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Hearts and hands by O. Henry – Short story review

Hearts and hands by O. Henry – Short story review

 ”Heart and Hand” – Introduction


“Heart and Hand”, is a famous American critical realist writer, one of the world’s top three short story writers, O. Henry’s works.
This novel, the plot seems very simple, a lady met her old acquaintance, Mr. Easton, on the train, but found  her old friend’s right hand handcuffed to the left one of another man. The story begins in the dialogue of different characters. She was surprised when the lady found that her friends was handcuffed, at the time, the young man felt embarrassed. But at this point of time, the real Marshall concocted a lie and he explained all this by saying he’s the criminal, and her friend is a Marshall. After that, the lady had a cheerful conversation with her friend. After a while, since the “criminal” wanted to smoke, they said good-bye to Ms. Fairchild. Story is coming to an end, but the climax is at where the other two passengers begin their conversation. Their seemingly unintentional  dialogue, makes us to form a clear understanding of the plot. In fact, Miss Fairchild’s friend is not the Marshall but the real prisoner, and that fake prisoner is the real Marshall.


“Heart and Hand” – Review


The end of the story, but memorable. In addition to the assumptions formed similar to detective novels before the negation of the conclusion that stimulate, we should also experience the “gentleman” demeanor authors tries to show, such as goodwill, understanding and warmth. The Marshall fabricate lies in order not to embarrass the prisoner, and  not to give me too much burden in his soul, though he has committed a crime, but he should have a basic dignity as a person. The consideration for others, not deliberate, nor varies from person to person, but the kindness from every human nature’s depth, it seems that we are losing this wonderful nature, or that it may often happens around us, but we do not have a pair eyes to find it. The entire article is not emotional, and has no lyrical composition, but when we go back and look at the subject, all is clear.
The young man that appears to be the Marshall is the real criminals. The actual Marshall, his insight into human weaknesses, and the courage to stand up for the human weaknesses to hide the ugly side of human … even to conceal a criminal … Of course, the most interesting part is his O. Henry-style ending.

P.S. If the officer is a left-handed, the prisoners handcuffed to his right hand would be a normal thing.

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