Last leaf is a short story that entails the treasury of life and the existence of faith and hope. It heeds to the importance of living and how we deal with the hindrances we battled through our life story. It is a moving story across the traps that come across us in the most significant part of our lives. The value of life is the centerpiece of the story where all things go back and revolve. A part of the story gives us a hint that God is the only one who knows whether we ride on with life and chances or trail off and be drawn against the judgment.
The melodramatic and picturesque setting of the story connects to the negative status of the main character facing life and death subject matter. The development of the character is a conversion from “to see is to believe” to “live for today, hope for tomorrow”. Johnsy was moved from what she wants to see by the naked eye to the unseen truth of life playing with reality to test our limits to the fullest. The essentials of the story is the framework of Last leaf. First, is the disease which served as the bridge between Johnsy and the hidden truth.
Second, Sue’s concern and perpetual love for Johnsy made appearance. Third, the illness is the challenge that Johnsy must face and Sue must endure for their friendship. Fourth, Johnsy’s point of view was diverted because of Behrman’s masterpiece. The premier of the story is the arrival of Old Behrman wherein he played the part of Jesus. In order to save a child’s life he sacrificed his life using his talent that was deprived yet made a special appearance in the end to show the sacrificial masterpiece. The train of events smoothly caved in with the supporting details.
The story started with a whimsical setting it presents called the “places” and a background among the main characters and the description of the present situation of Johnsy. The versus part would be the antagonist Pneumonia together with its victim, Johnsy and Old Behrman also the downbeat perspective of Johnsy towards her existence. Because of Johnsy’s way of seeing life Behrman found a way to sidetrack it which lead us to the conclusion of the story. Behrman’s masterpiece saved the wavering thoughts of Johnsy.
The setting takes place in the 19th or 20th century which gives us the connotation of the low performance of technology. Convincing as it was, Greenwich Village is known in the 19th and earlier to mid 20th century. Greenwich Village is now known to be “The Village”. In the story, Pneumonia was treated a contemporary disease which in fact was considered to be the “captain of the men death” in 1918. Painting is considered to be one of the primitive ways of expressing feelings through art that brings up the sentimental vibe between the characters.
The characters ringed the atmosphere of classical because of their minds are focused on art and the innovation of medicine. Johnsy, Sue and Behrman are head over heels on painting their so-called masterpiece while the doctor is occupied by the development of medicine for the Pneumonia. The characters nature and personality reflected the setting of the story by its way of life and how they deal with everyday challenges and communication. The dedication they put on their works supported the flow of the story reaching its end.
The melodramatic setting it showed was also supported with Johnsy’s negative view together with the doctor’s heavy handed verdict contradicting Sue’s encouraging words and the final stride of Behrman to save Johnsy. The characteristic of each character made them instruments of the story. First off is for Sue’s high spirited and an honor of valor she showed in order to bear up with Johnsy. Despite of the gloomy atmosphere Johnsy showed she gathered up the guts to remain and be with her friend. Next is Johnsy’s pessimistic and judgmental yet the survivor of the struggles.
She might be the weakest among the others but she proved that she endured up until the end. Last but not the least is Old Behrman, he was the heartfelt part of the story. As Arthur Ashe would say “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost. ” His life was sacrificed for the welfare of Johnsy. He knew all the way that this might be his one lost shot to draw a masterpiece so might as well take it not only for him but for others too.
The quality of the story was life-giving importance that revolved around these characters because of their different point of views about devotion, friendship, cure and most especially life. Strength and weakness is a yin-yang that grows up with us. Never separated and never replaced. In general the strength of the characters is showed by their strong belief. Sue never loose hope for the survival of Johnsy. Johnsy believed that when the last leaf falls she would go with it and for that she made herself ready and with a complete devotion about it.
The doctor believed that if Johnsy would be able to think of at least positive things about her living Johnsy would be able to endure it all. Lastly, Behrman believed in himself that by using his talent and the most important gift that God gave us he would be able to encourage the spirit and self-esteem of Johnsy. On the contrary Johnsy’s weakness was lack of trust and faith that affected the whole story and where transformation took place. The main attraction of transformation was Johnsy’s alteration of perspective. She managed to convince herself that having the desire to die is a way of making God suffer ignoring the gift of life.