The Cop And The Anthem Summary-Analysis, Themes And Review

The Cop And The Anthem Summary-Analysis And Themes

It’s a short story that highlights the life of a jobless man who wants to escape the cold weather and harsh conditions of winter. He had made various plans to get a place free from cold weather.

The main central idea of Cop and Anthem is how we struggle for our survival. It further elucidates our choices between good and bad. This article will share cop and the anthem summary, analysis, and many more things.


This blog that is related to this story discusses:

  • Author
  • Cop and the Anthem summary
  • Analysis
  • Themes
  • Review
  • Conclusion


It’s a famous short story by William Sydney Porter or O Henry. He is loved by readers because of the unique endings of his stories. Some famous works of O Henry are:

The Cop And The Anthem Summary

The story starts with a character named “Soapy” who is a jobless man living in New York City. He was sitting on a bench in cold weather. He wanted to escape this weather. He got the idea that he’d spend these three months of cold weather in prison located on Blackwell’s island.

The first step for getting his goal was to enter a restaurant and refuse to pay them. This will lead him to prison. When he reached the restaurant for the execution of his plan, he was not allowed to get entry because of his looks and dress.

Then he broke the window glass of a hotel believing that the police would arrest him and he would be imprisoned. The police officers came but they said he was not the one who had broken that window because why would he stand nearby if he did so?

Next time, Soapyteased women but she fell in love with him. So again, the man didn’t succeed in his plan. He was pessimistic but still, he thought he’d do other things.

This time he got drunk and started roaming freely on the road. The police came and said maybe he was the school football team player who was enjoying his drink in celebration. Again, he wasn’t arrested.

He took a last step. This time he met a person who was holding an umbrella. He took his umbrella and told him to go and call the police. The police didn’t reach again and Soapy was now hopeless. He went to a church and the fascinating music changed his heart. He thought he’d never do these things and search job for him.

The story ends in a way when a police officer comes to Soapy and arrests him because of the criminal gestures he committed all day. Finally,  Soapy gets three months imprisonment which can assist him in escaping the winter.

The Cop And The Anthem Analysis

The story teaches readers what humans can do for survival. Soapy didn’t like all these things but all he did was just for the sake of getting a warm bed in winter. The main idea of the story is to create a difference between bad and good.

As a learner, we can face hardships but never do things Soapy did. Instead, think positive and take action.

The Cop and The Anthem Themes

Here are the major themes of the story:


You can get the theme of pessimism by reading soapy reaction after failure.


When Soapy tries to break window glass hoping the police will arrest him resembles violence.

Self Reflection

A theme of self-improvement is also found in this story. Soapy although did wrong but at last he changed his mind. He thought he’d search for a job.

Story Review: Cop And The Anthem

Well, it’s a great story by O Henry. The best thing that inspires me as the reader is how Soapy changes his mind at the end. Although he was late still he learned the difference between bad and good. The ending of the story was amazing and unexpected.

  • I’ll rate this short story 9 /10. You guys can share your review in the comments.

The Cop And The Anthem Conclusion

This blog discussed each and everything related to “The Cop And The Anthem” by O Henry. A great story that discusses the life of a man “Soapy” who dreams of spending winter in prison as he is homeless.


Who is the main character in “The Cops and the Anthem”?

The main character in the story is a man named “Soapy” who is tired of cold weather.

Did the police arrest Soapy at the end?

Yes, the officer captured him at the end of the story in a church. Soapy has now succeeded in his plan of getting prison.

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