. Likewise, the other two characters are also typed but they are not as busy as Harvey is. So no peculiarity is seen in them. They are as they were. 

In narrating the story the author has employed the Objective Method with skill. 

The story, in Structure, is a perfect one. It bears visibly all the stages of a good short story. The exposition of the story is direct. In the exposition, the author has introduced his main character, Harvey Maxwell. The presence of Leslie creates curiosity in the mind of the readers from the very beginning of the story. The story ends in the climax.

The Setting of the story is consistent with the events and situation. The author gives a good description of his main character along with the environment of his event.

The Dialogues employed in the story are very logical as he uses them sparingly but all the dialogues have taken his story ahead and unfolded the inner nature and motives of his characters.

The Philosophy of Life is also found in the story. The author has not expressed it directly but leaves it to be drawn out by his readers that the pressure of business sometime makes one absent-minded.

The Language of the story is exemplary and very simple and it is the simplicity of the author’s language and manner of expression that has made the story a fine short story.

All the Qualities of a good short story as —unity of purpose, brevity, spontaneity and universality are present in this short story. 

 It is a short story of ideal Length.

As the entire component elements along with the required qualities of a good short story are present in it, in a logical order, so it may be called that it is a short story of the First Grade. 0 0 0 The Romance of a Busy Broker

O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study

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The Romance of a Busy Broker

N. B. This article entitled ‘O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘World Short Story Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus. O Henry | The Romance of a Busy Broker | An Analytical Study

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period
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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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