23 pages 46 minutes read

O. Henry

After Twenty Years

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1906

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Essay Topics


“After Twenty Years” contains many unexpected twists that warrant a second read in order to experience the characters how they truly are. Read the short story, noting down any foreshadowing or twists you predict; then, read the story again. How is your reading experience different the second time around? What literary and creative tools does Henry use to create this effect?


Henry uses foreshadowing throughout the story. Find all the moments of foreshadowing and analyze them. What impact does this literary device have on the story?


Most of the story is dialogue. What effect does this choice have on the narrative, and what are some strengths and weaknesses of the story being written with a great deal of dialogue?

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