After Twenty Years by O’Henry is a relatively simple short story, telling a particular event that happens between two long lost friends. Published in 1906 in a book titled The Four Million, this story is one of many considered realism stories, written about ordinary people in everyday circumstances. Due to the change in events, the story can be seen to portray many different and changing themes, which ultimately play an important role within the subtext. After Twenty Years is told with only three characters set on a dark isolated street, yet it is the strong characterisation, narration, dialogue, themes and irony in the surprising twist ending that make this story one of a kind.


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