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Theme of short story The rods we tke written by O~Henry is the inexorble lust for money lust leds to devsttion of humnkind

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  The interpretation of a short story «The roads we take»

      The theme of a short story «The roads we take», written by O’Henry is the inexorable lust for money  lust  leads to devastation of humankind.

      The following events  are described in this story. The story begins with a stop of a train at a tank. Then the gang of robbers Bob Tidball, John Big Dog, headed by  Shark Dodson climb on the engine and made the engine-driver descend to the ground and detach the engine and the carriage. Then the robbers blow  the safe and took some money. Then the force the engine-driver to drive the engine further  where they hide their horses. One of  three outlaws John Big Dog didn’t manage to escape, because he was killed with a bullet. The two remaining outlaws Bob Tidball and Shark Dodson  rode  many miles on  the horse. Suddenly the horse of Bob Tidball slipps on a mossy boulder and brakes one of his legs. Shark Dodson and Bob Tidball kill the horse, sit down and discuss their future plans. During the discussion Shark Dodson often tells  his companion Bob Tidball, that he often wonders, what will happen if  he takes the right road. Meanwhile Shark  admits, that he is a little disappointed with the relatively small sum of money he and his companion have taken from the safe. He also adds, that only one of them could escape. That’s why he kills his long-time partner. Later on, Shark rides on the horse to the place, where Peabody, his confidental clerk awaits  him to talk to talk to his boss. It became known during his conversation, that Shark Dodson has bought some X,Y,Z stock from Mr. Williams at 98, that has a market price approximately estimated at one eighty-five.  Peabody admits, that Mr. Williams will be totally ruined if he has to buy the stock at the current market price. He suggests, that Shark should sell him a stock at a lower market price. Finally Shark shots his friend Mr. Williams with an economic bullet, because he refuses to buy the stock at a current market price.

    There are the following elements of plot structure in this story: exposition, complication, climax and denouement.  The story begins with the  exposition. That main function of the exposition here is establishing time and place of the action. The reader gets the information, that the action takes place twenty miles west of Tucson.

      The complications  start, when the gang of robbers Bob Tidball, John Big Dog and Shark Dodson climb on the engine and make the engine-driver descend to the ground  and detach the engine and the carriage, The climax appears, when Shark Dodson shots his friend Mr. Williams.

       The denouement of this story is absent. By the way this story contains flashbacks to Shark Dodson’s childhood. The conflict of this story is external. It represents  the opposition between one set of values against another set of values. ( lust for money and prosperity, on the  one hand and  sense of harmony.

       The type of narrative method is the third-person omniscient narration. The third person omniscient narrator reproduces the characters  and comments on their actions, analyzing and summarizing them. The characters are described indirectly: through their actions, speech characteristics. In particular, Shark Dodson is described through opposition to the foil character- Bob Tidball

       The tone of the story is humorous. It is revealed in the following situation. When  the robbers blew up the safe with  the dynamite to get thirty thousand dollars, that were inside it, the author writes: «The passengers thrust their heads casually out of the windows to look for the thunder-cloud.»

     The language is colloquial. Such colloquialisms  are used here: hoss, square deal, etc




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