May 22, 2010


O.Henry is one of the most famous American writers because "The Gift of the Magi"(賢者の贈り物) is used as English text in many junior high school in Japan.

By the way, I studied O.Henry's "The Exact Science of Matrimony" on the VOA Special English program several days ago. But, unfortunately, I could not understand the important part of the story so well.

So, I decided to buy the O.Henry's book translated in Japanese. I ordered its second hand book through "amazon". Finally, I understood the story after reading it.


Maki said...

To be frank with you, I also read that tale a few days ago. Since then, I've got to love it, too. I almost understood the storyline, but there're a few questions to leave. Why did Andy say, "I was?" at the last part? He broke up with the widow and catch a train with Jeff? I'm curious why the past tense was used. Also do you think that Jeff and Andy got the train together? Maybe yes? It's still on my mind.

bikenglish said...


Thank you for posting a comment.

To tell the truth, I am not confident that I could understand the story completely even after I read it translated version. But, I try to explain my thought about the last part of it in (poor) English.

At I have to refer that the Special English version of the story is not full long story, compared to original, it is a short version. I found several parts in the translated version which dose not exist in Special English's.

My thought is this. Andy thought that the widow shall fall in love with one of men who see and she ask them to receive the money at the end of the business. So he tried to attract her heart during their businesses by pretending a man who love her. Off course, this behavior does not come from what he really think. So, he and Jeff have to leave the town before she find out the fact.

The title of this story is "「結婚仲介の精密科学」".

Maki said...

Thank you for your comment, and I'm glad to hear what you're thinking. I agree with you after you're talking. Andy just pretended loving the widow and asked the money to attract her. Andy acquired the two thousand dollars from her, but refused to fall in love with each other at the end because he just did the business and just pretended. So Andy and Jeff caught the train together while the widow didn't know the truth. ...

And additionally, thank you telling me that what is written in the VOA website is not a full story. Thank you for your information. I solved the question.