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A NIGHT OUT BY O. HENRY
Elements of the Drama CHARACTERS SETTING PHYSICAL: NEW YORK TIME: Early 20th century SOCIAL: American urban society
MAIN CHARACTERS: Towers Chandler, Jeff White, Marian MINOR CHARACTERS: Mrs. Black, Sissie, Marie
THEMES •Appearances versus reality •The importance of character
MORAL VALUES •Honesty •prudence •Contentment
LANGUAGE &STYLE •Simple and direct language •Repetition •Irony •Comparison and contrast •Symbolism
MESSAGES •Appearances can be deceiving •Be yourself •Character is more important than wealth
POINT OF VIEW •Third person omniscient
BACKGROUND INFORMATION : IRONY
• Irony is a literary device that show the difference between appearance and reality .O.Henry uses irony in this play .In an ironic situation , the result is the opposite of what is expected . In dramatic irony , the audience is aware of things the characters are not aware of .
THE PLAYWRIGHT : O.HENRY • • • • •
*O.Henry (William Sydney Porter)- born in 1862 ,North Carolina ,USA ; died in 1910 *Started writing after getting married in 1887 *Wrote more than 300 short stories *Most well known for the story Gift of the Magi *His stories are typically about ordinary people living in New York .Because of his witty humorous style , his stories are still popular today
SYNOPSIS *Towers Chandler is an ordinary man living in New York. He earns very little but once every ten weeks , he dresses up and goes for a meal at one of the best restaurant in the city . On one of his night out , a girl named Marian bumps into him on the street and falls, hurting her foot .Chandler invites her to join him for dinner. They talk and Chandler pretends to be a wealthy man who doe not need to work . Marian seems to lose interest in him . After dinner , they to go their separate ways . At home , Marian and her sister talk about the kind man they would like to marry . Marian reveals that she cannot love a rich man who does not work
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA • SETTING PLACE
The story is set in various places in New York . Scene 1 – the house where Chandler rents a room Scene 2 – a street in the city Scene 3 – fine dining restaurant Scene 4 – Marian's bedroom
The story is set in the early 20th century . The society in New York consist mainly of two group – those who work for a living like the main character Chandler , and those who are rich and do not work
Towers Chandler is all dressed up like a rich man for a night out. He meets his friend, Jeff White , and tells him about his habit of saving one dollar a week so that he can enjoy the lifestyle of the rich once every ten weeks Rising Action
A girl dressed in an old hat and cheap coat knocks into Chandler and falls , hurting her foot . Chandler invites her to have dinner with him . The girl, Marian, asks Chandler what he does . Chandler pretends to be rich and tells her does not work .Marian loses interest in Chandler and they go their separate ways. Chandler is disappointed and regrets not telling Marian the truth
Marian returns home and gets a scolding from her sisters for disappearing for two hours . It is revealed that Marian is from a rich family
Marian talks about her wish to marry a man who has important work to do even if he were poor
Marian thinks Chandler is just another rich man and says that she cannot love a man like him even though he is attractive he is attractive and kind .
CHARACTER • • • •
MAIN CHARACTERS TOWERS CHANDLER *A young man who works for a living , earning eighteen dollars a week *Has blue eyes
Pretentious and untruthful
*Dresses well even thought he is not rich(p.24) *Dresses up and dines at an expensive restaurant pretending to be a rich man once every ten weeks (pp. 23-24) *lies to Marian that he is a rich man who does not need to work (p..27)
*Puts importance on his appearance(p.24) *Judges Marian by her clothes and thinks she is a shop girl(p.23)
*saves one dollar every week but spends all his saving on an expensive dinner once every ten weeks (p. 23) *spends his money on expensive clothes instead of paying his rent on time (p.24)
CHARACTERS Gentlemanly ,chivalrous and kind
*Helps Marians when she falls *Compliments Marian when she is worried that she is not suitably dresses to go to a restaurant (p.26)
*Invites Marian to dinner (p.26)
*Young lady from a rich family *Attractive – Chandler `likes what he sees ‘(p.26)
CHARACTERS CHARACTER TRAITS
Wise , practical
*Values characters and deeds more than wealth -`I could only love him if he has some important work to do in the world ‘(p.27)
*puts on her maid’s clothes to go to her dressmaker instead of being chauffeured there in a car , and enjoys the pretence -`Everyone thought that I was a shop girl! It was wonderful!’(p.29)
Strong – willed and independent
*Does not simple accept her parents’ plan for her to marry a rich man ;insists that she can only love a man who works (p.29)
• • •
JEFF WHITE *Towers Chandler’s friend *Thinks Chandler is foolish for pretending to be rich
• • • •
MRS BLACK *Towers landlady *Sarcastic *Disapproves of Chandler’s spending habits
SISSIE *Marian’s sister
*Disapprove of Marian’s adventurous spirit MARIE
*Marian and Sissie ‘s maid
THEMES Appearances versus reality *The main character in this play – Towers Chandler – dresses like a rich man and dines at an expensive restaurant .In reality he is just a wage earner *Chandler meets Marian who is wearing an old hat and a cheap coat . He thinks she is just a shop girl . In reality, Marian is from a rich family with a maid and chauffeur The importance of characters *Marian is from rich family , and she is expected to marry someone equally rich . However , she feels that she can only love a man who does some kind of work , and not a rich loafer *If Chandler had been truthful with Marian , she would let herself fall in love with him. Unfortunately , Chandler’s dishonesty causes them to miss the chance of true love.
MESSAGES • •
Appearances can be deceiving *Do not be fooled by what you see
• • •
*Towers Chandler dresses well but he is a poor man. *Marian is dressed like a shop girl but she is , in fact ,rich *Chandler acts like a rich gentleman but he is , in fact , poor.
BE YOURSELF *Both Chandler and Marian enjoy pretending to be someone else. Chandler pretends to be a rich man .Marian pretends to be a poor girl *As a result , they lose the chance to be together even thought they like each other
MESSAGES • • •
Characters is more important than wealth *Chandler thinks that being rich is important. That is why saves money – so that he can pretend to be rich. *Marian , a rich girl , values characters more than wealth. Marian is attracted to Chandler but is disappoint to find that he is a rich man without character , who lives a boring life of luxury . *If Chandler hand an honesty character , he would have gained the love or the girl he likes , and who is rich , too.
MORAL VALUES • • • •
• • •
HONESTY *chandler pretends to be what he is not. It makes him feel wonderful to be thought or as a rich man *He is attracted to Marian and tells her lies about himself. *Chandlers lack of honesty about who really is causes him to lose the chance to find true love. PRUDENCE *Chandler saves a dollar every week then spends it all at an expensive restaurant and a taxi ride. *He spends a lot of money on fine clothes but owes his landlady the rent for his room. This is not a wise way to handle money. Chandler is not a prudent man. If he continues doing this and does not practice prudence, his landlady might one day kick him out of the house
MORAL VALUES • • •
CONTENTMENT *Chandler is not content with his life . He longs to be a rich man and enjoy luxuries like dining at expensive restaurant . *His dissatisfaction makes him pretend to be a rich man once every ten weeks . His pretence costs him the chance to be with the girl he likes.
POINT OF VIEW •
The story is told from the third – person omniscient point of view . The characters’ thoughts and personalities are revealed to the audience through their dialogue and expression . For example : * Chandler regrets not telling Marian the truth about himself : `…it's too late now … how stupid I am!’ ( p.27) *Marian reveals that she cannot love a rich man who does not do anything meaningful: ` But how can I love a man like that ?’ (p. 29)
TONE & MOOD • •
The tone of the play is one of irony *The playwright points out the foolishness of the main character in trying to copy the lifestyle of the rich just for one night after saving one dollar of his pay for ten weeks. *Mrs. Black , the landlady makes a sarcastic remark that he can spends on expensive clothes but not pay his rent. *The man irony is revealed at the end of the play when the audience discovers that Chandler has lose his chance to marry a rich girl because he pretended to be rich The mood of the play is light-hearted at first but ends on a note of regret. *In the beginning ,Chandler is ready to enjoy his night out pretending to be a rich man. He laughs when his friend tells him he is `crazy’.When his landlady sarcastically points out that he still owes her the rent ,he runs away comically
TONE & MOOD • •
* He then meets Marian , who looks like a poor shop girl ,and is attracted to her. He keeps up his pretence of being a rich man. *Marian’s sadness upon finding out that he is one of those lazy rich men she dislikes , and Chandler’s own regret at not telling her the truth , changes the mood to a more serious and sad one. *In the end, it is revealed that Marian is really from rich family but who happened to be wearing her maid’s clothes. Ironically, Chandler is actually the kind of man Marian could love, but his pretence and also hers, causes them to miss the chance to be together.
LANGUAGE & STYLE • •
*The play is written in simple and direct language. *Irony is an important device used in this play. For example, Chandler dressed well but cannot afford to pay his rent. He fails to impress Marian by lying to her. In fact , he world have succeeded if he had told her the truth. *Contrast is used to highlight the ironic tone of the play. For example , ` a million dollars ‘ contrast with ` eighteen dollars’ (p.23); `spends money on expensive clothes’ contrast with ` can’t pay for your room’ (p.24).Many superlatives are used in the dialogue such as `Finest clothes’, `most expensive food’, `best coffee’, `richest people’, and `hardest workers’. *The names of the characters are symbolic. The main character, who wishes to belong to a higher level of society, is named `Towers’. His friend, who is straightforward person, is named `White’ . The landlady whom Chandler owes money and fears is `Mrs. Black’.