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The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry

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1 The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry
Holt Literature p. 52

2 Allusions in “The Ransom of Red Chief”
David and Goliath Biblical allusion to the Old Testament story of David killing a giant with only his slingshot and his faith. King Herod Biblical allusion to the Jewish king who ordered all male children under the age of two slaughtered after hearing a prophecy of a new king born (Jesus of Nazareth). Pirates of Penzance Allusion to a very popular 1880s comic opera involving pirates, beautiful women, mistaken identities, and numerous complications.

3 vocabulary apparition undeletorious fraudulent philoprogentiveness
diatribe provisions welter-weight collaborated impudent commend comply ransom

4 Irony Verbal irony saying the opposite of what one means.
Sarcasm is a form of verbal irony Ex: Saying “it is a lovely day” when it is raining. Dramatic irony The audience or reader knows something that a character doesn’t know. Ex: We know Freddy is behind the door with a knife ready to slash the cheerleader. Ex: We know Anne Frank will never fulfill her dream of living in Paris. Situational irony What happens is not what is expected. Ex: A firestation burns down. Ex: The Joker defeats Batman. Ex: The geek gets the girl. Ex: A man is run over by a bus after collecting the winning lottery ticket.

5 O. Henry William S. Porter


7 William Sidney Porter His pen name was O. Henry
He is known as a master of the short story form and of the surprise ending. He had very little formal education; he was homeschooled by his aunt. He worked in his uncle’s pharmacy and became a licensed pharmacist.

8 He came to Texas at the age of twenty and worked on a sheep ranch.
He used this knowledge of ranch life in many of his stories. He moved to Austin, Texas in 1884. He fell in love and married. He became a teller with the First National Bank of Austin. He quit his job at the bank and started a weekly humor magazine called Rolling Stone.

9 He was found guilty of the embezzlement charges and sentenced to five years in an Ohio prison.
While in prison, he wrote many stories using the pen name O. Henry. His pen name helped to shield his true identity. After his release from prison, he moved to New York.

10 William Sidney Porter (O. Henry) and family

11 After he moved to New York, he published over three hundred short stories.
Porter gained worldwide acclaim as America’s favorite short story writer. He died in 1910 at the age of forty-seven. His last years were troubled by alcoholism, ill health, and financial problems.

12 There is an O. Henry museum in
Austin, Texas near UT. The museum is in a restored cottage that Porter lived in from The O. Henry Museum offers writing programs for adults and children.

13 O. Henry house in Austin, Texas

14 O. Henry Prize for short stories
Every year prizes are awarded for the best short stories published that year. Officially known as the O. Henry Memorial Award Prize stories, they are usually called O. Henry Prize stories. It is the nation’s most prestigious award for short fiction.

15 Origin of O. Henry’s pen name????
Ohio Penitentiary ? or named after his cat ?

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