“Jimmy Valentine” By O Henry (L.A.Q) Long Questions and Answers, Class XI, WBCHSE
Jimmy Valentine by O Henry Questions and answers
Jimmy Valentine LAQ Long Questions and answers
Jimmy Valentine Long Questions and answers
1)“That child – she can’t stand it long in there.” – Who is referred to here? Why was she in danger? How was she saved? [1+2+2] [Annual Exam Class XI- 2014 & 2022]
Ans. In O Henry’s “Jimmy Valentine”, the child referred to here is Agatha, the five years old daughter of Annabel’s elder sister.
May had locked Agatha inside the vault in a spirit of play while everyone was busy talking. It was difficult to open the vault as the combination of bolts and knobs was not set. There was not much air inside. She would die of fright. That’s why, she was in danger.
At that time, everyone was overcome with pleasure. With full of anguish, Annabel begged Jimmy to do something to save the child. Jimmy with a smile on his face, asked for the rose Annabel was wearing. Then he opened his suitcase and he broke the vault with his pet drills in ten minutes. Thus, the child was saved.
2) What did Jimmy write to his old friend? Why did he write so? [3+2] [Annual Exam Class XI- 2015, 2018]
Ans. Jimmy wrote a letter to his old friend, Billy after living in Elmore for a year and becoming a successful businessman. Next Wednesday, he requested Billy to meet him at Sullivan’s place. He wanted to take care of a few minor issues and give him the burglar’s tools. He did not need them because he left burglary and wished to lead an honest life. He owned a nice shoe store. Also, he revealed to Billy that he will be marrying the most beautiful woman on earth in less than two weeks.
He sent Billy the letter to let him know about his current status as a prosperous businessman and his future intentions once he got married. He realised that living an honest life was the only possible way to live. His statements demonstrated Jimmy’s transformation into a decent person.
3) What new name did Jimmy Valentine assume at Elmore? What business did Jimmy open there? How did Jimmy fare at Elmore? [1+1+3] [Annual Exam Class XI – 2016]
Ans. Jimmy Valentine assumed a new name Ralph D. Spenser at Elmore.
At Elmore Jimmy opened an exclusive shoe store.
Jimmy opened a shoe store and secured a good run of it. He established himself as a successful businessman and developed a social reputation in the community within a year. Most importantly, he fell in love. He was getting married to Annabel Adams, the most beautiful woman on earth, in two weeks. The Adams family welcomed him warmly.
4) What did Jimmy Valentine do from the time he got out of jail till met Mike Dolan?  [Annual Exam Class XI – 2017]
Retrace Jimmy Valentine’s course of action from the moment he is granted parole to the time he reaches his room. 
Ans. Jimmy, after coming out of the jail, ignoring the natural beauties like the songs of birds, the waving green trees, and the smell of the flowers, went straight to a restaurant. In the restaurant, he tasted the first sweet joys of liberty in the form of a broiled chicken, a bottle of white wine and a good quality cigar than that of the warden had given him. Then he went to the depot. He tossed a quarter of a dollar into the hat of a blind man before boarding the train. After a three-hour journey, he arrived at a little town where his friend Mike Dolan lived.
5) “Mr Ralph D. Spencer, the phoenix that arose from Jimmy Valentine’s ashes.” – Who is Ralph D. Spencer? What is Phoenix? Why has the comparison been made? [1+2+2] [Annual Exam Class XI – 2019]
Ans. In O Henry’s short story “Jimmy Valentine”, Ralph D. Spencer is the protagonist of the story who is a reformed criminal, formerly known as Jimmy Valentine.
A phoenix is a mythical bird that is said to have the ability to rise again from its own ashes. According to legend, the phoenix is immortal and lives for several hundred years before dying in a burst of flames. From the ashes, a new phoenix is said to rise, symbolizing rebirth and renewal.
In this context, the comparison to a phoenix is made because Jimmy Valentine was a notorious criminal who served time in prison but he has reformed himself, changed his identity and has become a respectable, upstanding citizen. The quote is meant to signify his transformation and his ability to rise above his past and start a new life, just as the phoenix is reborn from its ashes.
6) “Ben Price investigated the scene of the robberies and was heard to remark.” – Who was Ben Price? What did he say? What did he know of Jimmy’s habits? [1+1+3] [Annual Exam Class XI – 2020]
Ans. Ben Price was a detective who has been assigned to track down Jimmy Valentine, a notorious safecracker who has just been released from prison.
After looking into how the burglaries were carried out, Ben Price was overheard saying that Dandy Jim Valentine was responsible for all of them. His signature could be found everywhere. He started working again.
He acquired a lot of knowledge about Jimmy’s habits while working on the Springfield case. His defining characteristics were long jumps, swift escapes, no crime partner and a taste for good society. These habits made Jimmy to avoid punishment successfully.
7) “He opened this and gazed fondly.” – What was opened? What did the person gaze fondly at? Why did he gaze at it fondly? [1+2+2]
Ans. In O Henry’s short story “Jimmy Valentine”, Jimmy’s suitcase was opened.
Jimmy fondly gazed at the finest set of burglar’s tools which include the latest designs of drills, punches, braces, bits Jimmies, clamps, augers etc.
He was really attached to the burglar’s tools. They cost more than $900 and were made of tempered steel. He took pride in them. He was fortunate to re-connect with the suitcase after ten months apart. That’s why, he gazed fondly at his priceless possessions.
8) “That’s Dandy Jim Valentines’s autograph.” – Who said this and why? How did he come to such a conclusion? [1+2+2] [Annual Exam Class XI – 2022]
Ans. In O Henry’s short story “Jimmy Valentine”, Ben Price, the famous detective who was pursuing Jimmy Valentine said this.
Ben Price says this because he has found a safe that has been opened using the same techniques that Jimmy used when he was a safecracker.
The way the combination knob was jerked out, proved that it was Jimmy’s autograph because none but Jimmy had such rare clumps that could do it. Ben Price was also certain that Jimmy Valentine resumed his business because the way the tumblers were removed and the hole was formed using a drill.
9) Character of Jimmy Valentine. 
Ans. Jimmy Valentine is the main character of O Henry’s short story “Jimmy Valentine.” Jimmy is a handsome, smart, well dressed and fashionable young man. At the beginning of the story, Jimmy is a safecracker who has been sent to prison for his crimes. But at heart Jimmy is a great human being. After he is released from prison, he assumes the identity of Ralph D. Spencer and moves to a new town. As Spencer, Jimmy is shown to be hardworking and honest, and he becomes a respected member of the community. In honour of his love, he saves the girl. He proves himself honest to his new identity. Jimmy though a criminal, is also a good human being which makes him a very interesting character.
10) “There he tasted the first sweet joy of liberty”- Who was he? Where and how did he taste the sweet pleasures of Liberty? Why was it sweet to him? [1+2+2]
Ans. In O Henry’s short story”Jimmy Valentine,” he refers to Jimmy Valentine who was released from prison.
After his release from prison, Jimmy went to a restaurant. There he tasted sweet freedom in the form of a broiled chicken and a bottle of white wine. He then started smoking high quality cigars.
Jimmy was in prison for ten long months and had to eat what he was given as a prisoner. So eating something after its taste seemed sweet to him.
Written by Koushik Kumar Kundu
Koushik Kumar Kundu was among the toppers when he completed his Masters from Vidyasagar University after completing his Bachelors degree with Honours in English Literature from The University of Burdwan. He also completed B.Ed from the University of Burdwan.
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