Jimmy Valentine Long Question-Answer
Long Questions Answers
1. Draw a pen picture on the character of Jimmy Valentine.
|Ans: Jimmy Valentine is one of the very popular characters drawn by O Henry. Jimmy is a handsome, smart, well dressed and fashionable young man, But his profession is not so elegant as his appearance as he is a notorious burglar, skilled in his profession. But at heart Jimmy is a great human beings who does not forget to drop a dime into blind beggar’s hat from the Five Dollar he got at his release. This broadness of his heart is witnessed in his sacrificial action in saving a helpless child and his deep unconditional love for his lady love Annabel. In a word, Jimmy, though a criminal is also a great human being whom a detective Ben price shows due honour.|
2. Which burglaries were reported after the release of Jimmy Valentine from the jail?
|Ans: After a week of Jimmy Valentine’s release from the jail A Hundred dollar was burgled from a safe in Richmond, Indiana. In the next week of this incident fifteen hundred dollars was stolen from a burglar proof safe in a place called Logansport. Then an old fashioned Bank safe in Jefferson City erupted five thousand dollars from its crater. These were the three consecutive burglaries reported after the release of Jimmy Valentine.|
3. Make a short character sketch of Ben price.
|Ans: Ben price is the efficient police officer or detective who nabbed Jimmy and sent him to jail for his crime in Springfield. But soon after his release Jimmy committed three consecutive burglaries. Ben Price was called in and analysing the mode of operation came to the conclusion that these were done by none other than Jimmy. He started to follow Jimmy trail and finally reached Elmore where Jimmy where Jimmy was living with the false identity of Ralph D Spencer. But when he visited the Elmore bank to arrest Jimmy, he found that Jimmy had once again cracked the safe only to save the life of a child. Ben Price was a true hero at heart and he left feigning that he had not recognised Jimmy.|
4. “There he tasted the sweet joys of Liverty” -Who was he? Where and how did he taste sweet joys of Liberty? Why was it sweet to him?
|Ans: Here he refers to Jimmy Valentine who was released from the jail.|
After his release from the jail Jimmy went towards a restaurant. There he tasted sweet Liberty in the form of a broilerd chicken and a bottle of white wine. After that he started smocking a cigar of superior quality.
Jimmy had been in imprisoned for ten long months and had to eat whatever was given to him as a prisoner. Therefore eating something after his taste appeared sweet to him.
5. “Mr Spencer was a success” – Who was Mr. Spencer? Describe in brief the success he has achieved?
|Ans: Mr. Spencer was actually Jimmy Valentine who changed his name as Ralph D Spencer after coming Elmore and registered that name in the hotel record.|
Jimmy came to Elmore and met Annabel Adams and this meeting changed the course of his life. He decided to live honestly and opened a shoe store there. Before long his business flourished and socially also he gained the confidence of the community. Apart from this he was engaged to marry his sweetheart Annabel Adams within a year of his stay in Elmore.
6. Compare the characters of Jimmy Valentine and Ralph D. Spencer.
|Ans: Jimmy Valentine and Ralph D. Spencer are the two names of the same person at different phases of life. Though the phases of life are of the same person, they are different in their characteristics. Jimmy Valentine is an infamous safe-cracker while Ralph D. Spencer is a successful businessman. Ralph D. Spencer is a generous gentleman who saves the life of a little girl named Agatha. Whereas, Jimmy cracks safes to rob others property. At the end of the story, the difference is clearly stated by the act of Ben Price of letting Jimmy go away. It is the same person whom Ben Price once arrested for his criminal activities, now forgives him for his life-saving work. In fact, Ralph D. Spencer is the reformed man who takes birth from the ashes of Jimmy Valentine. The lovebird named Annabel Adam plays a significant role in Jimmy’s transformation into Ralph D Spencer.|
7. “He’s resumed his business…” -Who is the speaker and whom does he refer to? What business has he resumed?
|Ans: The speaker is Ben Price, who plays the role of a detective officer in O’ Henry’s short story ‘Jimmy Valentine’. Here Ben refers to Jimmy Valentine – a notorious safe-cracker.|
We see Jimmy in a prison at the very beginning of the story. The story deals with two different times of Jimmy’s life – the first as a safe-cracker and the second as a successful businessman. In the first part of the story, Jimmy has been presented as a skilled safe-cracker. He has been sent to jail for his job of burglary by Ben Price. After spending ten months of four years imprisonment, Jimmy gets released. Within a week of Jimmy’s release, three incidents of burglary have been reported. The responsibility of finding the criminal behind these incidents comes upon Ben Price. Ben Price quickly confirms figuring out the patterns that it is Jimmy who is behind all these. This job of burglary of Jimmy is referred to as ‘business’ and Jimmy has resumed this business.
8. “Ben Price acted rather strangely” -Narrate the act done by Ben Price. Why did the writer use the word ‘strangely’?
|Ans: Ben Price was again the chief investigating officer for the second time burglaries, committed in several places. After a close inspection, Ben Price came to know that it was again Jimmy Valentine who was behind those notorious works of burglary. So in search of Jimmy, Ben Price went to the city of Elmore. Keeping a watch on Jimmy, Ben Price became convinced that Jimmy was leading an honest life. He even noticed that Valentine took risk of his career to save a little girl named Agatha. All these incidents changed Ben Price’s mind and he did not want to arrest him anymore. So he pretended not to know Jimmy and went away from there.|
The word ‘strangely’ synonymous means surprisingly or differently. After being convince that Jimmy was now leading an honest and respectful life, Ben Price refused to arrest Valentine though he had identified him at the Elmore Bank. This was why the writer used the word strangely.
9. Justify the title of the short story “Jimmy Valentine”.
|Ans: Title of any literary work is one of the most essential elements as it reflects the central idea of the story. In O’ Henry’s short story “Jimmy Valentine” the protagonist is a specialist safe-cracker named Jimmy Valentine. The story begins with Jimmy getting released from jail. Jimmy is handsome and intelligent but earns money by cracking safes. After his release from the jail, he goes to a little town called Elmore where he meets a beautiful girl named Annabel Adam. From this point in his life, things start changing and Jimmy becomes Ralph D. Spencer. In the city of Elmore Ralph not only becomes a successful and respectful businessman but also going to marry Mr Adam’s daughter in a few days. But something else in store for Jimmy as the detective, Ben Price has been looking for him. To save Agatha, a five-year-old little girl from Adams family, Ralph again becomes the old Jimmy Valentine. Thus the whole story revolves around the ups and downs of Jimmy’s life. Therefore the title of the story “Jimmy Valentine” is appropriate.|
10. “That child – she can’t stand it long in there” -Who is referred to here? Why was she in danger? How was she saved?
|Ans: The child referred to here is Agatha, daughter of Annabel’s elder sister in O. Henry’s short story “Jimmy Valentine”.|
The family of Adams along with Jimmy went to visit new vault in the Elmore Bank. While everyone is busy in talking, May had locked Agatha in the vault in a playful manner. The vault was difficult to open. She was in danger because there was lack of oxygen. Fear would put Agatha into convulsions.
At that time, everyone was a mix of confusion and tension. At this hour of crisis Annabel urged Ralph to do something to save the girl. Though he knew that his action would reveal his true identify, but Ralph can not deny his lady love’s request. He became Jimmy again. He unlocked the briefcase and used his pet drills to break the vault in five minutes. In this manner, he was able to save the child.
11. What did Jimmy write to his old friend in St Louis? Why did he write so?
|Ans: After himself as a prosperous businessman, Jimmy wrote a letter to his old friend Billy, asking him to meet him in little Rock. Jimmy planned to give him, his set of safe cracking tools. He wanted to live an honest life with Annabel. He also informed Billy that within two weeks he was going to marry the finest girl on the earth.|
He wrote this letter to inform Billy about his present position as a successful businessman and his future plans after marriage. He added that he did not want to touch other’s money and fell that this straight life was the real life. His words showed Jimmy’s reformation as a good human being.
12. What new name did Jimmy Valentine assume at Elmore? What business did Jimmy open there? How did Jimmy fare at Elmore?
|Ans: At Elmore Jimmy Valentine assumed a new name Ralph D. Spencer.|
Jimmy Valentine opened a new business there. He opened an exclusive shoe store.
At Elmore Jimmy started a shoe-store and prospered quiet well. He also earned the social reputation in the community within a year. And most of all he fell in love with a beautiful lady Annabel Adams. He was accepted by the Adams family and his marriage with Annabel was to be arrange in a short while.
13. “Mr. Ralph D. Spencer, the phoenix that arose from Jimmy Valentine’s ashes” -Who is Ralph D. Spencer? What is phoenix? Why has the comparison bee made?
|Ans: Mr. Ralph D. Spencer was the new name that Jimmy Valentine had assumed at Elmore.|
According to the ancient mythology, the phoenix is a legendary Arabian bird. This is a unique bird that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert, after this time it burns itself to ashes in every five hundred years and is again born out of its ashes.
When Jimmy Valentine looked into Annabel’s eyes, he forgot himself and became another man. He decided to avoid his old profession of burglary and would lead an honest life with a new name. By the attack of love, Ralph D. Spencer emerged from the ashes of Jimmy Valentine. Thus the comparison of Jimmy Valentine with the phoenix is appropriate.
14. “Ben Price investigated the scene of the robberies and was heard to remark”. -Who was Ben Price? what did he say? What did he know of Jimmy’s habits?
|Ans: Ben Price was a famous detective who arrested Jimmy and was investigating the cases of burglaries, in O’ Henry’s short story “Jimmy Valentine”.|
After investigating the scene of the crime Ben Price remarked that it was Jimmy Valentine’s work as he had the tools and skill for breaking the safe.
While working on the Springfield cse, Ben Price learnt a lot of things about Jimmy’s habits. He knew that Jimmy always worked alone. After every robbery, Jimmy would go from one city to another far away and strike again. It was not easy to catch Jimmy as he enjoyed the company of nice people. These habits made Jimmy a successful burglar.
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Jimmy Valentine Long Question-Answer
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