What Is Behrman’s Masterpiece?

Charlotte Miller

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What Is Behrman’s Masterpiece?

In the realm of literature, there are certain works that transcend the boundaries of time, leaving an indelible mark on the literary landscape. Among such timeless creations is “Behrman’s Masterpiece” – a poignant short story penned by the renowned American author, O. Henry. Through its captivating narrative and powerful themes, this masterpiece weaves a tapestry of emotions and human connections that has resonated with readers for generations.

Unveiling The Maestro: O. Henry

Before delving into the narrative, it’s essential to recognize the creative genius behind “Behrman’s Masterpiece.” O. Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter, was a prolific writer known for his signature twist endings and keen observations of human nature. His works, including “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Ransom of Red Chief,” have earned him a place among the great American storytellers.

Behrman’s Masterpiece: An Artistic Odyssey

“Behrman’s Masterpiece” unfolds in the vibrant backdrop of Greenwich Village, a bohemian enclave known for its artistic spirit. The story introduces us to Johnsy, a young artist battling pneumonia and losing hope in the face of a relentless storm. The crux of the narrative lies in the interconnected lives of Johnsy, her roommate Sue, and their neighbor Behrman – an old, struggling artist.

Behrman, a character emblematic of unfulfilled artistic ambitions, takes center stage in an unexpected turn of events. Fueled by a profound sense of compassion and an underlying theme of sacrifice, Behrman’s actions in the story constitute the eponymous masterpiece.

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Themes Of Sacrifice And Redemption

“Behrman’s Masterpiece” delves into the themes of sacrifice and redemption, exploring the lengths to which an individual may go to leave a lasting impact on the lives of others. Behrman, despite a lifetime of unrealized dreams, finds a unique opportunity to create his magnum opus in an act that transcends his own artistic ambitions.

The story prompts reflection on the transformative power of selflessness, emphasizing the significance of human connections and the potential for redemption, even in the face of unfulfilled aspirations.

Legacy And Impact

O. Henry’s “Behrman’s Masterpiece” continues to resonate with readers, artists, and literary enthusiasts worldwide. Its enduring legacy lies not only in its narrative brilliance but also in the timeless themes it explores – themes that traverse the boundaries of art and speak to the very core of the human experience.


“Behrman’s Masterpiece” stands as a testament to O. Henry’s storytelling prowess and his ability to capture the complexities of the human spirit within the confines of a short story. As readers embark on this artistic odyssey, they are invited to contemplate the profound messages embedded in the narrative and to appreciate the enduring power of a masterpiece that transcends both time and artistic mediums.


What Does Mr Behrman’s Masterpiece Symbolize?

Significantly, Behrman is a failed artist who has tried all his life to paint a masterpiece, and Sue declares that the leaf he paints is his masterpiece. This suggests that the symbolic power of art is best when it is used to help others.

What Is The Masterpiece In The Last Leaf?

Behrman had worked through the snow to paint the leaf outside Johnsy’s window. He died from pneumonia. He sacrificed his own life to save Johnsy’s life. Thus, the last leaf painted on the wall became his masterpiece.

What Was Mr Behrman’s Dream To Paint A Masterpiece?

Behrman’s lifelong dream was to create a masterpiece in painting that could look perfect. It comes true when he paints an ivy leaf which looks a replica of a real leaf and saves a young life and fulfils Behrman’s ambition too. Unfortunately, it costs him his life.

What Does Behrman Do To Save Johnsy’s Life Why Does Sue Call It His Masterpiece?

Behrman saved Johnsy’s life by painting the last ivy leaf on the wall, which gave realistic impression. He did so to save her life as the last ivy leaf had fallen last night. Was this answer helpful?

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