Witches loaves feature Miss Martha bakery where she owns a bakery selling bread to the customers. She became fond of the man who buys stale bread, and she finally believes that he was poor since Miss Martha thought that he could not afford much. As a gesture of goodwill, Miss Martha puts butter on the bread without him noticing thinking that the man will take notice on her. She mixed quince seed and borax to make her skin look healthier to impress the man. Her actions indicate that she was interested in the man and thought that by putting butter in the bread, the man would be grateful and notice her.
After Miss Martha's action, the man came back very annoyed, and the co-worker explained to Martha that the man was an architecture and that he used the stale bread to erase the pencil marks on his draft. The man was angry because the butter had ruined his paintings. Martha was outraged as she learned that the man was not interested in her and she threw her beauty mixture out of frustration.
The good intentions of Miss Martha are considered as an act of witchery by the artist. Her action indicates that flattery is her daily activity that has developed into her character. It is evident that she develops a crush on a man she knows nothing about, and she thinks that he is poor and that is the reason why he buys stale bread. To please the man she put butter in his two loaves which make the artist very mad. She thought she was helping the artist and she ended up ruining the painting hence drawing the man further away from her and her bakery shop.
The conflict arose in the thought that the man was poor and the fact that she had a crush on him. She forgot even to find out if her thinking was correct she only went ahead with her generous action. Although Miss Martha was forty years old, she was not married, and she might have needed company. She mixed beauty herbs to make the artist notice her. She is important in the story of O Henry because she is hopeful. Even at her age, she doesn't give up on getting married.
She had a kind heart since she was willing to put butter in the artists bread thinking that he was poor. After the artist was a regular customer, she took notice of him and tried to please him only to get conflicted as she got the whole idea wrong. Miss Martha only saw the good things in people. She used to see the artist with red and brown stains and concluded that he was poor and every time she sat down to eat dinner; she could see a well-mannered and poor man. She felt sorry for him, and she wanted to help him at least.
Her thoughts are what led her to do the act of kindness since she thought that he only bought stale bread to eat and did not even buy a cake. She wanted to help him and even share all her luxuries including her two thousand dollars. Her motivation grew when the artist commented on an old photograph that was hanged on the bakery. Miss Martha thought that he could become interested in her and started wearing her new dress to the bakery.
After Miss Martha had put butter on the stale loaves of bread, the artist was mad as the stale bread ruined his building plan that was designed for competition and it took him three months to create. She is important in the story as she creates the theme of hope, kindness, love and conflict. She is the reason why the architecture might lose in the competition due to her misunderstanding and also out of her kindness she does things that ruined someone's career unknowingly. The story merely indicates the wrong start of Miss Martha in finding love and a partner.
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