O. Henry’s A Madison Square Arabian Night: A Cross-Cultural Dialogue

Azeez Jasim Mohammed


In this paper, the assertion of cross-culture in the American literature is studied and put for discussion. Aside from the inspiration of the American writers of the Arabian Nights, the inspiration of the Arabian Culture is inspired as well. O. Henry is given as an example in his short story “A Madison square Arabian Night”. The first part of this research is going to highlight the importance of the Arabian Nights in the American literature. It tries to give a brief idea about the Arabian nights and according to this it is divided into five parts to give enough information as possible about these nights. The first part includes the understanding of the Arabian nights from different perspectives those found in some encyclopaedias, like the Encyclopaedia Americana, the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Encyclopaedia of Islam. For the necessity of historical background about the contents of the Arabian Nights, the paper deals with the authorship of the stories of the Arabian nights and the contents which includes a short summary of the story of the Arabian nights. A general idea about the origins of the thousand nights and a night is widely explained. The last part is dedicated to stereotype something about the influence of the Arabian nights on the other literatures. O. Henry wrote most of his major works in short story. Thus the short story is the most outstanding literary genre in this age and its explanation has a space in this paper in the sense that it gives a comparison between Baghdad and New York from O. Henry’s point of view. This paper deals with his major work A Madison Square Arabian Night since it is the work in which a very clear example of comparison between Baghdad and New York is composed. His thesis in this story reveals the cross-cultural dialogue and his tendency towards the orientalism.


Cross-culture, Arabian Night, Orientalism, Hospitality, Solidarity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.10n.1p.71


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