The Trimmed Lamp and Other Stories of the Four Million - , Summary
The Trimmed Lamp (1907) is a collection of twenty-five short stories by American writer O. Henry. Inspired by his experiences as a fugitive and prisoner, these stories address themes of poverty and city life with humor and abundant empathy. Its focus on the regular, working class people of New York City makes The Trimmed Lamp a sequel of sorts to Henry’s The Four Million (1906), perhaps his most important collection. In “The Trimmed Lamp,” two friends discuss work, love, and money while standing on a city street-corner. They both came to New York in search of work, and though Nancy enjoys her low paying job as a shop girl at a department store, Lou brags about her employment as an ironer at a laundry and encourages her friend to look for something else to do. While they wait for Lou’s boyfriend Dan, Lou asks Nancy about the wealthy men who frequent her store, and secretly wonders what it would be like to marry into money. “The Last Leaf” is a story of two artists living in Greenwich Village. While Sue lies bedridden from pneumonia, each day growing closer to death, she watches from her window a vine across the street. As fall turns to winter, its leaves drop one by one, until nothing remains but one last leaf. In another apartment, an old artist named Behrman watches the vine as well, painting the leaf with a renewed sense of purpose and a lifetime of skill and precision. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of O. Henry’s The Trimmed Lamp is a classic of American literature reimagined for modern readers..