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Squaring the Circle

O. Henry received widespread acclaim because of his trademark tales of gentle, warm-hearted characters and ironic plot twists at the end of the story. These iconic plot transitions were soon referred to as “O. Henry Endings.” Also, O. Henry wrote some of his stories based off of where he has lived. His smooth way of writing about the places he’s been is a big component of what has made him such a well know short story author. This early 20th-century author used remarkable ways of writing to put a somewhat sick, funny twist on crime, poverty, and many subjects that he wrote about. He took what he knew from his life and the places he had been to write stories that could make people laugh, and feel speechless. Squaring the Circle is a 1908 short story that begins with “a discourse on geometry”. After this surprise discourse, the third-person narrator launches into a comical tale of two men from Kentucky who are engaged in a feud. The story is fairly brief and is filled with witty observations about American life at the time of its writing. These traits are common to all of the O. Henry stories. The “discourse” at the start of the story draws parallels between geometric concepts and the contrasting American lifestyles in rural and urban settings. The narrator argues that straight lines and angles are the stuff of artifice and of humankind’s imprint on its surroundings. On the other hand, he argues, “Nature moves in circles”. Enjoy free online English audiobook “Squaring the Circle”, the breathtaking short story which regarded as one of O. Henry's greatest works.

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