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The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry - a short story discussion
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Author:  Chris OConnor [ Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry - a short story discussion

The Ransom of Red Chief
by O. Henry


Please use this thread for discussion the short story "The Random of Red Chief," by O. Henry, which can be read online for free right here.

Or if you prefer hearing it read to you check out this YouTube video. It includes the text so you can read along as it is read to you.

And then I found a YouTube video of a Hallmark movie under the same name. I have to assume this movie is associated with the short story.

Also, here is a short video of the story.

Thank you for this short story suggestion, Cattleman!

Please feel free to comment on any of the above. :)

Author:  KindaSkolarly [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry - a short story discussion

Just finished reading this one again. It's been years.

I'd forgotten that O. Henry had such a knack for well-turned phrases. The story's great, of course, deserving its "classic" status, but on top of that O. Henry has a superb command of language.

'...I tried to be faithful to our articles of depredation; but there came a limit.'

A short bio of O. Henry:

http://www.lsjunction.com/people/porter.htm

I used to drive by his house/museum occasionally:

http://www.austinmuseums.org/amp_profil ... ry-museum/

O. Henry was famous for his twist endings. SCTV did a skit about this, years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQGvxA8xFQo

Author:  ksyfullah07 [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry - a short story discussion

Keeping this book on my to be read list..Hope this book will be fantastic.

Author:  Litwitlou [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry - a short story discussion

Finally we're reading from a book I own!

Author:  Litwitlou [ Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry - a short story discussion

I must confess in 8th grade I got a little teary-eyed at the end of "The Gift of the Magi." Also, I will deny that until the day I die.

Author:  Harry Marks [ Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry - a short story discussion

So, what makes "Ransom" charming is not the portrait of winsome, humanitarian kidnappers, which everyone gets is unrealistic. Okay, it delivers a nice punch at the end with the surprise ending. But that's not what moves the heart to laughter.

What is deeply moving about it is the recognition of parents in that picture. We have all heard horror stories about tyrannical kids dominating their parents. But what kind of parents raise such kids? One answer is neglectful, wishy-washy, clueless parents. The other answer is, parents who do not believe in dominating their kids with violence. And that second kind of parent must have been becoming common enough in O. Henry's day to give rise to a reaction, people thinking they are seeing the first case.

I think the story is a sort of stroke of genius in combining the two visions. At one time we have a character who is indulgent of Red Chief, wanting the whole caper to come off smoothly, and a parent who is utterly pragmatic about the nature of the child and the difficulties of dealing with a person who does not yet take the perspective of others into account. The roles have been reversed (and that's the source of the gratifying surprise, I guess) but in my opinion they are both reflecting a perspective on permissive parenting, and thereby giving it some of the real complexity it deserves.

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