Marriage as a Social Motif in O. Henry’s “The Romance of a Busy Broker”: A Critique

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K. Thennarasu, Dr. K. Padmanaban


This paper is dedicated to the exploration of the theme of marriage as portrayed by O. Henry in ‘The Romance of a Busy Broker’ (1906). In this short-story, Harvey Maxwell, a broker who is extremely busy, forgets that he is married. In spite of the difficulties they are facing, O. Henry shows a selfless love between the married partners in this narrative. The spouses prioritise the other over themselves, refusing to experience the other’s happiness. While he celebrates the marriage bond, he also presents a realistic picture of marriage, one in which the spouses frequently argue over both important and unimportant issues. In order to get the upper-hand in marriage, he portrays the spouses as being divided from one another out of ego. Along with this, he depicts how wealth and financial advantages affect marriages. He also delineates how the current world affects how partners behave.

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