Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on O. Henry's The Cop and the Anthem. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Cop and the Anthem: Introduction
The Cop and the Anthem: Plot Summary
The Cop and the Anthem: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Cop and the Anthem: Themes
The Cop and the Anthem: Quotes
The Cop and the Anthem: Characters
The Cop and the Anthem: Symbols
The Cop and the Anthem: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of O. Henry
Historical Context of The Cop and the Anthem
Other Books Related to The Cop and the Anthem
- Full Title: The Cop and the Anthem
- When Published: 1904
- Literary Period: Realism, Early Modernism
- Genre: Fiction, short story
- Setting: New York City, NY
- Climax: While listening to music coming from a church, Soapy decides to turn his life around
- Antagonist: Society, homelessness
- Point of View: Third person omniscient
Extra Credit for The Cop and the Anthem
Inspiration: O. Henry famously wrote about the dramas and plights of ordinary people who lived out their lives in New York City. It’s often said that he would loiter in the lobbies of which establishments in order to eavesdrop on conversations and gain inspiration for his short stories.
Name Change: According to writer Guy Davenport, there is some suggestion that O. Henry formed his pen name from the prison where he served a five-year sentence for embezzling money—the Ohio State Penitentiary.