“After Twenty Years”

by O Henry


Focus:  Foreshadowing



The clues that an author provides that hint to the outcome.



Why do author’s use foreshadowing?

1.  To get you interested in a story and make you want to read on.

2.  To create suspense: the feeling of excitement that comes from wanting to know what will happen.

3.  To lead to a surprise ending:  some stories that have foreshadowing end in a surprise (plot twist) which is a sudden turn in the action.









Vocabulary Word



Used in a Sentence



















































Foreshadowing Examples

        Ben had almost convinced me that his science experiment was harmless, that there probably wouldn’t be any effect at all.  But I still had my doubts as I crawled into bed.  I slept restlessly most of the night.


Predict what you think will happen next:



        The first I noticed when I woke up the next morning was that something had happened to my nose.  I could smell everything:  Mrs. Jones’ bacon frying in her kitchen down the street, and earth worm in the garden outside, the smoke from the factory three miles away.  Next, I noticed I could hear 100 times better than ever. 


Adjust your prediction.  What is happening to the narrator?


And when I saw my cat, Sparky, it drove me crazy!  I had an overwhelming urge to chase him out of the house and up a tree.  When I try to yell at Sparky all that came out was “Arf, Arrrrowf!”  Right after that was when I saw that instead of hands I had paws.





Foreshadowing Organizer






Foreshadowing Clues:
















Foreshadowing Organizer






Foreshadowing Clues:
















While You Read:  Make Predictions


Prediction Point

Prediction Choice

What did you read that caused you to make this prediction

Pg 157: …belonged to business places that had long since been closed.

What will happen on this block?

  1. Nothing much
  2. Something exciting


Pg 158…it’s worth it if my old partner shows up.

Will Jimmy, his friend, show up after twenty years?

  1. yes
  2. no


Pg 159…passing along on his beat trying doors as he went.

Does the police officer think his friend will show up?

  1. yes
  2. no


Pg 160…He went directly to the waiting man

Predict who this man is?

  1. Jimmy
  2. Police officer
  3. stranger


Pg 161…It’s from Patrolman Wells

What do you think the note is going to say?


















After You Read:

Comprehension Questions


1.                   Why doesn’t Bob recognize that the patrolman is Jimmy Wells?







2.                 How does Bob feel about himself and his life?






3.                 How important was their friendship to the two men?






4.                 What does the patrolman do after he says goodbye to Bob?






5.                 How do you think Patrolman Wells felt about arresting his friend?












Examine the foreshadowing clues that O Henry provides to hint that the second man to approach Bob is a policeman and not Jimmy Wells.


Foreshadowing Clues (Text Info)

Because you know the outcome, what do these clues tell you? (Brain Info)












Complete the BCR below using the above chart as evidence:




















Study Guide for “After Twenty Years”  (Test Date: Wed 10/17)

What will be on the test:

What to study:

General Comprehension Selected Response Questions

Comprehension Questions and Answers from the packet

Vocabulary Selected Response Questions

Vocabulary Activity in the packet

Foreshadowing True False Questions

Foreshadowing notes from the the packet

O Henry True False Questions

O Henry Author Study