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Theme in Transients of Arcadia

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The Mask of Wealth
Wealthy fortune is not usually the main standard for people to accept a person; however, they focus more on how well the action that the person does. The short story Transients in Arcadia by O. Henry is a good example to show this idea and deepen it to its main theme. In the beginning, O. Henry introduces Madame Beaumont as a woman who acquiring “the fine air of the elite, tempered and sweetened by a cordial graciousness” in a luxurious hotel (1). Although Beaumont stays at a place which is only for the rich, she still attracts others’ attentions and gets their acceptances because of her kind and natural flavour.

Her immaterial behaviour also attracts another guest in the hotel, Harold Farrington. During her conversation with him, “they [are] drawn one to another by the fact of their common good fortune in discovering the acme of summer resorts in a Broadway hotel” (2). These two people seem rich and gorgeous in this expensive vacation place, but the conversation does not come to their wealthy fortune. In addition, both of these two characters accept each other when talking because one finds the other has the same interest as him or her and not how rich he or she is. The realization of their common interest also leads to the collision of their love. Since they “kind of [like]” each other, Beaumont “[could not] help deceiving [Farrington] up till” the last night of both vacations and tells him the fact that she is poor and pretends to be rich (4). Unexpectedly, Farrington’s response is not being surprised and reveals the truth that he is as similar as her and not rich as well.

The honesty behaviour to love under the fake wealthy appearance leads them accept each other better and more appropriately. Like Beaumont and Farrington, people usually wear the mask of wealth to fit into their society, but the reason that they can being accepted is based on their brilliant behaviour and not the wealthy mask they wear. In order to get acceptance from anyone in anyplace, acquiring a good behaviour is always better than having a fake excellent appearance.

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