The Symbolic Meaning of the Leaf in The Last Leaf毕业论文_英语毕业论文

The Symbolic Meaning of the Leaf in The Last Leaf毕业论文


摘 要

欧·亨利,19 世纪末 20 世纪初美国短篇小说家,被誉为美国短篇小说之父, 他以其“欧·亨利式的结尾”闻名于世,他的短篇小说构思精巧,别具一格,语言幽默。他是世界三大短篇小说大师之一。在他的一生中,他出版了 10 本合集

和超过 600 篇的短篇小说。欧亨利的作品以讽刺幽默的语调向读者展示了美国人民的全景。由于他的杰出作品,他也被称为美国现代短篇小说之父,美国生活幽默百科全书,以及短篇散文作家桂冠曼哈顿。


关键词: 最后一片叶子 象征主义 人性美 人生价值


  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 3
    1. The leaf as the symbol of hope 3
      1. The brief introduction of the short story 4
      2. The battle between the leaf and nature and that between Johnsy and disease 4
    2. The leaf as the symbol of people at the bottom of the society 4
      1. The brief introduction of the society at that time 4
      2. The situation of Johnsy and the people of the same kind 7
    3. The leaf as the symbol of the value of the life 8
      1. The value of the leaf in Johnsy’s eyes 8
      2. The meaning of the leaf in Behrman’s eyes 8
    4. The leaf as the symbol of beauty of the human nature 9
      1. The analysis of the features of the characters 9
      2. The reasons why the beauty of the human nature is so honorable 10
  3. Conclusion 11

Work Cited 12

Bibliography 12

The symbolic Meaning of The Leaf in The Last Leaf


William Sydney Porter is an American short story writer. His stories are well known for their surprising endings, he also has a pen name called “O·Henry”, Porter published at least twelve stories when he was in prison, but He didn’t want the readers know his name,therefor he started using the pen name “O · Henry”. In fact after finishing his prison time, Porter almost never identified himself in his real name, even in the communication with his close friends. To editors, he was simply O· Henry.

In his Early life, William Sidney Porter was born on September 11 1862, in

Greensboro, North Carolina. He changed the spelling of his middle name to Sydney in 1898. When William was three, his mother died from tuberculosis, so he and his father moved into the home of his paternal grandmother. As a child, Porter was fond of reading, ranging from classics to dime novels. In 1876 He graduated from his aunt’s elementary school, then enrolled at the Linsey Street High School. In 1879 he started working as a bookkeeper in his uncle’s drugstore. And in 1881 at the age of nineteen, he was licensed as a pharmacist. Then he Moved to Texas in 1882. Initially, he worked as a sheep herder and ranch hand on a ranch in La Salle County, later in Austin he took a number of different kinds of jobs over the next several years, including pharmacist, draftsman, journalist, and clerk. While in Texas he also learned Spanish. In 1887 he married Athol Estes, eighteen years old girl from a wealthy

family. Her family objected to the marriage because both she and Porter suffered from tuberculosis. However Athol gave birth to a son in 1888 but the boy died shortly after birth, and then they had a daughter called Margaret next year. In 1894 Porter started a humorous weekly called The Rolling Stone. In 1894, Porter resigned from the First National Bank of Austin where he worked as a teller, later he was accused of embezzling funds. In 1895 after The Rolling Stone ceased publication, he moved to Houston, where he started his writing for the Houston Post. Finally, he was arrested for embezzlement in connection with his previous employment in Austin. Porter was granted bond, but the day before due to stand trial on July 7, 1896, he absconded to New Orleans and later to Honduras. However, in 1897, when he heard that his wife was dying, he returned to the United States and surrendered to the court. However, Athol Estes Porter died on July 25, 1897. Porter was accused of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in jail, and imprisoned on April 25, 1898 at the Ohio State Penitentiary. He was released on July 24, 1901 for good behaviors in jail. After being set free in advance, he moved to New York and specialized in writing.

O·Henry is good at describing the life of American society, especially the people of New York. His sympathy for the poor society underdogs are highlighted as the keynote of his works. The language of his work is humorous, creative and abundant in

the description of different kinds of characters, Besides, His works are full of sentiments which sometimes result in a “tearful smile” . The tone of his works is a bit serious but flat, biting and filled with irony, so people call his works “ humorous Encyclopedia of American life”.

He wrote many famous works such as The four million ,The voice of the city ,The cop and the anthem and The last leaf . This essay analyzes one of his famous works The Last Leaf. This essay will focus on the symbolic meaning of the last leaf from many aspects to reflect the condition of the people at bottom and revel the beauty of the human nature.

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