The Last Leaf | Study Guide

O. Henry

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(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "The Last Leaf Study Guide." August 16, 2019. Accessed September 20, 2020.


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O. Henry

Year Published



Short Story



Perspective and Narrator

"The Last Leaf" begins in an omniscient viewpoint but then switches to third-person limited narration, concentrating on one character's story.


"The Last Leaf" is told in the past tense.

About the Title

The story "The Last Leaf" is about a woman whose sick friend says she will die when all the leaves on a tree have fallen. Against logic, one final leaf appears to cling tenaciously to the branch. In reality, an elderly friend, who subsequently loses his life while saving that of the sick woman, has painted this last leaf.


This study guide for O. Henry's The Last Leaf offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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