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Transients in Arcadia

O. HenryÆs short stories generally involve an ironic twist near the end of the story and Transients in Arcadia does not disappoint in this manner. Transients in Arcadia illustrates the atmosphere and culture of the Hotel Lotus, a respite that O. Henry labels an ôoasis in the July desert of Manhattan,ö (1). Patrons of the Hotel Lotus are typically those among the elite who are privileged and able to escape the overrun ôold resortsö where the ôPhilistinesö impose (O. Henry 3). The main theme of Transients in Arcadia is how appearances are deceiving. Madame Heloise Darcy Beaumont is considered a guest ôsuch as the Hotel Lotus lovedö, but in actuality she is a common worker at CaseyÆs Mammoth Store hosiery counter (O. Henry 3). She becomes involved with a certain Harold Farrington, another alleged elite traveler. However, FarringtonÆs fatade is as temporarily worn as Madame BeaumontÆs, him being a bill collector for OÆDowd & Levinsky.

O. HenryÆs tale reveals the real personas of Madame Beaumont (Mamie Siviter) and Harold Farrington (Jimmy McManus) in keeping with O. HenryÆs use of irony. Madame BeaumontÆs beautiful dress is one she has purchased on installment, the only one she owns and one that has consumed nearly all of her disposable income. McManus actually collects accounts for the company through which Mamie is buying her dress, OÆDowd and Levinsky. Thus, the use of irony by O. Henry reveals the deceiving nature of appearances, as both Mamie and Jimmy are perceived as typically elite patrons of the Hotel Lotus.

O. Henry also uses a variety of other devices to suggest the deceiving nature of appearances before revealing the ultimate deception of persona in the two main characters. He does this by using such literary devices as naturalism, setting, characterization, simile and other figurative language. The fact that the Hotel is named ôLotusö immediately invokes an exotic, mysterious, and sought a...

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Transients in Arcadia. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:23, May 24, 2020, from