The Greater Coney (Henry)

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The Greater Coney
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man visited Coney Island after a quarrel with his girlfriend, only to find her there as well, both reminiscing about their past happiness and eventually reconciling.

Dennis Carnahan, a bricklayer, lost his job due to a sympathy strike and decided to visit the new Coney Island to lift his spirits. He had fond memories of the old Coney Island, where he and his former sweetheart, Norah Flynn, had spent happy times together. However, they had a falling out and hadn't spoken in a while.

Dennis Carnahan — narrator; red-headed bricklayer; nostalgic, romantic.
Norah Flynn — Dennis's girlfriend; emotional, nostalgic.

Upon arriving at the new Coney Island, Dennis was disappointed to find that the old, immoral amusements had been replaced with more respectable attractions. He longed for the simpler times he had shared with Norah. He walked down to the beach and sat near the ruins of an old pavilion, reminiscing about the past.

To his surprise, he found Norah sitting on the other side of the pavilion, crying. They began talking, and Dennis asked her about her experience at the new Coney Island.

I despise it, Denny, she says, half cryin’. Mother and Uncle Tim went to see the shows, but I came down here to think of you.

Norah claimed to have enjoyed the attractions, but Dennis could tell she was lying. He confronted her, and she admitted that she had come to the beach to think of him and their past together.

Dennis forgave Norah for their previous argument, and they decided to give the new Coney Island a chance. They agreed to return the following Sunday to explore the attractions together, now that they were in a better mood to appreciate them.