Short Story #13. The Coming Out of Maggie (O. Henry)

Deal Me In Reading Challenge: I drew the eight of spades.

Story: The Coming Out of Maggie, by O. Henry – it is widely available; I read it here.

Comments: O. Henry is one of those famous authors with whom I’m not at all familiar!  So I didn’t know what to expect here.  The story is set in a working class New York neighbo(u)rhood around the turn of the 20th century.  Guys and gals are pairing off, but Maggie has no young man… until she turns up one Saturday night at the weekly dance with Mr. Sullivan.  Sullivan turns out not to be all he seems, and the local guys quickly force his exit.  This seems to lead up to Maggie being even more humiliated than she had formerly been… but there’s a twist at the end.  Yet the twist itself is rather open-ended, and posed more questions for me than it answered.  Did everything work out okay for Maggie?  She certainly made a name for herself that night, but did it rebound on her later?  Who knows?

The author uses a very lofty style, employing language which would not be the regular currency of the young Irish-American workers of the story.  But he uses it in a self-mocking kind of way, and so he gets away with it.

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5 thoughts on “Short Story #13. The Coming Out of Maggie (O. Henry)

  1. Pingback: Deal Me In – Week 13 Wrap Up | Bibliophilopolis

  2. A twist from O. Henry? I’m shocked. Shocked! 🙂 I haven’t read this one before. Maybe my favorite O. Henry story is “The Last Leaf.” Have you read it? Highly recommended.

  3. Short stories in Gaelic, sounds like a double challenge, but then the only word i know in Gaelic is ‘Feis’ so it might say more about me than about you 🙂

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