The Last Leaf
Think about it
What is Johnsy’s illness? What can cure her, the medicine or the willingness to live?
Johnsy is suffering from pneumonia. Her willingness to live can cure her. Her doctor says that it seems as if she has made up her mind that she is not going to get well. He says that medicines won’t work if she does not want to live.
Do you think the feeling of depression Johnsy has is common among teenagers?
Yes, I think the feeling of depression Johnsy has is common among teenagers these days. Teenagers today are in a constant run to make the most of their lives. They live a lifestyle that is burdened by pressure to be the best in every aspect. They tend to care more about their professional lives and give less attention to their personal nourishment.
Behrman has a dream. What is it? Does it come true?
Behrman is a sixty-year-old painter. His lifelong dream was to paint a masterpiece. Yes, it ultimately comes true when he paints the last leaf on an ivy creeper and that painted last leaf seems to be a real one.
What is Behrman’s masterpiece? What makes Sue say so?
Johnsy had said that she would die when the last leaf on the ivy creeper falls. When Behrman heard this from Sue, he secretly painted a leaf on the creeper when the last leaf had fallen.
Unaware that the leaf that Johnsy was looking at was a painting, Johnsy felt motivated to see that the last leaf was still clinging to the creeper. She felt energetic and developed a willingness to live.
Thus, the last leaf painted by Behrman was a masterpiece. It rekindled Johnsy’s willingness to fight her illness and live. That is the reason why Sue says that the last leaf is Behrman’s masterpiece.