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Burn It or Buy It Books Message Board › O. Henry Discussion Questions

O. Henry Discussion Questions

user 11537602
Group Organizer
Saint Paul, MN
Here are tonight's discussion questions for O. Henry. I had to move the date, so a few people had to back out with the change, but we'd love to have you even if you didn't finish.


The Best Short Stories of O. Henry


1. What did you think about the writer's style? Engaging or off-putting?

2. What major emotion did TBSSOH as a whole evoke in you as a reader?

3. At what point in TBSSOH did you decide if you liked it or not? What was the turning point for this decision?

4. What was your favorite story? What made it stand out to you? Were there any passages in the story that made it resonate with you personally?

5. Was there any particular story that you just didn't get or thought was unnecessary? What points in the story made it resonate poorly with you?

6. In regards to "The Gift of the Magi", given the reaction of both Jim and Della concerning the entire situation, do you think that these gifts were appreciated? Why or why not? How do you think you would react if you found yourself in a similar situation? What impact do you think this sort of selfless-sacrifice might have on a relationship between a giver and a recipient? Often those who receive gifts are unaware of the sacrifice that the giver makes in order to give gifts. What can we learn from Jim and Della about receiving gifts? About giving gifts?

7. In "A Retrieved Reformation", Do you think Jimmy Valentine would have progressed as a character had he not met Annabel Adams? Why or Why not? Why do you believe Ben Price let Jimmy go?

8. To many, "A Municipal Report" is regarded as O. Henry's best work. Do you argree? If so or not, why. What about this particular story makes it so appealing to readers? Do you feel Kipling & Tennyson's quotes were necessary to the story? What did they provide for you as a reader? Did you find this to be the most fitting story to round out the book? Why or why not and which story would you suggest provide a perfect wrap up to this book?

9. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?

10. After reading TBSSOH, would you be willing to read other books from O. Henry?

11. If a friend asked about the TBSSOH would you tell them to "Burn It" or "Buy It"?

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