The story begins with Johnsy who is bedridden and almost dying of pneumonia waiting for the last leaf from a vine tree to fall as she spies on it through her window awaiting her death. In her desperation sue goes to Mr. Behrman, a neighbor and an art failure who had spent forty years waiting to get the fist line of his great master piece. Sue started writing on her board an illustration for a story in a magazine (Henry, 1996).
Without knowing it she has delivered the old man his line. As Sue was opening up to the old man about his sorrows on loosing a friend she is distracted by Johnsy’s mourning and goes to her choosing to stick with Johnsy as she wants to prove to her that the last leaf falling will not come with her death (Henry, 1996). They wait for the last leaf to fall but it does not. Mr. Behrman had chose to deliver Sues wish just as she had delivered his by painting a green leaf on the bald tree just the day before the last leaf fell. She had saved Johnsy’s life.
The story tries to explore the will to live and how it is important. It also tries to shed light on hope and faith and the will to live. This is by showing how some people deal with the obstacles in life. Johnsy has a very negative approach towards the matter of life and death.
Johnsy has already determined death as her fate yet we know that only God can determine whether we live or die. Johnsy only sits and waits for what she thinks will happen forgetting that there are other determinant factors that can change what we see for our self. O Henry wants us to focus and hope for a brighter future rather than of believing in what we see for our self in the present.