Summary of O. Henry’s While the Auto Waits

The unknown lady in this play is one of not only mystery, but she is not the only one that seems to be living a facade of a life, a life which is far more glamorous than their own. We start out in the park where the entire drama takes place. Now at first glance upon his lurking and pouncing upon the dropped book I am lead to believe that he may be simply a passerby in her neck of the woods or this public park. Then as I read on and ultimately reach the end of the story I am left to believe that this young man, Mr.Parkenstacker, has been coming to this very park for quite some time following this same maiden.
The mystery woman goes into great detail about her life, her millions…as if she is so discontent and drawn overly bored with the statures and stipulations of the upper class. She almost makes it seem as if she is in a class above that of which is considered “upper” as if almost a royal figure by the mentioning of “the Drake and the Prince”.
She makes mention of these figures of royalty when the young man questions if she will truly be able to fall in love with just a common man. By never offering her name to Mr. Parkenstacker she has left so much to be desired for in this short play, so much more you want to initially know about her. I start imagining if she is the heir to a textile fortune, possibly from a wealthy family with a rich history in banking on the most supreme of levels.

Early on you do not even realize that Parkenstacker is doing just the same as the young lady is. They are both putting on airs as they say, each wanting to unknowingly trade shoes for a day or for eternity even. Mr. Parkenstacker is portraying to a commoner who has not true idea of having financial authority but claiming to consider he somewhat a connoisseur of the rich and well-to-do class. He begins by attempting to summarize up what her life is like which leads to her expounding more on her alleged lifestyle.
The young lady almost seems as if she wants out of this dreaded long life of balls, dinners, plays, operas, and being around other people only drawn to her by her financial status or monetary circles. She is living in a world where your name is so powerful she feels as if she cannot dare give him that small piece of information for he will surely know just who he is talking with on this park bench. Then we have a break in the play when the waitress from the restaurant across the street enters the park, evidently looking for this young lady whom we now address as Mary-Jane Parker.
Claiming that she is tired of her pulling off these shenanigans and being late for work a third time and the owner being furious. The waitress is the vital part of this play for if not for her we would have left off thinking Mr. Parkenstacker was a poor common man and the aforementioned unknown lady was of the wealthy class. As the chauffer finally approaches Mr. Parkenstacker and the end and asks him shall he cancel the dinner reservations, then and only then do we see what has transpired.
Mr.Parkenstacker is actually the wealthy one and he has been attempting to ask this lady, Mary-Jane Parker out on a date for quite some time but the one time he has had the courage to approach her she has been called out in scandal. The 10-minute play “While the Auto Waits” by O. Henry sticks the guildine of such a work defined by the Kennedy Center based on the fact it uses two main characters, it exposes a plot almost immediately, and it brings a story full circle in such a short period of time without a change of scenes.

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