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Статья опубликована в рамках: CLXXXI Международной научно-практической конференции «Научное сообщество студентов: МЕЖДИСЦИПЛИНАРНЫЕ ИССЛЕДОВАНИЯ» (Россия, г. Новосибирск, 29 января 2024 г.)

Наука: Филология

Секция: Литературоведение

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Библиографическое описание:
Nurillayeva S. THE DEPICTION OF WOMEN’S AFFECTION IN O.HENRY’S SHORT STORIES // Научное сообщество студентов: МЕЖДИСЦИПЛИНАРНЫЕ ИССЛЕДОВАНИЯ: сб. ст. по мат. CLXXXI междунар. студ. науч.-практ. конф. № 2(180). URL: https://sibac.info/archive/meghdis/2(180).pdf (дата обращения: 14.06.2024)
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Nurillayeva Sabinabonu

student, Bukhara State University,

Uzbekistan, Bukhara

Safarova Zilola

научный руководитель,

scientific adviser, associate professor, Bukhara State University,

Uzbekistan, Bukhara



Нуриллаева Сабинабону Шукрулло кызы

студент, Бухарский государственный университет,

Узбекистан, г. Бухара

Сафарова Зилола Толибовна

научный руководитель, доц., Бухарский государственный университет,

Узбекистан, г. Бухара



This paper aims to emphasis the role of women’s affection as depicted in O.Henry’s short stories. O.Henry, a prominent American short story writer of the early 20th century, created stories about women who are either from the middle or lower classes. Obviously, aristocratic women are not depicted by author at all. Due to the fact that the writer himself belonged to the middle class, he showed the real lives and inner feelings of women lived in his period. Females are illustrated as simple, cheerful, grateful, gold-hearted, self-respecting and gifted with other good virtues in O.Henry’s writings.


Целью данной статьи является подчеркнуть роль женской привязанности, изображенной в рассказах О.Генри. О.Генри, выдающийся американский писатель начала 20 века, создавал рассказы о женщинах из среднего или низшего класса. Очевидно, аристократические женщины автором вообще не изображены. Благодаря тому, что сам писатель принадлежал к среднему классу, он показал реальную жизнь и внутренние переживания женщин, живших в его период. В произведениях О.Генри женщины изображены простыми, жизнерадостными, благодарными, добросердечными, уважающими себя и одаренными другими добрыми добродетелями.


Keywords: short story, hero, character, theme, motif, author, women’s affection.

Ключевые слова: рассказ, герой, персонаж, тема, мотив, автор, женская привязанность.


Women’s affection is a complex and decisive aspect of human relationships. While both men and women value affection in their relationships, women often have a unique way of expressing and experiencing it. Understanding women’s affection can help foster stronger connections and deeper emotional bonds in relationships. It is clear that O.Henry widely indicates women’s feelings in his own works.

Love is unutterably bizarre feeling. It can be emerged in every aspect of life. Also, the importance of love is enormous in literature. O.Henry is considered to be one of the famous writers and interpreters who describe the affection of females in his stories. Majority of his stories demonstrate that affection is driving factor in human life. There is no doubt about that he showed the struggles, tortures, and tragedies of females, as well as their great endurance against humiliation and injustice in a male-dominated society.  It can be felt that the author was strongly influenced by this condition and it became one of the dominant themes in most of his works.  For example, in the stories such as: “The gift of the Magi”, “The last leaf”, “The Furnished Room” and “An unfinished story” women’s affection has been depicted vividly.

Love in O.Henry’s eyes is not always merely a passionate feeling. He also portrays love as enduring passion, intense and varied in its scope. Sometimes it becomes self-negating and sometimes ennobling [3, p. 94].

In many of O.Henry’s stories, women are depicted as compassionate, nurturing, and selfless individuals who are willing to make sacrifices for their loved ones. One such example can be found in the story “The Gift of the Magi”, where the main character Della sells her long, beautiful hair to buy a chain for her husband’s prized possession, while her husband sells his watch to buy combs for her hair. In “The Gift of the Magi”, Della’s selfless act of cutting her hair to buy a gift for Jim showcases her unconditional love and willingness to sacrifice for him. This story highlights the power of love and the importance of meaningful gestures in relationships. This selfless act of love and sacrifice exemplifies the depth of a woman’s affection and the lengths she is willing to go to show her love for her partner [2].

Another example of women’s affection in O. Henry’s works can be seen in the story “The Last Leaf,” where a young woman named Johnsy falls ill with pneumonia and becomes convinced that she will die when the last leaf falls from a vine outside her window. Her friend Sue try very hard to save her, including enlisting the help of their neighbor Mr. Behrman to paint a leaf on the vine to give Johnsy hope and strength. This story highlights the unwavering support and care that women are capable of providing to their loved ones, even in the face of adversity.

Furthermore, O. Henry often portrays women as the emotional anchors in his stories, providing comfort and solace to those around them. In “The Furnished Room,” a young woman named Eloise becomes a source of comfort and support for a young man who is searching for his lost love. Her presence in the story serves as a reminder of the healing power of a woman’s affection and empathy.

In the following we can see a clear example:

“She has been in this room,” he cried, and he began to seek some sign of her. He knew that if he found any small thing that had been longed to her, he would know that it was hers. If she had only touched it, he would know it. This smell of flowers that was all around him—she had loved it and had made it her own. Where did it come from?

The room had been carelessly cleaned. He found many small things that women had left. Something to hold their hair in place. Something to wear in the hair to make it more beautiful. A piece of cloth that smelled of another flower. A book. Nothing that had been hers. And he began to walk around the room like a dog hunting a wild animal. He looked in corners. He got down on his hands and knees to look at the floor [1].

In “An Unfinished Story” by O. Henry, women’s affection is depicted as selfless and sacrificial. Virginia’s love for Johnny is shown through her willingness to give up her own desires and dreams in order to support him. She puts his needs above her own and is willing to make personal sacrifices for his benefit. For example, Virginia gives up her dream of traveling and seeing the world in order to stay by Johnny's side and support him through his struggles. She selflessly devotes herself to his well-being and happiness, showing a deep and unwavering love for him. In this way, the women’s affection in the story is portrayed as pure, emphasizing the depth of their love and commitment to their partners.

O.Henry’s women are often highly idealistic. What inspires them is a spirit of sacrifice and a feeling of nobility. In certain circumstances they can show their strong mental power to sacrifice their most cherished objects for the gratification of others or subject themselves to self-immolation or sufferings for the similar reason. Sometimes they appear to be tremendously noble-hearted for the happiness of others. In “The Gift of the Magi” both Jim and Delia are quite candid in their temperament. One’s love for the other is intense and quite genuine. That is why one can sacrifice easily and unhesitatingly one’s dearest treasure for the other only for the sake of love.

In “A Service of Love” almost similar attitude is shown by Joe and Delia towards each other. Both Joe and Delia suffer for the sake of deep love for each other. Women like Delia and Delia set the rare examples of self-sacrifice and nobility [3, p. 67].


O. Henry’s portrayal of women’s affection in his works is characterized by its depth, sincerity, and selflessness. Through his stories, he celebrates the resilience, compassion, and unwavering love that women are capable of expressing. Whether it is through acts of sacrifice, emotional support, or nurturing care, O.Henry’s female characters exemplify the power and beauty of women’s affection in all its forms. O.Henry’s short stories portray women as capable of profound affection and demonstrate the power of love in shaping their actions and decisions.



  1. Dr. Gadagoni. Rajesh " WOMEN'S LOVE IN O. HENRY'S SHORT STORIES" Volume 10 Issue 3 March 2022
  2. Trevor, William "The world of O. Henry" Hodder & Sloughton, London, 1973
  3. Tushar Kanti Dey "Women In O. Henry's short stories a critical study" University of Bengal India 2012 page 67
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