The story under analysis was written by the american writer O.Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter. His short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. O.Henry wrote about ordinary people: clerks, policemen or waitresses, many of his stories take place in New York. The title of the story is suggestive, because we can predict that the story will be about the love and feelings of the very busy broker. It is the story about a busy town, in which there is no time for rest and getting satisfaction from life – this is the main idea of the text. The problem raised by the author is the relationship between two very different people – a very busy worker and his wife who is the absolute opposite of her husband but who loves him very much. The author`s message is that people should spend more time together not only just working , because they can forget or miss some very important events in their life. This topic is very actual nowadays.
Talking about the setting of the story – the event take place in a global power city New York. The whole event takes place during just one day, exactly the morning time. It is a broker’s office with a busy office routine every day. As it is the whole story we can see all logical parts of it. “The Romance of a Busy Broker” has no introduction, it starts with an exposition, where the main characters (Pitcher – a confident clerk and Harvey Maxwell – a broker) and the place of the event (an office) are presented. Then goes author`s narration with the development of the events. We see the author′s presentation of a busy broker′s day which consists of a chronic attack of buzzing of telephone, the thronging men in the office, the jumping clerks who are like the sailors during a storm. It is like hurricanes, landslides, snowstorms, glaciers and volcanoes but in an office. And during this crazy morning time Mr. Pitcher misunderstands his boss and call for a replacement stenographer to replace Miss Leslie . Until Mr.Maxwell finds out and gets upset, telling to clerk that Miss. Leslie will hold the job of stenographer until she can not anymore.
The story reaches its climax when lunch hour for the office comes around and Mr. Maxwell understands that he is in love with Miss. Leslie. He asks her to marry him and find out that they got married the previous night at a small church around the corner from the office. Reading the story we come across 3 main characters: Harvey Maxwell, Miss Leslie, and Mr. Pitcher. O Henry describes the main character as a busy and hard-working person. When Harvey gave greeting to Pitcher, his clerk, he was in a hurry. Every second, every minute, every hour, and every day, Harvey was lack of time. It was proven when he run into his desk and did his daily work. The author shows that Harvey was in a stressful condition. His desk was crowded. He also became impersonal and brusque.
He could become impatient when he had to talk with other people. Harvey is just like a machine with a number of phone calls regarding selling and buying of shares.He could ignore his work for a while when he attracted a beautiful woman. However, Harvey still forced Miss Leslie to answer his proposal quickly because he had so much to do. Even while making a proposal he is in a hurry…We have no detailed description of Maxwell, but with the help of indirect characterization the author reveals the character’s personality through his words, doings, interactions with others. In order to impose on the reader his attitude towards the character of the broker the author uses numerous amount of metaphors: “plunged into the great heap of letters and telegrams waiting there for him”, “the machine sitting at that desk was no longer a man; it was a busy New York broker, moved by buzzing wheels and uncoiling springs”, “the broker’s hour is not only crowded, but the minutes and seconds are hanging to all the straps and packing both front and rear platforms” , these metaphors show the business of the main hero.
We can see a positive drawing of the woman, one of the main characters of the story. The woman, the stenographer is very beautiful it is underlined with the help of epithets “dreamily bright eyes” ,”genuine peachblow cheeks”, “alluring pompadour”, “kind and frank eyes”, “wondering eyes”, the last two epithets give as a vivid impression of the feelings of Miss Leslie to Maxwell, she was in love with him. O Henry gives us also a detailed description of Miss Leslie`s physical appearance that helps us to imagine how did she look like. The author depicts her as a pleasant, beautiful and plain woman who always wears gray or dark colored dresses. She is a perfect secretary and a loving and wise wife. We do not come across Pitcher`s description in the text, but with the help of some phrases and sentences we can understand that he is an obedient and curious office worker.
Also the author uses synecdoche to lighten the people`s traits of character: “…and not a single picture hat or piece of pineapple chewing gum has showed up yet”, “the silver heart left the office”. The author uses various language means to depict the scene and the people, like similes: “his opened mail lay like a bank of stage snow on his crowded desk”, “the clerks in the office jumped about like sailors during a storm”, “orders to buy and sell were coming and going as swift as the flight of swallows”, “the man was working like some high-geared, delicate, strong machine”. In conclusion I can say that this story teach us that we should spend more time together. We should not always think that job is everything because we can forget or miss some very important events in their life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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