Nowhere to Stay
The Cop and the Anthem is one of O.Henry’s representative works. This novel describes a vagrant who is jobless, homeless and commits crime on purpose so that he can be pu
t into prison in winter. However, things don’t go as he expected. But when he makes up his mind to give up evil and return to good, he is arrested. O.Henry, one of the three most famous short-strong writers in the world, enjoys equal status with Chekhov and Maupassant. Some critics called him “the founder of American stories”. O.Henry’s real name is William Sydney Porter. The story The Cop and the Anthem can serve as a mirror of the early 20th century social reality, a materially rich land yet a spiritually waste land. In The Cop and Anthem, a tramp named Soapy tries to get arrested so that he can spend the winter in jail, only to find that is not as easy as it used to be. Soapy did various evil things in order to enter the prison: he ever set foot inside a cafe for a free meal but he failed. He ever dashed a stone into a glass but the policeman refused to accept Soapy as a clue. He ever lured a woman in order to be captured by the policeman but he failed again. Then Soapy began to yell drunken gibberish. However, the policeman disregarded him as a Yale student and pardoned him. In a cigar store, he took a man’s umbrella in public yet that man was not the true owner of it, too, thus Soapy failed again. However, when Soapy greatly moved by the anthem from the church and determined to start a new life, a policeman captured him for being idleness. H e was tried 3 months captivity. From these simple plots concerning Soapy, readers can sense the strong sarcastic atmosphere. The prison became a good place while the hell turned to be a heaven. Evil conducts were given lenient treatment while the good and honest were penalized. Such were the so-called democracy freedom and happiness. I like O.Henry’s novel, I think it is amazing. It always has a different ending. I think this novel is good too. And I will keep reading English novels.