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Allusions and metaphors in A lickpenny lover by O. Henry.

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Allusions and metaphors in "A lickpenny lover" by O. Henry. O. Henry's language is very rich and full of great quotations, allusions and metaphors. I'll try to analyze some from his story "A lickpenny lover" in my essay. All the metaphors will be presented in order of appearance in the story. First of all, it seems interesting to me how author describes Masie telling us that she had "a brain that was as secretive and wary as that of a Maltese cat". Probably it sends us to Rudyard Kipling's story called "The Maltese cat". The story is about a polo match set in British colonial India, told from the point of view of one of the ponies, a gray named The Maltese Cat. The match is between a team from "The Archangels" and one from "The Skidars". ...read more.


In Greek mythology, Hebe is the goddess of youth; she was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia. In the sculpture, Hebe is expressed as a young beautiful girl with a flower wreath on her head and a silver cup in her arm. I guess that author compares Masie with this mythological character to emphasize her youth and attractiveness. From the other side, the metaphor "Minerva's eyes" tells us probably about girl's intellect. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes and is considered as the goddess of wisdom. She is often depicted with an owl, her sacred creature and, through this connection, a symbol of wisdom. From the antic times we move to the medieval period. Next phrase that caches our attention says "He is the Shylock of the stores." ...read more.


"He had held for a moment, though but by a silken thread, the soul of his wild Psyche, and hope was stronger within him" - the context is clear and we imagine the famous love story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius' novel, "The Golden Ass". Despite of all the obstacles, Psyche and Cupid found their great love, they were meant to be together. This legend is a symbol of great feeling, but O. Henry uses it to show only how much was the impression Masie made on Irving Carter. Of course, their love story came to a different end. All these allusions are not described by O. Henry himself, but it gives an informed and attentive reader a chance to get deeper into the real sense of the story. The master gave us some keys - we should use them according to its intended purpose to enjoy adequately the works of such a great author like O. Henry. ...read more.

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