After Twenty Years Discussion Questions

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Reading O. Henry's stories is a wonderful way to introduce students to the concept of the twist ending and to get them thinking critically. This lesson offers discussion questions that will help your students engage with the story 'After Twenty Years.'

Reading O. Henry in Class

Are you a teacher trying to get your students engaged with the unusual and fascinating stories of O. Henry? One story you might have your students read is 'After Twenty Years.' This is the tale of two friends, Bob and Jimmy, who reunite after twenty years of separation. One is now a criminal, and the other is a police officer. Jimmy cannot, however, bring himself to arrest his friend.

This story deals with themes like the nature of friendship, what is right and wrong, and what causes people to commit crimes in the first place. To help your students get as much as they can out of the story, you will want to have discussions about it in class. A good literary discussion will help students learn from each other as they process what they have read. The discussion questions in this lesson will help you facilitate a strong discussion of 'After Twenty Years.'

Questions About Characters

Here, you will find questions that will help your students think about the different characters in the story.

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