A Retrieved Reformation

by

O. Henry

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Annabel Adams Character Analysis

The fiancée of Ralph D. Spencer, the false identity of career safecracker, Jimmy Valentine, and the daughter of Mr. Adams, the owner of The Elmore Bank. Jimmy first sees Annabel outside her father’s bank while he is casing potential safes, and he immediately falls in love with her and denounces his life of crime. While he disguised as Ralph, Annabel too falls in love with Jimmy, and she is the very reason he begins to live the straight life as a shoe salesman. Annabel is charming and described by Jimmy as “an angel,” reflecting her savior-like influence on his criminal past. When Annabel’s niece, Agatha, is locked in the safe at The Elmore Bank, Jimmy first asks Annabel for the rose pinned to her dress, a symbol of their love and a token of remembrance, before cracking the safe and exposing that his identity as Ralph is a farce.

Annabel Adams Quotes in A Retrieved Reformation

The A Retrieved Reformation quotes below are all either spoken by Annabel Adams or refer to Annabel Adams. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Modern Library edition of A Retrieved Reformation published in 1994.
A Retrieved Reformation Quotes

A young lady crossed the street, passed him at the corner and entered a door over which was the sign “The Elmore Bank.” Jimmy Valentine looked into her eyes, forgot what he was, and became another man.

Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:

Mr. Ralph Spencer, the phoenix that arose from Jimmy Valentine’s ashes—ashes left by a sudden and alternative attack of love—remained in Elmore, and prospered.

Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

“Annabel,” he said, “give me that rose you are wearing, will you?”

Hardly believing that she heard him aright, she unpinned the bud from the bosom of her dress, and placed it in his hand. Jimmy stuffed it into his vest-pocket, threw of his coat and pulled up his shirt-sleeves. With that act Ralph D. Spencer passed away and Jimmy Valentine took his place.

Related Characters: Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer (speaker), Annabel Adams, Agatha
Related Symbols: Annabel’s Rose
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
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Annabel Adams Character Timeline in A Retrieved Reformation

The timeline below shows where the character Annabel Adams appears in A Retrieved Reformation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Retrieved Reformation
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
Change and Identity Theme Icon
...nearby and asks him about the lady’s identity. The boy reports that the girl is Annabel Adams, the daughter of the local bank owner. (full context)
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
Work, Ethics, and Morality Theme Icon
Change and Identity Theme Icon
...a prosperous shoe business, becomes a social success, and wins the heart and hand of Annabel Adams. They are to be married in two weeks’ time, and even Annabel’s father, Mr.... (full context)
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
Work, Ethics, and Morality Theme Icon
Change and Identity Theme Icon
...Jimmy tells his friend, Billy, about his new, honest life and his upcoming marriage to Annabel. He further tells Billy that after his marriage he intends to move West, putting more... (full context)
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
Work, Ethics, and Morality Theme Icon
Change and Identity Theme Icon
The next day, after having breakfast with Annabel and her family, Jimmy readies himself to deliver his suitcase of burglar’s tools to Little... (full context)
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
Change and Identity Theme Icon
Jimmy walks downtown with Annabel’s entire family, including her father, Mr. Adams, her sister, and her sister’s children, Agatha and... (full context)
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
Work, Ethics, and Morality Theme Icon
Change and Identity Theme Icon
Suddenly, Annabel and her sister scream. Without their knowledge, May has locked Agatha in the safe while... (full context)
Love and Redemption  Theme Icon
Work, Ethics, and Morality Theme Icon
Change and Identity Theme Icon
 Smiling, Jimmy asks Annabel for the rose that is pinned to her dress. Confused, Annabel unpins the rose and... (full context)