Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015
“The Ransom of Red Chief” Questions

1. What point of view is this story told in, and how do you know?
-This story is told in first person, because the narrator refers to himself as 'I' and 'me' throughout the story.
2. What reason do Bill and Sam have for kidnapping the boy?
-They have $600, and they need an additional $2000 to pull off a fraudulent real estate deal in western Illinois.
3. What is the boy doing when the two men come upon him?
-The little boy is throwing rocks at another kid; he is bullying another child.
4. Why is it ironic that the boy says that he’s “never had such fun in all my life”?
-The little boy is being kidnapped, this would imply he would be miserable, sad, or possibly depressed; however, he is joyful and never wants to go home.
5. What is meant by the metaphor that Ebenezer Dorset was “an uptight collection-plate passer and forecloser”?
-He is extremely cheap.
6. What is one example of allusion in this story? Include the page number.
-(on page 6) 
By and by, Bill sits up and feels behind his ear and says, “Sam, do you know who my favorite Biblical character is?”
“Take it easy,” says I. “You’ll come to your senses presently.”
“King Herod,” says he. “You won’t go away and leave me here alone, will you, Sam?” 
7. What is ironic about Mr. Dorset’s counteroffer (the note)?
-Normally when you receive a letter from kidnappers demanding a ransom you would generally be very corporative, but instead he rights back telling the kidnappers that they have to pay HIM in order to get his son back.
8. What is the central conflict of the story?
-The central conflict of the story is the handling and kidnapping of the most annoying little boy in history; Ebenezer Dorset.
9. What does Red Chief’s father think of him?
-It is quite apparent that he is fully aware of how annoying his son is; he is not too found of his son.

10.  What message about parenting and child-rearing is O. Henry trying to express to readers? Think about what Red Chief’s dad thinks of him, and why Red Chief doesn’t want to go home.

-Kids need attention from their parents, and this in turn reflects a child's negative or positive behavior.


11.  How does O. Henry incorporate humor into this story?  

-It is absolutely hilarious that a little boy could bring fear and terror to a grown man, it is also quite amusing that the little boy's father would request the kidnappers to pay HIM for the safe return of his son. Irony is also utilized in this story to incorporate humor.