O Henry Witches Loaves Summary-A Women Heartbreak

The story features a middle-aged woman “Martha Meacham. She runs a bakery business in the city. Her character seems full of loneliness and solitude. Here is the Witches Loaves by O Henry summary.


It’s a story by famous writer O Henry. His real name is William Sydney Porter. This story explores lessons of solitude and hunger for love. Further, the story has an unexpected ending that leaves readers with surprise. Some of O Henry’s famous short stories are:

Witches Loaves Characters

The story has three characters.

Miss Martha

She owned a bakery. She fell in love with one of her customers whom she thought was an artist.

The Customer(Blumberger)

He was a painter who bought bread loaves every day from the bakery.

The Friend

He told the whole story to Martha at the end of the story.

O Henry Witches Loaves Summary

The story starts with a middle-aged woman “Martha” who owns a bakery shop. A man having German heritage visits her and buys bread loaves every day. She saw strains of paint on his shirt. Further, she found him fascinating and elegant. She assumes that he’s an artist and is earning very hard as he can’t able to buy expensive food.



Martha one day left a painting in the bakery to clear her assumption about the man. The man came and started a discussion on painting as soon as he saw it. She confirmed that he’s an artist. She was attracted to him. She started wearing an apron that was made of silk. Further, she started using Botox. What is Botox? It’s a toxin known as botulinum toxin used to prevent wrinkles as it prevents the release of a neurotransmitter”Acetylcholine”.This makes the skin look elegant.

One day, she added some butter to a man’s bread loaves when he was amused by a fire engine. She did this gesture in sympathy with the man. The next day, a man came up with his friend. He lost his nerves and started abusing the women. He declared Martha “fool” in the German language. Martha was astonished at the behavior of the man. The youthful friend of that man told Martha that Blumberger(Artist name)is an architecture draftsman. He told her that he was drawing all the stuff from the past three months. He used the bread loaves or crumbs for erasing pencil lines. Now, the butter in the bread had distracted the whole drawing. This was the real factor behind man’s anger.

Martha was disheartened at this event. She did this for humanity. She takes off the apron that she wears to please the man and also rejects the Botox use further.

Witches Loaves Analysis

The story tells how perception can be wrong sometimes. Martha thought the man was poor. She added butter, so he could eat better and his health may improve. She didn’t know the reality of why man was using loaves. The scene at the end broke her heart. This can further prove the innocence of Martha in the story.

Secondly, Martha seems to be eager for love. You can see that she was unmarried. She was impressed with the man. That’s why she even inspected him but he turned out to be a different man. This shows the nature of humans. It further says it’s not possible to get those whom we want always.

The name of his story seems terrific. What is the meaning of witches’ loaves? This term is related to Martha’s intention. You can say she wanted to bewitch the customer with her kind gestures. You can even consider it in other terms by linking the loaves to something bad luck that had destroyed Martha’s hopes.

Witches Loaves Themes


Martha owned a bakery that highlights her business ideology. She had her bakery which is an example of her freedom and independence.


Martha’s gesture when she provided butter with bread crumbs explores the theme of kindness and humility.


Martha’s character seems full of loneliness. She dreamed of love and that’s why she assumed that man was her partner.


The end of the story even makes readers feel sad for Martha. You can feel bad for her when you get the real image of the story.

Conclusion: Witches Loaves Summary And Analysis

In overall discussion, The Witch’s Loaves by O Henry sends lessons full of reality and humanity. Further, the story teaches readers to never betray with the look of someone. Sometimes our perceptions or judgments can be absurd which leads to heartbreak. So what is the moral lesson of witches’ loaves? Always try to think before you act. Martha’s action was based on half judgment. Further, she sets her hopes high even before she knows all about the man.


“Witches Loaves questions answers”

Why did Blumberger buy loaves?

He used them for erasing pencil lines during drawing. Martha assumed he was poor. He was buying the same food regularly.

What happens at the end of the story witches loaves?

Martha finally came to know the reality of Blumberger. The friend told her why he was buying loaves.

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