The last leaf was written by O. Henry and an extract from The Trimmed Lamp And Other Stories collection. The story is about two young artists, Johnsy and Sue. Johnsy was poor and became ill due to pneumonia. She believes that she dies when the last leaf from the ivy vine falls. Her neighbor, when learning about this situation tricks her by painting the last leaf on the wall but he himself lost his life due to pneumonia.
The Last Leaf About The Author
William Sydney Porter better known by the pen name O. Henry was an American short story writer born in Carolina. He was born on 11th September 1862. His works include the gift of the magi, the last leaf, etc. through this lesson, O. Henry explains that a little hope given by an old artist Behramn gave new hope and life to a young artist to live and fulfill her dreams.
Central Idea The Last Leaf
The lesson Last Leaf helps the readers that they should not lose hope in anything very quickly. We all must face challenges and tackle the tough times with great courage. Here, in the story itself, when the young artist Johnsy fell ill due to pneumonia, she lost all hope and began to think only about being dead. She thinks that when the last leaf on the ivy vine will fall, she will also lose her life. She only got new hope when an old artist tricked her by painting the last leaf on the wall. Soon, Johnsy started to recuperate and was filled with new hope.
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The Last Leaf Character Sketch
She was a young artist and lived with her friend Sue. she fell ill due to pneumonia and started thinking that she would die when the last leaf on the ivy vine fell. This thought vanishes all her hope to live.
The readers would feel that Johnsy quickly put all his weapons in front of the illness and lost all her hope. Even after Sue helps her to instill new hope she still feels the same about her condition. She was not showing any kind of positivity.
Sue was the friend Johnsy and they both lived together. She was very kind by heart and tried to instill a positive attitude while johnsy was ill and lost her hope of becoming healthy again. She showed the nature of true friendship and takes very good care of her. She was adamant and confident that Johnsy will soon recuperate from his illness.
He was an old man who wished to draw a masterpiece in his life. He lives downstairs from Johnsy and her friend Sue. he has been painting for 40 years and still could not succeed. succeed sometimes posed for the nearby living artist. He has a soft heart towards Sue and Johnsy. Initially, he thinks that the leaf on the ivy vine has nothing to do with his health of Johnsy, but soon he paints the last leaf, his masterpiece, and gives new hope to the young artist.
The Last Leaf Summary
The story revolves around the two young artists Sue and Johnsy, who lived together. The story has been written by O.Henry and explains about instilling positivity and new seeds of hope to live and fulfill her dreams. Once, Johnsy fell ill due to pneumonia. Her friend Sue was really kind by nature and took care of her by arranging for a doctor and taking care of her medicines.
But Johnsy had given all his hopes and somehow she started thinking that she would never be healthy again. Seeing her deteriorating condition, the doctor advised giving her some hope to live and free her from all worries. Sue tried to cheer her up and gave her a canvas to paint, but she did not pay any heed and just thought about the ivy vine and its losing leaves.
She was not able to think positively and felt depressed about her condition. Sue tried to convince her, but Johnsy told her that after the last leaf fell from the ivy vine, she would also lose her life. The ivy vine has nothing to do with her recovery or illness of her, but still, she believes so and used to count the leaves of the vine.
Sue felt very sad on hearing this, and she knows that Johnsy has become depressed so she told all these things to their neighbor, an old man, Behrman. She told her about Johnsy’s condition and how she has depended on an ivy vine for her survival. Soon, Behrman visited her but found her sleeping. It was raining incessantly that night, Sue and Behrman sat in the next room. Johnsy peeped outside and saw that the last leaf will fall soon and she will also die with that.
To this the old man just without saying a word left and decided to paint a similar leaf instead of that and tied it on the creeper. But while doing so, he fell ill and was diagnosed with pneumonia. And after 2 days he died of that. He gave new hope to the young artist and fulfilled his own wish to create a masterpiece.
On seeing outside, Johnsy felt happy and content that the last leaf had not fallen. Soon she started recovering and thought that there might be a reason as nature also wanted her to survive.
Sue informed her about the death of the old artist, Behrman. She told Johnsy that he died of pneumonia and he was the one who painted the last leaf on the creeper to give him optimistic hope to survive and sacrifice his own life. The last leaf was indeed a masterpiece created by Behrman.
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NCERT Solutions: The Last Leaf Class 9th
Q1. When did the last leaf fall?
A1. The last leaf fell during the rainfall on that night only when Sue and the old man were talking about Johnsy’s condition.
Q2. What is Johnsy’s illness? What can cure her, the medicine or the willingness to live?
Johnsy was suffering from pneumonia. Only the willingness to live could cure her.
She had made up her mind that she was not going to get well. The doctor said that if she did
not want to live, then medicines would not help her.
Q3. Do you think the feeling of depression Johnsy has is common among teenagers?
Yes, I think the feeling of depression Johnsy is very common among teenagers.
Because of the present lifestyle, teenagers are under constant pressure to outperform in
every field. They are burdened with studies and the anxiety about future. They are also
subjected to a lot of parental and peer pressure. Along with all this, they are also expected
to behave in a certain manner as deemed appropriate by society. Most of the time,
they are unable to bear so much stress and end up being depressed.
Q4. Behrman has a dream. What is it? Does it come true?
Behrman was a sixty-year-old painter. His lifelong dream was to paint a
masterpiece. It does come true when he paints a leaf such that it looks extremely natural.
He painted the last leaf left on a creeper.
Q5.What is Behrman’s masterpiece? What makes Sue say so?
Behrman’s masterpiece was the last leaf on the ivy creeper. Sue calls it
a masterpiece because this painting rekindled the willingness to survive in Johnsy’s heart and
she was able to recover from her illness. Johnsy thought that she would die when the last
leaf fell from the ivy creeper. But Berhman spent an entire night in a heavy storm painting a
fresh green leaf. Berhman suffered from pneumonia because of getting drenched while
painting and eventually died. However, on seeing that leaf Johnsy thought it was real and
got a feeling of self-belief. She realized she could get well if she wanted to and came out of
Through this lesson, we came to know that humans pinned their survival on anything, and the biggest boon for anyone during his or her hard times is HOPE. Through this optimistic hope instilled by an old artist, Johnsy was able to survive and started thinking afresh.