How does o. Henry develop the plot in the cactus


The Cactus is a marvelous yet simple story that was framed in the year 1902 by William Sydney Porter, who popularly called O. Henry. This story depicts a critical portrayal of ego and deceitful vanity. However, the plot of the story is witty with a mind-boggling end. "The Cactus" focuses on Trysdale whose attributes include self-obsession and ego. In the story, he is a healthy, happy man who is very much loved and respected by his girlfriend. The girl is very much devoted and at most, we can say, she worships the man of her life. But, Trysdale is one who follows his pride and thinks less about others, so he takes the girl for granted. And the day arrives when he proposes the lady, as she settles to reply the next day. This is the point where the plot twist arrives. The day after the proposal, he receives a cactus in a red colored jar with a tag on it. Seeing the cactus, he interprets that he has been refused by the lady. So obsessed to get "his" reply, he avoids the tag thinking of it as the botanical name of the plant. The writer then frames the action for readers' minds by setting the scene of Trysdale's girlfriend's marriage where the protagonist is also a guest. He sees the lady walk down the aisle and marries someone else. He's heartbroken but the situation is created because of the pride and negligence which are his upfront qualities. This scene confuses the readers as they are also waiting for an explanation just like our main character- Trysdale. Later, in the climax, both meet at dinner after two evenings of the marriage. The writer builds certain intensity in the scene and the eyes of both characters explain how they are feeling. On one hand, she is eager and breathless, while he's adamant and needed an explanation. However, the writer solves the issue for the readers as well as Trysdale through the speech of the brother of the lady. He explains about the Cactus which lay on the table that it was a common cactus from the South and the tag was not a name but a phrase in Spanish. The phrase said- "come and get me." This shocks both the protagonist and the readers but this is how the story ends. Through his story, O’Henry suggests that love needs nothing else but truth and a lucid heart. Pride and hypocrisy are the abhorrence to the universe of love. Love is not something you play through the mind or with a self-centered approach. It needs dedication and a cloudless run of emotions. To present the main characters, the settings and the atmosphere, the writer utilizes several stylistic devices to create a convincing plot in front of his followers. Following are a few of them: Metaphors and epithets; Personification- to describe the protagonist's temper; Oxymoron- to elaborate the jumbled feelings of Trysdale; and A regular use of polysyndeton is also present to depict the lady's attitude towards the man she loves.

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