Dead Men’s Path Questions

1. What significant do you see in the story’s title?

The significant behind the story’s title “Dead Man’s Path” is that the old man is so set on keeping the path that he never thought of changing it. Ultimately, when you have this mind set, you never know what change could bring; it could open new doors or even bring out the good in things. By the old man following in his father’s footsteps, all he knows is that the path is there and he doesn’t know what could come of change. The reason this is so significant for the story’s title is because by the old man not allowing change he is not opening his eyes and truly  living. He is so set on living the way things have always been so therefore he is living a dead man’s path.

2. What theme in the story seems most important to you? Is it stated anywhere in the story?

The most important theme in the story would be to just let things be. In the story Obi stops the villagers from using the pathway even though it is so important to them. This is the most important theme because why change something that works well for many even though it doesn’t work well for one person. In the short story, the old priest explains that “we follow the practices of our fathers”(176). This shows that for generations, the villagers have been following traditions and one man can not come in and try to change things up. This theme is stated in the story when the old priest says “let the hawk perch and let the eagle perch”(176).

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The Gift of the Magi: Setting

In the beginning of the story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, our narrator in the story takes the effort to point out that “the next day is Christmas” (164). This little fact about the the time frame drives the whole story; Della is looking for a Christmas gift for her husband Jim. The setting of the short story takes place in a busy city almost like New York. The weather was like any other normal day in the city, nothing special. The main characters of the story, Della and her husband Jim, live in a “furnished flat at $8 per week”(164). Most of the story takes place in their small little flat, except when Della goes down the street to sell her hair. From the details of the apartment, our short story could take place around 1920s, around the same time as the great depression. Putting the story at the same time as the great depression adds a connection with us readers. It adds sympathy for Della because we know she is struggling financially, “the income was shrunk to $20”(165); all Della wants is a Christmas gift for her beloved husband.