O’Henry’s The last Leaf: A Summary

The last leaf, a quick story by O’Henry is set in Greenwich village in new York. It was released in 1907 in O’Henry’s collection, The Trimmed Lamp and also Other Stories. The author begins the story with a brief description the the settings. Over there are just too numerous streets in ~ Greenwich town and they take so plenty of turns that it appears one street goes with itself rather a couple of times. Largely painters populated the Greenwich village as they can find cheaper house in this part of the city.

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The story centers on 2 female characters Sue and also Johnsy – 2 painters and a 3rd older male character, an unsuccessful painter. Theyall live in the very same building. Sue and Johnsy live on the 3rd floor while the old painter lived on the first floor. The story takes place during a pneumonia epidemic.

Sue was from Maine and also Johnsy indigenous California. When they arrived at Greenwich, they met each other at a restaurant on the eighth street. Soon they found that lock had similar preferences in regards to food, clothing, and also art. Soon, they became friends and decided to live and work together. It happened throughout the spring.

As winter arrived, Pneumonia spread throughout the town. However, its spread was rather slow in the streets of Greenwich Village. Johnsy dropped ill and lay motionless in her bed.

The author refers to Pneumonia as a cold stranger who touched one or the other human being here and there with his cold icy fingers causing them to loss grievously ill. As soon as Johnsy was ill v pneumonia, she would certainly lay motionless in her bed watching the wall of the home next to hers v the window.

When medical professional was over there to check Johnsy, he called Sue right into the room so Johnsy did no overhear them. There he told Sue the Johnsy had very small chance. She can die due to the fact that she had actually lost the desire come live. The physician was afraid that he could not do lot if the patient had actually lost hope and interest in life. He wanted to understand if there to be anything in specific troubling Sue’s friend. Sue could not recall anything crucial except that Johnsy want to walk to Italy and paint the only of Naples. However, the doctor wanted to recognize if there was a man in Johnsy’s life. Sue did not recognize of any such man. The medical professional replied that Johnsy had grown weak, and also if she had actually no desire come live, fifty percent of his work was currently wasted.

If Johnsy again gained interested in life and her future, her chances would grow. So, the doctor argued to Sue the she talked to she friend around winter clothes.

The doctor’s words had actually left Sue emotion sad. She visited the workroom and started crying. Sue felt dreadful for she friend, however she knew she had to support Johnsy in such a critical time. Therefore, she picked few of her paint material and also went to the room where Johnsy to be lying. Sue was singing all the while. Johnsy was lying through her challenge to the window, and she looked thin and also quiet. Sue quit singing, believing Johnsy to be asleep. She began her work, however suddenly heard a sound and went come Johnsy’s bedside to examine out.

Johnsy had actually her face towards the window and she was counting. She to be counting backward. Sue looked out of the home window to inspect what she to be counting. Over there was only a wall outside the home window and a tree versus it, i m sorry had currently shed numerous of that leaves because of winter. Sue inquiry Johnsy what she was counting. Johnsy replied that there were nearly a hundred pipeline on the plant a couple of days ago,but they had actually started falling, and also there to be only 5 remaining now. Johnsy thought that she fate was linked with the plant. She sounded hopeless and told Sue the she as well would go with the last sheet on the tree. She believed the doctor had currently told Sue the she had very couple of days left.

Sue was no amused at Johnsy’s childishness and also scolded she for being so foolish. The tree had actually nothing to perform with she life. She claimed the doctor wanted her to be hopeful and eat so she can get fine sooner. Sue had to walk to market her painting so she can buy some points for Johnsy. However, Johnsy go not want her come buy anything. She looked and sounded uninterested. An additional leaf dropped from the tree, and Johnsy again recited what she had actually said earlier about the last sheet on the plant and her life finishing with it. She was constantly looking outside. Sue inquiry her not to look out of the window. She could have close up door the window, but she go not since it would have actually shut the end the light she essential to paint. Johnsy closed she eyes, yet she was again all set to look at out as soon as Sue had finished she work. Sue want to call Behrman, the older painter who lived ~ above the an initial floor and was constantly drunk. She had actually to paint a guy in the picture, and wanted to do him look choose Behrman.

Behrman was much more than sixty years old and had been paint for more than forty years unsuccessfully. However, he constantly talked of the critical masterpiece he would certainly paint prior to dying. She visited Behrman and told him about Johnsy and the leaves. Behrman was angry about why poor tiny Johnsy make a silly of herself for a vine and its leaves. The was not willing to come as much as their studio in ~ first. Sue told him that Johnsy to be weak and sick, so this strange thoughts pertained to her mind. He, in ~ last, got ready to come through her. Behrman thought that someone great like Johnsy should not lie together sick. In the end, he again recited his old promise that he will repaint his masterpiece before leaving the earth.

They went together to the room whereby Johnsy lay. She to be asleep. They went to the other room from wherein they watched the tree fearfully. ~ that, Sue collection to work and worked all night. It had actually rained all night, and also a strong wind blew. Once Johnsy wake up up in the morning to look out, she discovered that regardless of the rain and also the wind, there to be still one sheet left on the tree, which was still environment-friendly near the branch yet somewhat yellowed in ~ the tip due to aging. She had actually thought that the last leaf must have fallen in the night’s wind, however it go not. However, she was not perked up. She again claimed that the last leaf would be unable to do today, and so will certainly she. Sue felt sad and also afraid but asked her friend to think of her if she would not problem for herself. What would certainly she do if Johnsy was no around?

Johnsy did not answer. She was preparing for she last journey, and also the critical strands that bound her to earthly life to be breaking, including Sue’s friendship. The day passed. The north wind go out again that night, and the rain to win hard versus the window. The next morning, Johnsy again want to check out the leaf, which had still held to the branch somehow. The was unexpected for Johnsy. This time, it appeared to impact her. She referred to as Sue, that was busy cooking something because that her. Johnsy was impressed by just how the last leaf had held. She called Sue she regretted just how she wanted to die. She was ready to eat. She asked Sue because that looking glass and then told she she wanted to watch she cook. An hour later, she told Sue the she still wanted to paint the just of neapolitan someday. In the afternoon, the doctor involved check Johnsy, and after checking her out, he told Sue in the hall that Johnsy had actually started recovering. Given an excellent care, she could get well again. However, he had to check another patient in the building. Behrman to be ill v pneumonia, and also they were preparing to take him to the hospital. His opportunities of survive were slim.

The following day, after check Johnsy, the physician announced the she was for sure now. Food and Sue’s care had worked. Sue saw Johnsy that afternoon and also told she something. Behrman had passed away after gift ill for 2 days through pneumonia. Two days ago, someone had uncovered Behrman lie in his room, his clothes and also shoes wet and also his human body aching badly. No one knew whereby he had been on a cold, wet night. They had likewise found a light in his room the he had taken outside the vault night and also some painting materials that contained yellow and also green paint. She inquiry Johnsy if she mental the last leaf on the wall surface and why that never moved when the wind blew. Behrman painted his last masterpiece. He painted that the night the last leaf fell.

Well, that’s whereby the story ends. However, Behrman’s critical masterpiece provided Sue the expect to live. Also if Behrman died creating his masterpiece, he maintained his promise and also let Sue see life in a new light.

Main themes in The critical Leaf

Hope never ever Dies

One the the main themes in O’Henry’s The Last sheet is hope, and hope never dies. Behrman completed what he had been waiting for every his life – his masterpiece. That was never successful in his life, yet the masterpiece he developed near the end of his life motivated Johnsy. She had actually lost all hope, but the last leaf, i m sorry was in reality a painting that the old painter created her, offered her the hope and also courage come live. Also she or Sue could not mark the difference and also only knew when they knew of Behrman’s death and the product in his room.

Behrman’s sacrifice

Behrman’s sacrifice is additionally a vital theme in the story. He put his life at stake because that Johnsy is due to the fact that he must have actually cared for her. It reflects he cared because that the 2 friends and also therefore put his life at stake. Sue was always around Johnsy come take treatment of she and, together a friend, fulfilled her duty for her friend. However, the old painter made a enlarge sacrifice and also left behind the gift of Johnsy’s life. That knew no many civilization would know around his masterpiece, however Sue and Johnsy will remember the he maintained his word. Success involved him however not in the method anyone would have imagined. This is the irony in the story the he to be not about to cherish his success when he had made his finest art of life. However, the genuine charm the the story lies in its ending and also how Behrman successfully broke the spell of death with his paintbrush. Johnsy would not have actually survived because she had lost every hope, but she did since she witnessed a sheet struggling for life harder 보다 she did which gave her hope and delighted her.

If Behrman had actually survived, the 3 would have actually sat with each other to talk of it and also he could have created more masterpieces thereafter. However, life is as with that. In his death, he had actually left behind an important lesson for both Sue and Johnsy. You have to never shed hope, and not wait for fatality to arrive. Who knows just how much you could attain in the last continuing to be moment.


Friendship is likewise a an essential theme in the story. Sue and Johnsy space not just great friends however they are like sisters. Sue cares because that Johnsy together a sister would. She care and also support have likewise played critical role in helping Johnsy recover who might have otherwise shed the battle if someone prefer Sue was not approximately to take treatment of her and also feed her. Sue is prefer the vine to which the leaf is attached and Johnsy it s her is the last staying leaf. The 2 friends perform not just match each other however fulfill every other. Over there is no man in Johnsy’s life however Sue dram the function of she family and cares for her in the worst moments of life.

Life and also death:

Another key theme that. Attributes in O’Henry’s The Last sheet is that of life and also death. Life is precious and also one cannot let that go as easily. The story additionally teaches united state the worth of life and also that we are right here to achieve something meaningful and also be good to rather while us live. While Johnsy is sick, she has lost every her hope to live. However, things suddenly readjust in she life when she is made conscious of the reality that waiting for one’s death to arrive is not a courageous act. She looked in ~ the critical leaf and she saw just how it battled for life. She has experienced one of the most essential truths of life the one should not lose the courage to live till the last moment. She beginning loving she life and the leaf reignites the expect in her that she would have the ability to paint the just of neapolitan again. In the fatality of Behrman too, over there is a systematic message hidden. Behrman too had actually not accomplished anything systematic in his life. However, in his last days, he has done other lifechanging because that Johnsy and Sue.

Significance that the location in The last Leaf

The location of the quick story holds a special significance and also reflects the main theme that the story. The story is around two friends and the sacrifice of an old painter. Johnsy had offered up every hope, and also she had actually started preparing for her last trip in despair, counting days together they passed and also the last remaining leaves on the ivy plant external her window. The last leaf gave her the hope of life and also taught her the most an important lesson. She have to never permit hope die inside her. The Last sheet stubbornly organized to life against all odds, and so she too could beat pneumonia and also lead a happy life. If a half yellow leaf have the right to cling as stubbornly come life, there to be no reason for her to let go. The ivy vine too could have shed that last leaf but it go not. The relationship in between the 2 friends is somewhat favor the vine and also the leaf.

However, the critical Leaf also has an additional special significance. If us look at Behrman’s life, he had actually remained not successful for the last forty years or so. The last chapter in his life turns out to it is in the most unique. He sacrifices his life to create something that can adjust Sue’s life forever. It spins now, he had actually lived an trivial life, but he might not be affected by each other Johnsy’s pain. He can have left Johnsy to her fate and remained safe from pneumonia. The Last leaf was favor the last possibility in his life to carry out something meaningful. The Last leaf turned out to be a masterpiece because neither Sue and nor Johnsy can recognize at very first that it was a painted leaf. Behrman had readjusted Johnsy’s life forever and, in law so, his own too. Currently on, he would certainly be remembered for his last masterpiece.

One have the right to easily draw a parallel in between the title and Behrman’s critical creation. He had actually promised the he would close the critical chapter the his life through something distinctive that human being would remember that for, and it come just before his death. The meaning of the title additionally lies in the lesson that it left behind. Because that someone, it came to be an idea because that his masterpiece and also for another an inspiration to live. Behrman knew he had actually lived a meaningless and odd life. However, he and his art might still it is in of some usage for Johnsy. The meaning of the title can be construed in assorted ways yet still, it teaches us the value of life and hope in it. Hope is an essential to life. If Behrman had lost hope, he would certainly not have created the masterpiece. The Last sheet is additionally that main strand the connects the resides of the 3 main characters in the story including Sue, Johnsy, and also Behrman. That’s why it is one apt title that holds the meaning of the story’s central idea.

What’s the key idea in the critical leaf?

The main idea of the last leaf is that hope can offer anyone a new lease that life. It highlights the strength of faith and also hope and also how someone deserve to survive the worst in his/her life if he/she go not lose hope. In simpler words, people should not shed hope till lock live. In the struggles of Johnsy and Sue, and Behrman, the story highlights the relevance of courage, hope, and also determination in people’s lives.

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Johnsy had actually lost every hope the life when she dropped ill through pneumonia. It had currently claimed several stays in the town, and Johnsy to be pretty much conscious that she fate would certainly not be any type of different. Sue was hoping for her recovery, but since Johnsy had already given up and also awaiting her last moments, she knew there was not much left for her to do. She attempts to console her friend and aid her gain ago her strength and also the desire to live.

Based ~ above a reading of the story, Johnsy appears to be a girl who was otherwise happy and full of life, but pneumonia had broken her up, make her give up every the hope to live. The doctor had actually told Sue that Johnsy should not give up because that s the only means they could avoid the worst. However, while Johnsy can not throw out her an unfavorable thoughts, the just hope she profit is native a really unusual source. The last sheet on the Ivy vine offers her hope and also challenges her heart to fight back versus pneumonia.

One last leaf that is half yellowed by period clings come vine stubbornly, not providing up versus the rain and wind. Johnsy had thought it to it is in a sign. Together she kept watching, the vine had actually kept shedding its pipeline one through one. There were thousands of leaves on that till a couple of days ago, however now that was under to one last leaf that had actually somehow managed to beat the influence of harsh weather. It inspired hope in Johnsy the every day while she waited for death to come finally, it appeared some external force was delaying it. The day when the last leaf would loss never came. It offered Johnsy the expect to think that she might push fatality away together the sheet did. The result was that she could see life smiling earlier at she in the type of the critical leaf. She to be weakened, yet that walk not typical she might stop living.

However, the story except highlighting the strength of courage and also hope, additionally illustrates the sheer strength of arts to influence and inspire people’s lives. Art has actually been transforming people’s stays for centuries. In the story too, it to be Behrman’s art that has readjusted Johnsy’s life and her outlook that life forever. Behrman has actually sacrificed his own life when trying to defend Johnsy’s. The two friends will certainly remember him fondly for exactly how he adjusted their lives. Behrman’s masterpiece just illustrates the idea that arts can and also should be offered to change people’s resides for the better. The sheer power of art lies in its ability to change people’s resides by affecting their thoughts and giving castle the light and also inspiration lock need.