A retrieved Reformation



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“A Retrieved Reformation” O Henry



  1. What reason does the author give in the first paragraph that indicates a need for Jimmy to change his ways?

  2. Tone is the writer’s attitude toward his audience or subject. Factors that contribute to tone are word choice, sentence structure, line length, rhyme, rhythm and repetition. What is the author’s tone? What words or phrases in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs support you opinion?

  3. Valentine, 9762, was chronicled on the books, ‘Pardoned byGovernor.’” Define chronicled as used in the context of the sentence.

4.“Disregarding the song of the birds, the waving green trees, and the smell of the flowers, Jimmy headed straight for the restaurant. There he tasted the first sweet joys of liberty in the shape of a chicken dinner.” What does this passage indicate about Jimmy’s character?

5.“…with two or three novelties invented by Jimmy himself, in which he took pride.” Define novelties as used in the context of the sentence. What does this passage indicate about Jimmy’s character?

6.Jimmy describes himself as the representative of the “New York Amalgamated Short Snap Biscuit Cracker and Frazzled Wheat Company.” What word in this description indicates the author’s tone? That is the author’s tone?

7.The book defines rouge-catchers as the police. With that definition in mind, define rogue.

8.The story defines retribution as “the punishment for wrongdoing.” How are the words retribution and contribution different? What makes them different?

9.Consider the last paragraph on page 30. What phrase reinforces the author’s tone?

10.The author writes that Jimmy “engages a room…..and declared his platform…” With the author’s craft in mind, how does the choice of the italicized words help you predict upcoming events?

11.Why does Jimmy decide to go into the show business?

What underlying message is the author submitting by having him go into the show business?

12.Considering the “author’s craft”, what is the significance of the sentence, “He met Miss Annabel Adams, and became more and more captivated by her charms”?

13.In the letter Jimmy writes to his friend, what one word indicates he has changed? What is the reason for this change?

14.“Going to marry the banker’s daughter are you, Jimmy?” What does this passage indicate about Ben’s perception of Jimmy’s intentions?

15.What is ironic about Jimmy being invited into the banking-room?

16.Why does Jimmy ask Annabel for the rose she is wearing?

17.The author writes, “As he went he thought he heard a far-away voice that he once knew call “Ralph!’” Why does the author describe the voice as far-away?



18.By the end of the story, how has Jimmy’s set of values changed?



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