The Rubber Plant's Story (Henry)

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The Rubber Plant's Story
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A rubber plant, mistaken for a magnolia, narrates its experiences as it changes owners, witnessing the lives of various New York City residents, including performers, a married couple, and a struggling singer.

A rubber plant, which had been passed from owner to owner, found itself in the possession of a young girl who seemed sad and lonely. The plant had previously belonged to various lively and eccentric individuals, so it was initially unimpressed with its new owner. The girl would often cry by the plant, even kissing its leaves, which made the plant feel strangely cared for.

The Rubber Plant — narrator; a hardy, perceptive plant that observes the lives of its various owners.
The Girl — a slim, sad-looking young woman with dark hair and eyes; a struggling singer who loves the rubber plant.

The girl was a singer, and one day, a man came to listen to her sing. He told her that her voice was not good enough, but he could still help her if she agreed to his terms. The girl refused and cried by the plant again. Later, another man arrived, and it was clear that they had a romantic history. He had traveled a long distance to find her and asked her to return home with him.

Dick — a young man who loves the girl; determined and caring.

The girl showed the man the rubber plant, which she had mistaken for a magnolia, and they reminisced about a night they had spent together under a magnolia tree. The man agreed to take her back, and they both expressed their love for the plant, still believing it to be a magnolia.

Magnolia! Well, wouldn’t that—say! those innocents thought I was a magnolia!

The rubber plant, despite being mistaken for a different species, felt a sense of belonging and happiness with its new owners.