A Retrieved Reformation. N THE PRISON SHOE-SHOP, JIMMY VALENTINE was busily at work making shoes. A prison officer came into the shop, and led. A Retrieved Reformation. O. Henry. A guard came to the prison shoe-shop, where Jimmy Valentine was assiduously stitching uppers, and escorted him to the. some people, if they're lucky, are given a chance to redeem themselves. In “A Retrieved Reformation,” a man has the opportunity to change his scheming ways.
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A Retrieved Reformation by O. Henry. Margin Notes. (1). A guard came to the prison shoe-shop, where Jimmy. Valentine was assiduously1 stitching uppers, and. Complete summary of O. Henry's A Retrieved Reformation. eNotes plot summaries cover all the Synopsis. print Print; document PDF. This Page Only · Entire. Need help with A Retrieved Reformation in O. Henry's A Retrieved Get the entire A Retrieved Reformation LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Retrieved Reformation
In , dramatist Paul Armstrong adapted the story into a highly successful Broadway play under the title Alias Jimmy Valentine which ran performances at Wallack's Theatre in New York, and the play was subsequently made into three film versions: one in directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Robert Warwick , one in directed by Edmund Mortimer and starring Bert Lytell , and one in directed by Jack Conway and starring William Haines , the last being Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 's first sound film with dialogue sequences.
The popularity of the story as a motion picture added greatly to the author's vogue, though in the English, French, and Spanish versions O. Henry's name was not mentioned. He goes to his old apartment, packs up his tools, and leaves. In the following weeks, a few cash robberies are committed, and the detective who landed Valentine in jail in the first place, Ben Price, is called to work on the new case. He realizes that the robberies are committed in Jimmy's style.
Valentine shows up sometime later in Elmore, Arkansas. He goes to the town bank with the intention of checking it over before robbing it. However, as he walks to the hotel, he catches the eye of the banker's beautiful daughter, Annabel Adams. He falls in love with her immediately and instantly decides to give up his criminal career. He moves into the town, taking up the identity of Ralph D. Spencer, a shoemaker: he had been assigned shoemaking as forced labor in prison.
Yet Jimmy has not completely changed his identity—he is still stylish and pleasant, and because of this, the town of Elmore is eager to accept him. Adams, approves of Ralph D. Jimmy did not intend to fall in love and relocate to Elmore; he intended to rob Mr.
A Retrieved Reformation Summary
Instead, he assumes a false identity and tricks Annabel into falling in love with him too. Jimmy tells his friend, Billy, about his new, honest life and his upcoming marriage to Annabel. He further tells Billy that after his marriage he intends to move West, putting more distance between himself and his past crimes. Jimmy is transformed by his love for Annabel and has no intention of ever robbing another safe—yet he still subtly hints at crime in his letter to Billy and has no problem gifting him his tools so that he can use them to rob people.
Jimmy even intends to move further West so that he can continue to evade the law and avoid paying for his past crimes. Clearly, although Jimmy appears on the surface to be reformed he works an honest job, after all , he remains unremorseful for his criminal acts.
He spends some time snooping about town and finds Jimmy living happily as Ralph D. It has been a year since he pulled off the job in Jefferson City, and Jimmy figures it is safe to travel.
Jimmy wants to download something nice for Annabel at the same time he is deceiving her, which suggests a hidden guilt. Jimmy grabs his suitcase of tools from the room that he still rents at the hotel and they head to The Elmore Bank. Annabel is surprised by the weight of the case, and Jimmy claims that it is full of shoe-horns set for return. He is delivering them himself in order to avoid an express charge, since he is becoming more concerned about spending money.
So much so that he allows Ralph inside his bank, behind the railings that separate the general public from the money.
Furthermore, Jimmy is only concerned about spending money because he now has to work for it. Active Themes The bank has just installed a new safe and vault, and Mr.
A Retrieved Reformation Summary
Adams wants to show it off. While small, the vault is equipped with a state-of-the-art door, solid steel bolts, and a time-lock. Jimmy is incredibly knowledgeable about safes and vaults, and he must be careful not to give himself away and draw suspicion to his identity as Ralph Spencer. Active Themes As Mr. Adams engages Ralph, bragging about his new safe, Ben Price walks undetected into the bank.
He stands around casually and tells the teller behind the desk that he is just waiting for a man he knows. Ben is patient and calculated as he closes in on Jimmy.
Active Themes Suddenly, Annabel and her sister scream.
Without their knowledge, May has locked Agatha in the safe while playing. Adams tries to open the vault, but he has not yet set the clock or the combination and he is unable to disengage the lock. Adams is not able to open it and Agatha is running out of air.
2. WHEN OUT OF PRISON,
Adams claims that anyone who could open the safe is miles away, while standing next to the best criminal safecracker around. Active Themes Smiling, Jimmy asks Annabel for the rose that is pinned to her dress.
Confused, Annabel unpins the rose and hands it to Jimmy. Spencer passed away and Jimmy Valentine took his place.
Once Jimmy opens the suitcase of tools and begins to crack the safe, he can no longer convincingly pretend to be merely a shoe salesman. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations As Jimmy begins to work, freeing Agatha from the safe, he seems to be unaware of those around him. He methodically removes the strange tools from his bag and whistles as he works. Agatha, thankfully, is safe on the other side of the door.
She collapses on the floor and is picked up by her mother. As Jimmy begins to crack the safe, he easily settles back into his true identity.
He is a skilled safecracker, and this is obvious to those around him.You can only retrieve what has once been lost or given away. He falls in love with her immediately and instantly decides to give up his criminal career. Jimmy living his life on the opposite side of the law while Price lives his life chasing criminals.
Ralph D. Price is a serious detective, only investigating high-dollar crimes, which is a direct reflection of his experience and hard work. The warden gives him a cigar too.
Jimmy opened his bag and Ralph Spencer vanished and Jimmy Valentine took his place. Important Quote and Explanation from.