Aug 27, 2012

Short Story Monday: The $30,000 Bequest

For this week's Short Story Monday, hosted by John at The Book Mine Set, I read a short story from Mark Twain, The $30, 000 Bequest.

This story, set in the 1920s, is about a sensible middle class couple out west who receive word that they will be the recipients of $30 000 upon the death of a distant relative. These romantics stop building castles in the sky and paying attention to their children and start paying attention only to the stocks in which they virtually invest their imaginary money.

This tale is not exactly surprising to anyone who has read O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi. It does give a glimpse into a different time, however. It's amazing how similar things actually are. Their imaginaries stocks include that in coal, oil, land, and transport. All they need next are some tech stocks and you have a modern portfolio.

The other striking similarity is how this couple ignores their children and friends for the sake of dreaming about their future windfall. Sounds like someone addicted to gambling or even the internet today -  too busy thinking about their perfect future to appreciate their wonderful present.

On that note I am off to get in some kid cuddles. Stay safe my Kyushu and Louisiana friends who are battling typhoons/hurricanes today.


  1. I can certainly see the comparison to The Gift of the Magi and even addictions of our modern world. Sound like a good story.

    I reviewed one today and I'm hoping to get back in the weekly swing with summer winding down. Here's the link if your interested,

  2. Wow, you're right-- it still resonates today.


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