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A novel by O. Henry under the name “One Thousand Dollars” is based on a story of Robert Gillian, a young man who inherits 1000 dollars from his uncle. At first the small amount of inheritance surprised the man, because the uncle was a very wealthy man and often gave Gillian thousands of dollars as an allowance. Besides, the uncle’s young relative, Miss Hayden, didn’t receive any inheritance at all. Gillian then learned that in order to receive the full amount of inheritance, he must spend the 1000 dollars wisely; otherwise the money will go to Miss Hayden. He was planning to give the 1000 dollars to Miss Hayden, but then changed his mind, refused to take the rest of the inheritance, and left the lawyer’s office without taking the money.
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This story by O. Henry follows a very clear story structure that consists of four elements. The first element is the team – the main theme of the story is money, the way we get and manage money. Gillian has no idea how to manage the kind of money he was about to inherit, which is why he decided it’s best to give them away. The second element of the story is its setting, most importantly – the characters. The story is based around the character of Robert Gillian, a young man with no money managing experience. After trying to find the way to spend 1000 dollars wisely by himself, he resorted to asking other people, which did not bring him the desired result. Although the initial portrayal of Gillian is one of an immature and irresponsible man, later we learn that he has good intentions at heart, which he demonstrates by letting Miss Hayden take the money.
The third element of the story is attempt, or the actions the main character takes in order to meet his goals. Our short story by O. Henry describes the attempt of Mr. Gillian to get hold of the money. The actions he takes are mainly talking to people about the best way to spend 1000 dollars, meeting with Miss Hayden, taking some time to plan his next moves, and, eventually, realizing he’s better off giving the money away to Miss Hayden and tearing the papers regarding the will. The next and final element of the story is style, which, in case of this story by O. Henry, is figurative language, which is used to emphasize the author’s portrayal of the characters and the situations they found themselves in.
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