O Henry The Cactus Summary-A Lost Love

The Cactus is a fascinating story in the literature that tells a tale of the life of a man named “Tyrsdale”.He was in love with a girl but didn’t get her because of his one minor lie.

This article will share The Cactus Summary, Analysis, Themes, and Lessons for you. Stay connected till the end.


The Cactus is a story written by O Henry. The story was written back in 1902. You can tell the ending of a story till you reach its end. O Henry had a great set of stories in his bio. Some of the work are:

O Henry The Cactus Summary

The story starts with a man named “Tyrsdale“. He’s the main character of the story. He tells his story to his friend who was his lover’s brother. He came into his office and saw a beautiful red jar with a green cactus plant in it. Tysdale even seems sad and ignores the smoking offer. Then, he narrates his love story to his friend.

He was in love with a girl who admired him so much. She loved him unprecedentedly. She praised Tyrsdale but he absorbed all such stuff like the desert plants that capture raindrops. One day, she told him that she had heard from some of his friends that he knew Spanish. In reality, he didn’t know a little bit but he lied and said yes to her. The next day, he proposed to her, and she said she’ll gonna know her answer the next day. The man waited for one day and received a gift that had a cactus plant with a paper that had some weird language. Tyndale didn’t understand what it meant. He waited for the girl and didn’t get a reply. The next day, they both parted away.

Now, that girl is married to a new man and she devoted her heart and soul to him. His friend asked him what was written on that paper and he said “Ventomarme” meaning “Come and take me“.So, the whole event that led to the breakup was a misunderstanding of language and a lie. That’s how the story ends. Many people question did Tyrsdale was reunited with that girl. The answer is no because she was now married to a man and had devoted her soul to him.

The Cactus Analysis Henry Short Story

The story seems full of confusion till you reach the ending. The main moral lesson of The Cactus by o Henry is to be real in life. Further, the writer sends a message to us that we should never go with lies. Tyrsdale told a lie that he knew Spanish and when his lover sent him a letter in Spanish, he didn’t read it and lost her.

The story explores the hazards of lying. Moreover, if you analyze the character of “Tyrsdale“, you’ll get a vibe that he seems a man full of pride and arrogance. This is another element that highlights how pride gonna bring downfall.

Symbols in the Cactus by O Henry

  • Why it’s called the cactus? Or What does the cactus represent in the story?

It’s because cactus have thorns that can hurt us. When Tyrsdale saw it, he remembered the one who gifted this and it hurt him.

Further, the girl sends him cactus because she loves Tyrsdale like the cactus that always looks thirsty for water.

The Cactus Themes

Here are some major themes in The Cactus by O Henry:


The lie Trysdale spoke to her lover led to a break-up. He lost her because of his lie. This shows how much lies can be fatal in love.


Tyrsdale personality looks like a man of pride. Even even took that girl for granted in life and this was his big fault that led him to his downfall.

Power of Truth

Although, it’s hard to tell the truth it has plenty of benefits. If we speak the truth, we’ll never face problems.

Major Lessons

  • Never go with lies
  • Follow reality and speak the truth
  • Never let pride as a dominant factor
  • Share your problems with your circle

Review: The Cactus Short Story

I say the writing style was difficult. Some of the words were difficult to understand at first. The thing that caught my praise was the ending of the story. You can expect the ending of this story. Further, the writer sends a powerful message in the form of a story.

Conclusion: The Cactus Summary-O Henry

Here this blog had completely highlighted “The Cactus Short Story Summary”.If you have any queries, you can let us know in the comments.

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