Analysis of the story "The love drug" by O. Henry
The title of the story I ‘m going to interpret is “The Love Drug”. The author of this story is O. Henry. O. Henry was a prolific American short-story writer, a master of surprise endings.
William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1862. His father was a physician. When William was three, his mother died, and he was raised by his paternal grandmother and aunt. At the age of fifteen William left school and then worked in a drug store and on a Texas ranch. He married in 1882.
He worked in Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. In 1897 he was convicted of embezzling money, although there has been much debate over his actual guilt. In 1898 he entered a penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio. While in prison O. Henry started to write short stories to earn money to support his daughter Margaret. His first work, “Whistling Dick’s Christmas Stocking” (1899), appeared in McClure’s Magazine. O. Henry’s last years were shadowed by alcoholism, ill health, and financial problems. O. Henry died of cirrhosis of the liver on June 5, 1910, in New York.
Henry’s collections are “Cabbages and Kings”, “The Four Million” (The Gift of the Magi, The Furnished Room”), “The Trimmed Lamp” (The Last Leaf), “Whirligigs” (The Ransom of Red Chief), “The Heart of the West”.
The title “The Love drug” can orientate the reader that the story will be about love. The theme of the story is love and friend’s treachery. The main idea of this story is to show the reader that person can do everything for love and betrayal of friends can be fatal.
The main characters of the story are: Jim, a young car – driver; his girlfriend Rosy; Rosy’s father Mr. Riddle; Jim’s friend Pilkins, a night clerk at a chemist.
The actions took place in the pharmacy and in Rosy’s house. The actions lasted during two days.
“The Love Drug” is a short story. It is well – written and easy to read. The story has a simple plot. In the beginning of the story the author wrote that Jim, a young car – driver, was in love with Rosy. Rosy was in love with him, but her father disliked Jim.
The explosion in this story was when Jim came to his friend Pilkins and asked him to help. Jim said, that they decided to run away and get married that night. But Rosy doubted whether they should do it. And Jim was afraid that she changes her mind. Pilkins offered to pour a powder to her and then they can escape.
The culmination moment was when Jim had gone, Pilkins, who was in love with Rosy too, immediately went to Mr. Riddle and told the old man that Jim and Rosy were going to run away that night. Rosy’s father was very angry and was going to kill Jim after supper.
The denouement was when the next day Pilkins met Jim and was surprised very much when Jim said that they were married last night.
Jim said that during the supper he looked at Rosy and decided that he mustn’t do it with her and put the powder in old Riddle’s coffee.
O. Henry used not many stylistic devices. A hyperbole “I have to pay for it even if it costs all the money I have” shows us that Jim will do everything only his love was near him.
The most bright moment for me is “- Lord! I am the luckiest man…. I looked at Rosy and said to myself, “Don’t play any tricks on that girl. She loves you, that’s clear enough.” Then I looked at her father and thought ‘There’s the man you should take care of. So I watched for my chance and put the powder in old Riddle’s coffee – see?”
I liked this story very much. O. Henry’s stories are always absorbing and exciting. There is always surprising end in his stories. The author touched upon the problem of friendship in this story. Pilkins, Jim’s friend, betrayed him. Betrayal for love, whether it is good. I think not. I believe that friends are to help to each other in difficult times. If a person has betrayed you, then it can’t be considered a friend. Even if it was a betrayal for the sake of love. But the most important thing in this story is that even treachery couldn’t stop loving people to be together. Love overcomes all barriers. And it is most important.